Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry opens core participant application process

The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry has today launched its application process for those wishing to be designated as a core participant.

Applications can be submitted until Friday 16 September 2022. After the closing date, the Inquiry will consider the applications it has received, and will publish later this year a list of those who have been successful.

It is not necessary for everyone wishing to be involved in the Inquiry to apply for core participant status. Everyone in Scotland will have the opportunity to be part of the Inquiry and to:

  • participate in the forthcoming Listening Project and tell the Inquiry about your experience;
  • keep up-to-date with the Inquiry’s progress through its website;
  • respond to the Inquiry’s requests for written evidence and documentation;
  • watch public hearings, which the Inquiry intends to livestream and make available on its website (with the exception of any hearings being held in private);
  • read transcripts of 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.

People who are designated by the Inquiry as core participants have some additional rights as explained in the Inquiry’s Core Participant Protocol, which has today been published on its website.

Lady Poole, Chair of the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry, said: “This independent Inquiry will, without fear or favour, investigate the strategic response to a pandemic which has affected all of Scotland’s more than five million people. Thousands have died as a result of the pandemic and many are still suffering its consequences. People clearly have strong views and legitimate questions about how the pandemic has been managed.

“This is an Inquiry for the people of Scotland. It is my role as Chair to work independently of government to establish the facts, openly and transparently. I will also make recommendations, based on the lessons learned, to Scottish Ministers to take forward to ensure Scotland is better prepared in future.

“Justice involves the Inquiry not only getting to the right answers but doing so with reasonable speed and without excessive cost. It is vital we gather evidence from as many difference sources as possible to ensure our investigation is robust and thorough, and we will provide ample opportunity for everyone to be involved. As is the case with any public inquiry, the number of core participants will have to be limited because designating an excessive number would likely make the Inquiry unmanageable, take longer and, ultimately, defeat its overall purpose. There will be many ways for people to participate in the Inquiry without being designated as core participants.

“The public deserve answers to their questions and we are going to provide those answers. The Inquiry will do this by investigating independently and robustly, and digging deep where required.”

More information on what it means to be a core participant in the Inquiry and the form for applications are available in the Protocols and Notices section of the Inquiry website under Inquiry Documents. Additional information is also available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Inquiry website.