Decision-making representatives

When the court decides to appoint a decision-making representative to make certain decisions on behalf of a person, it may ask us to nominate suitable representatives from this panel. The court will do this when a person does not have a trusted person who can act as their decision-making representative. 

The court will be able to select one of more of these representatives to act on behalf of the person. 

We will monitor decisions made by a decision-making representative. 

What is the role of a decision-making representative?

The role of a panel member appointed as decision-making representative is the same as any other person appointed by the court to be a decision-making representative. They act as the agent of the person to make decisions on their behalf in line with the court order.

They must find out what the wishes of the person are, or would have been, in relation to the decision that needs to be made and follow those wishes as much as possible.

A panel member on the decision-making representative panel must meet specific requirements to be on the panel, as well as being trained by us and maintaining professional indemnity insurance.

Read more about what is the role of a decision-making representative

How are decision-making representatives selected?

First, the court will ask us to nominate two or more panel members from the panel when they consider a decision-making representative is needed and there is no one known to the person who is suitable and willing to act in the role.

Two or more panel members are then selected by us for nomination. Selection for nomination is done on a rotational basis (rota-like system) to the next available panel member based on the types of decisions that need to be made (personal welfare, property and affairs, or both) and their geographic location.

Exceptions to the panel members being selected for nomination on a rotational basis include:

  • the decision-making representative who is next on rotation has a conflict of interest
  • the decision-making representative is not able to undertake the appointment for any reason
  • there is no decision-making representative in the geographic location
  • a highly specialised skill set is needed

The decision to appoint the decision-making representative under the decision-making representation order is for the court.

How is the panel monitored?

A member of the decision-making representative panel is required to comply with the following:

  • the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015
  • the guiding principles
  • the code of conduct for decision-making representatives
  • the code of practice for supported decision-making and assessing capacity
  • the code of practice for decision-making representatives
  • the decision-making representation order made by the court

All decision-making representatives, including those on the panel, are supervised and monitored in the performance of their functions by the Decision Support Service. You can read more about decision-making representatives and how they are monitored on our decisions supporters page

How is a decision-making representative paid?

A decision-making representative appointed by the court from the panel will generally be paid for their role out of the finances of the person they are appointed to represent.

The amount they get paid is dependent on what is written in the court order, as well as certain conditions and limits set out in rules made by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

If the person they are appointed to represent does not have enough money to pay the decision-making representative, the court may ask the Decision Support Service to pay them instead.

How can you be on the panel?

Appointments to the decision-making representative panel follow an open recruitment and selection process. Applicants must demonstrate they meet eligibility requirements. Eligibility requirements include:

  • they have a relevant qualification to at least QQI level 7 on the National Framework
  • they are registered in Ireland with a professional regulatory body required by law
  • they hold professional indemnity insurance to cover acting as a decision-making representative
  • they must possess and demonstrate the required competencies

Before being appointed to the panel, applicants who have met the eligibility requirements must undertake mandatory training.

We are not currently recruiting for decision-making representatives.

How long does a decision-making representative stay in the role?

When a panel member is appointed as decision-making representative, the time commitment required will depend on what is written in the court order.

The duration of a decision-making representative’s appointment in a specific case will be different for each court order. The court order will describe the specific duties of the decision-making representative and how long the order will last.