A Competence Statement for Solicitors 12 March The deadline for submission of responses to this consultation was 12 January
A Competence Statement for Solicitors 12 March The deadline for submission of responses to this consultation was 12 January The information that appears below is for reference purposes only.
You can download an analysis of responses to the consultation paper.
Foreword by Martin Coleman, chair of the SRA Education and Training Committee In this consultation we invite views on a topic that is of critical importance to the future of the profession, clients and the administration of justice: This is a new approach to identifying the education and training needs of solicitors.
Our proposed new approach is to start by defining the standards we expect of solicitors on qualification and subsequently.
The education and training requirements can then be geared to support the acquisition and retention of these standards. By making substantive standards, rather than process, the focus of our education and training regime we aim to ensure that solicitors are able to fulfil the important service that they provide to their clients and in support of the rule of law.
In short, a move away from the current process driven system to one based around standards places quality rather than procedure at the heart of our education and training system. Our definition of standards has at its heart a new Competence Statement for solicitors.
In order to identify what competences this should include, we have undertaken an extensive exercise involving solicitors from a range of practice type, academics, vocational course providers and consumers.
Our initial conclusions are set out in this consultation document. In brief, we believe that there are a number of core activities relating to matters such as ethical behaviour, technical skills drafting, negotiating, researchingmanagement of work planning, prioritising, record keeping and working and communicating with other people that all solicitors should be able to undertake competently.
How these qualities are demonstrated will vary according to practice area and experience but all competent solicitors should possess them.
That knowledge encompasses business law, property, torts, criminal law and process, contract, equity, constitutional and EU law, English legal system and civil litigation.
These core requirements have not changed very much over the years and we believe that they continue to provide the basic underpinning of legal practice. However, we invite views on whether they remain appropriate.
Identifying the appropriate standards, through the proposed Competence Statement with its underpinning Statement of Legal Knowledge and Threshold Standard, is an essential first step in enabling us to assess standards more rigorously and with greater consistency.
The next step will be to consider, and consult on, how the competences are to be assessed for qualification as a solicitor and in what level of detail we need to specify the process by which the competences are acquired. We have already demonstrated our focus on the substance of a solicitor's skills and knowledge, rather than process, in our new approach to CPD where we have decided to require that solicitors undertake appropriate professional development to ensure that they remain competent rather than continuing to formulaically mandate the number of hours of CPD that must be undertaken.
The role that solicitors perform as defenders of individual rights and liberties, guardians of the rule of law and facilitators of commercial and economic activity means that the standards expected of competent solicitors are not just a matter for the legal profession but are of importance to society as a whole.
We therefore encourage responses to this consultation from all stakeholders including the profession, other legal service providers, the academic community, the judiciary and business and personal users of legal services.
Martin Coleman Introduction 1. This consultation paper is part of Training for Tomorrow, our response to the report of the Legal Education and Training Review LETR which called for a greater focus of regulatory attention on the standards we require of solicitors both at qualification and on an on-going basis.
In the Training for Tomorrow Policy Statement of October the Policy Statementwe said that an early task in our programme of reform would be to define solicitors' standards more rigorously through the development of a competence statement for solicitors, this would: Support the obligations already placed on individuals and entities through the Code of Conduct Provide confidence to the public and individual and business consumers of legal services that those we regulate are meeting the standards that they would expect from those authorised by us [be] flexible enough to recognise the wide range of environments within which regulated individuals now operate and the wide range of roles that they undertake [be] valued and respected by employers and complement their own objectives 3.
Since Octoberwe have been working to develop the Competence Statement and the purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the draft we have produced, and the function it is intended to serve.
A copy of the draft Competence Statement is attached at Annex A. We have reviewed the proposals set out in this consultation paper to ensure they meet the outcomes specified by the Legal Services Board in their Statutory Guidance on Education and Training, dated 4 March This consultation document is in three parts.
We start by describing how we have developed the Competence Statement and the approach we have taken to the drafting, and we invite comments on content. In parts two and three we go on to explore, and seek views on, its two core functions, namely a to set out the standard of competence that we would expect from anyone applying to us for the award of the title of solicitor; and b to define the continuing competences we require from all qualified solicitors.
Competence statements are increasingly being used as a way to set and assure standards within a wide range of professions, such as engineers, doctors to civil servants and pharmacists - as a means of setting and assuring standards.
This trend has been driven by a growing interest in professional accountability and an enhanced focus on professional standards from regulatory and professional bodies. A competence statement is a model that defines effective performance within an organisation, profession or sector.
Competence statements are usually linked to, and will drive, associated learning and assessment systems. The Competence Statement we are proposing is intended to capture the key activities required for effective performance as a solicitor.
It tells consumers what they can expect from their solicitor and solicitors what activities they should be able to perform competently.
It informs education and training providers about what courses they need to develop to train intending or practising solicitors; intending solicitors what they need to demonstrate they can do in order to qualify; and practising solicitors what they need to do to maintain their competence.
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A Mind Controlled Front "The whole affair was clearly staged and hokey, but Christians are very naive about Satanism and Billy Graham. Consultation question 1: Does the competence statement reflect what you would expect a competent solicitor to be able to do? Consultation question 2: Are there any additional competences which should be included?
The deadline for submission of responses to this consultation was 12 January The information that appears below is for reference purposes only.