Training of Lawyers in England and Wales

September 8th, 2015 § 0 comments

Continuing professional Development

Since April 2015, on a voluntary basis, and from November 2016, all English and Welsh solicitors will no longer need to show that they have completed 16 hours on Continuing Professional Development. The new regulatory approach by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority means that solicitors and entities must make sure that they are competent to deliver a proper standard of service to clients. They should do this by:

– reflecting on the quality of their practice by reference to the SRA Competence Statement for solicitors
– addressing identified learning and development needs by planning and talking appropriate action
– making an annual declaration that they have considered their training needs and taken measures to maintain their competence

Useful links:
A New Approach to Continuing Competence – Toolkit
SRA Competence Statement (SRA website, adopted 11 March 2015)

Training for tomorrow

The SRA is continuing its review of the mode of access to the legal profession of solicitor in England and Wales. It is planning to relax its regulatory grip on the process of training leading to qualification as a solicitor, whilst seeking to ensure that competence is maintained in the final outcome. The revised Training Regulations, 2014, already allow an alternative route to the traditional traineeship (stage) of a “period of recognised training” where those following such a track have show they have met the same outcomes, but via a different route.

A consultation on further options is expected towards the end of 2015. The likely choices to be made are between maintaining the current routes to qualification, authorising pathways that lead to the designated competences, or finally not authorising anything but establishing a final “centralised” assessment to ensure that the competences are in fact achieved. The final mode could include recognising specific pathways to qualification.

Useful links:
Policy statement: Training for Tomorrow (SRA Website)
Law Society 2020: education and training (Law Society Gazette)
Legal education: the right road? (Law Society Gazette)


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