Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resumption of oral hearings

Friday 10, July 2020

Protocol 2A(a) for hearings by video link has been published. Please see the Best Practice Protocols page.

Becoming a VT Member

What is the Valuation Tribunal?

The Valuation Tribunal for Wales (VTW) is a quasi-judicial Welsh Government Sponsored Body that deals with appeals against Non-Domestic Rates, Council Tax and Drainage Rates. The Tribunal is geographically split into four Regions that cover East, North, South and West Wales.

The VTW is independent of both the Valuation Officer (VO) / Listing Officer (LO) who is responsible for compiling and maintaining the Rating and Council Tax Valuation Lists and the Billing Authority (BA) which issues demands to persons who are liable for Rates and Council Tax.

Members of the VTW are local people who are volunteers. Although they may not be professionally qualified, they do receive formal training and are experienced in hearing appeals. A clerk, who is a paid employee of the Tribunal, advises on points of procedure and law.

The Tribunal provides a free service so it cannot award costs against the parties to an appeal. However, parties do have to meet their own costs in going to the Tribunal hearing. Wherever possible appeals are heard locally.

What Does the Valuation Tribunal do?

Normally three members of the Tribunal sit on a hearing [although two members can hear an appeal if everyone present agrees] and determine appeals against property valuations for Rating or Council Tax as well as people's liability for local taxes and other related matters. These can include, for example, appeals about the value of a small industrial unit or a large parade of shops, the banding of a small bungalow, or a person's eligibility for personal discounts. But it does not consider questions relating to the level of the tax or someone's entitlement to benefits or billing account matters.

Can anyone become a Tribunal member?

Generally, yes. Lay members are appointed locally by joint panels made up of representative(s) of the Local Authority and the Valuation Tribunal. Each Region of the Tribunal should have a good cross-section of members who fairly reflect the make-up of the general population in its area: including consideration of age profile, ethnic minorities, gender and disabled persons. People from all walks of life are encouraged to put themselves forward for appointment. However, certain people, such as undischarged bankrupts or those with a prison record may not be appointed and there is a restriction on the number of local (county) councillors.

What would be expected of me?

The commitment will vary between Regions, but you would generally be required to attend at least one hearing each month, by arrangement with the Clerk of the Tribunal. The length of hearings normally varies between an hour and a whole day. You should also be prepared to travel throughout the area covered by the Region of the Tribunal.

Members will be required to sign an undertaking and to attend structured training.

Do I need qualifications?

No. Neither previous experience nor qualifications are necessary, as full training is provided both locally and nationally on all aspects of work. The work of a tribunal member can be intellectually challenging and will appeal to people with an interest in local issues or judicial processes. Key qualities required of members are impartiality, objectivity, common sense and the ability to assimilate facts easily.

Do tribunal members get paid?

No. Membership is voluntary and the posts are unpaid but you would be entitled to claim out of pocket expenses such as subsistence and travelling allowances and, where appropriate, a contribution towards any loss of earnings.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Valuation Tribunal office in your area (you can find its contact details on our Offices Page).

What do I do if I wish to become a member?

Please use our Member Application Form to register your interest.