From time-to-time we may identify the need for a special visitor to visit a person who has a decision support arrangement and undertake a capacity assessment. This may be as part of our functions to review objections, supervise decision support arrangements, investigate complaints and make applications to court in relation to a person’s capacity.
In these situations, a special visitor from the special visitor panel may be asked to make a visit in line with a set of instructions called a direction given by the Decision Support Service.
What is the role of a special visitor?
The role of a special visitor is to help us to check if a person has the capacity to make certain decisions.
How are special visitors selected?
First, we must identify the need to send a special visitor to a person with a decision support arrangement, or who may need a decision support arrangement.
A special visitor is then selected from the panel for the visit on a rotational basis based on their geographic location.
Exceptions to a special visitor being selected on a rotational basis include:
- the special visitor who is next on rotation has a conflict of interest
- the special visitor is not able to undertake the visit for any reason
- there is no special visitor in the geographic location
- a highly specialised skill set is needed
How can you be a special visitor?
Appointments to the special visitor panel follow an open recruitment and selection process. Applicants must demonstrate they meet eligibility requirements. Eligibility requirements include:
- they have relevant professional background or skills, knowledge and experience
- they possess and demonstrate the required competencies
- they are registered in Ireland with a professional regulatory body
Before being appointed to the panel, applicants who have met the eligibility requirements must undertake mandatory training.
We are not currently recruiting for special visitors.
How long does a special visitor stay on the panel?
A special visitor can stay on the panel for four years.
List of current special visitors
The Decision Support Service maintains a panel of special visitors. The list of current special visitors is available on our website.