Time to Shine: How to give evidence to an Assembly committee.


As a whole, there tend to be more men than women giving evidence to committee inquiries in the National Assembly for Wales.

Between July 2011 and March 2014 , there were some 369 witness appearances before the Enterprise and Business Committee.

Only 110 of those appearances were female and this number falls to 96 if the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport is taken out of the equation.

Based on these figures, women account for 26% of witnesses called to give evidence to the Committee.

Because the proportion of women is low, we have worked with the National Assembly to run a training session for women to build confidence and develop skills.

We were only able to offer this training to a small number of women and so we have developed this resource pack in order that more women can benefit.

Advice for preparing written evidence.

The first stage of the evidence process is to submit a written paper outlining your views.

A striking written submission is more likely to lead to your being asked to give oral evidence.

  • The best written evidence achieves the following:

  • Aligns with the inquiry terms of reference, identifying the areas you want to comment on. You do not need to address every area.
  • Make sure it is interesting, relevant and strategic, highlighting your own perspective.
  • Try and keep written responses fairly concise. Papers should be no longer than four to five pages.
  • Begin the paper with a short introduction to yourself or the organisation.
  • Emphasise the key points so that they are clear.
  • Outline not only what the issues are but how they can be addressed, as the committee will be looking for ideas to make recommendations.
  • Make sure you meet the deadline.
  • Get your paper proofed and if possible translated.

Part 1 — Advice for preparing written evidence.

Part 2A Chair’s advice for giving oral evidence.

Part 3How to give oral evidence.

Part 4How to provide good evidence for recording purposes.

Part 5Tips from a witness perspective.