Types of Intermediary
All intermediaries are selected for their specific expertise in human communication and their skill is assessing and supporting this.
In England and Wales, two types of intermediary exist:
- those who are trained, accredited, registered and regulated by the Ministry of Justice are designated Registered Intermediaries or 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 such professions as Speech and Language Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Special Needs Education, Social Work with special needs, and Occupational Therapy. Their area of specialism dictates which types of intermediary referral they can accept; and their continuing professional development as an intermediary (CPD) is overseen – and in part provided – by the MoJ.
- 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 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, Registered Intermediaries who are themselves experienced practitioners.
In Northern Ireland a different system has been developed and only one type of intermediary exists:
- Northern Ireland intermediaries are recruited, selected and registered by the Department of Justice (NI). They must have successfully completed accredited training (Masters level), and are designated ‘Registered Intermediaries’. They support two-way communication both with vulnerable victims and witnesses, and with suspects and defendants.