Experts by Experience and by Education


All decisions that affect a population, should be made in partnership with representations of the population. Currently decision makers are making decisions without engaging with the population affected and this is leading to assumptions being made at times. The population has a large amount of unique lived experience. Consequently, those with valuable experiences but no political experience are being left out of key decisions.


A policy suggestion in which experts by experience and experts through education work in partnership with political leaders, councillors and within political settings.

We begin with two key definitions:

  • Expert by Experience – an individual who has personal experience, also known as lived experience, of a problem, challenge or topic. For example, someone who has accessed mental health services is an expert by experience of mental health services.
  • Expert by Education – an individual who has gained a wealth of knowledge through education, a job or research. For example a teacher could be an expert by education of the education system.

The process (see diagram below):

A job role would be advertised for experts by experience on specific topics that are being looked at within the government. For example they may be recruiting for young people who have experience of the education system, someone within lived experience of mental health services or an unemployed individual. Applications would then be received and collected.

A jury would then be collected from the public through a random selection process. The jury would be individuals within the same field as the experts by experience. They would vote for who they want to represent their population. More than one expert by experience may be elected so that the ratios of people within the team are fair.

One of the unique aspects of the proposal is that the expert(s) by experience are offered full time job roles where they work in partnership with expert(s) by education, departments within the government, politicians… Another innovative aspect of the proposal is the role would involve community engagement, sharing their voice, co-produce policies, joining debates but would not vote within parliament. All points raised by the expert would need to be responded to by the decision maker(s) to the public transparently. This would involve what actions have been taken and if the point hasn’t been taken further, why.

This process can be repeated with experts by education and should be applied to all situations that involve decisions about a population. All decisions that affect a community should be made in partnership and collaboration with the community.


The population would have their voice represented effectively and there would be peer engagement completed to ensure the community is correctly understood. Community trust would increase because of the transparency of actions and decisions would be made based on their voice not an assumption.

Policies and decisions would meet the community’s needs and over time would reduce wastage of money, time and resources. A more diverse range of people would be within the decision makers which would enhance future thinkers and intergenerational collaboration.