Get Involved

How can I engage with the Inquiry? 

Everyone in Scotland has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so it is right that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with the Inquiry.  

As the Inquiry progresses, everyone will have the opportunity to: 

  • participate in the forthcoming listening project and tell the Inquiry about their experience of the pandemic in Scotland; 

  • keep up to date with the Inquiry’s progress through its website

  • respond to any requests issued by the Inquiry for written evidence and documentation; 

  • watch public hearings when they start, which the Inquiry intends to livestream and make available on its website (except for any hearings held in private); 

  • read transcripts of public hearings and any documents (including expert reports) published on the Inquiry’s website; 

  • read any witness statements published on the website; 

  • where invited by the Inquiry, give evidence as a witness at a public hearing; and 

  • read records and documents published by the Inquiry as part of its investigation, and its reports. 

Some parties will also take part in the Inquiry as core participants.

Core participants

A core participant is an individual, institution or organisation with a specific interest in the Inquiry’s work, and has a formal role defined by legislation. Core participants have particular rights in the Inquiry process. 

This includes:

  • making statements when the Inquiry holds public hearings, unless the Chair directs otherwise;
  • proposing questions for Counsel to the Inquiry to ask witnesses;
  • with the Chair’s permission, asking questions of witnesses at a public hearing; and
  • being provided with advance copies of the Inquiry’s reports relating to their interest in the Inquiry.

The application process to be a core participant on the Inquiry closed on 16 September 2022. The protocol about being a core participant and the application process is still available to read on our website. There may also be opportunities for individuals and organisations that have not applied already to apply for core participant status at a later stage of the Inquiry. Further information will be made available on the Inquiry website regarding any such additional opportunities, as appropriate. 

All applicants for core participant status were notified of the Chair’s decision on 7 December 2022. The Inquiry has published the list of those who have been designated as a core participant, which is available here.  

You do not need to be a core participant to take part in the Inquiry. People and organisations who are not core participants will have the opportunity to engage with the Inquiry in various ways, as set out in the section above. 

Listening project  

The Inquiry’s listening project will allow you to tell us about your experience of the pandemic in Scotland, and the lessons you believe should be learned in relation to the areas in our Terms of Reference.

This project is currently undertaking pilot activities in advance of its public launch in Spring 2023. Information about how you can get involved will be shared on our website.

The aim of the listening project is to enable people who have been affected by the devolved strategic response to the pandemic to tell the Inquiry about their experience, the impact it has had and the lessons they feel should be learned. The project will play an important role in capturing these experiences and insights from individuals and groups to help inform the Inquiry's investigations, reporting and recommendations.

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