Types of Intermediaries

All intermediaries are selected for their specific expertise in human communication and their skill in assessing and supporting this. In this section, you will find information on the types of Intermediaries in:

England and Wales

Northern Ireland 

England and Wales

Two types of intermediary exist in England and Wales:

1) Registered Intermediaries (RIs)

Registered Intermediaries are:

  • Those who are trained, accredited, registered and regulated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are designated RIs. 
  • RIs working within the MoJ scheme support two-way communication with vulnerable victims and witnesses, and with suspects and defendants. Some also work in family proceedings. 

All RIs have relevant qualifications and experience, many in professions such as Speech and Language Therapy but also other professions, for example: 

  • Clinical Psychology 
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Special Needs Education
  • Social Work with special needs 
  • Occupational Therapy

Their area of specialism dictates which types of intermediary referral they can accept; and their continuing professional development (CPD) as an intermediary is overseen – and in part provided – by the MoJ. 

RIs must comply with a Code of Practice and a Code of Ethics which are overseen by the Witness Intermediary Scheme (WIS) Intermediaries Registration Board. 

Quality assurance, regulation and monitoring of the professional standards of Registered Intermediaries is undertaken the WIS’s Quality Assurance Board. 

Membership of this Board comprises of representatives of professional and vocational organisations (including the RCSLT) and subject matter experts from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

RIs have been facilitating communication with vulnerable witnesses in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales since 2004 when the WIS was first introduced as a pilot project. 

Standard pay rates are applicable and reviewed by the MoJ and published online (Annex G).

2) Non-registered Intermediaries

Those intermediaries who, though not registered with the MoJ, have attended a course of specific and appropriate training to undertake this work are designated Non-registered Intermediaries. 

Such intermediaries support two-way communication with vulnerable suspects and defendants; and similarly to RIs, some also work in family proceedings. 

They have relevant skills; and their intermediary training and CPD (including supervision and mentoring of new intermediaries) are undertaken by, among others, RIs who are themselves experienced practitioners.

Northern Ireland

A different system has been developed in Northern Ireland where only one type of intermediary exists in which they:

  • are recruited, selected and registered by the Department of Justice (NI) 
  • must have successfully completed accredited training (Masters Level), and are designated ‘RIs’
  • support two-way communication both with vulnerable victims and witnesses and with suspects and defendants

 Please note: Registered Intermediaries do not operate in Scotland.





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