An expert report is a written report from an expert that may be used as evidence in a VCAT case.
The expert must provide an impartial opinion based on their area of expertise.
Anyone involved in a VCAT case can organise for an expert report to be submitted as evidence. For example, a person involved in a dispute about house renovations may ask a building inspector to provide an expert report.
What to include in an expert report
All expert reports must have the following:
- the name and address of the expert
- the expert's qualifications, experience and area of expertise
- a summary of the expert's opinion
- all facts, assumptions and other information used as a basis for the expert's opinion
- documents and other material considered when writing the report
- reference to any opinions that have not been fully researched and why they have not been
- any questions the expert has about the dispute because they fall outside their area of expertise
- name and qualifications of any person who carried out tests upon which the expert relied on
- any personal or professional relationships between the expert and the party the report was prepared for
- an indication about whether the report is incomplete or limited in scope in any way
- signature from the expert with the following declaration: 'I have made all the inquiries that I believe are desirable and appropriate and that no matters of signficant which I regard as relevant have to my knowledge been withheld from the Tribunal.'
- a cover page with the VCAT reference number, date of the report, the name of the person the report is about, the name of the person the report has been prepared for and the name of the person the expert received their instructions from.
For building disputes
If the expert has recommended for a building to be fixed, demolished or altered in any way, the reasons for the recommendation and the likely costs involved should also be included in the expert report.
The expert should state whether there are any other reasonable alternatives to completing or fixing the building.
The cover page should also include the address of the property and any inspection dates.
Provide copies to all parties
Provide a copy to VCAT and everyone involved in the case at least 10 business days before the hearing, otherwise we may not accept it as evidence.