SRA Handbook

Assessments and ongoing training

Version 19 of the Handbook was published on 1 October 2017. For more information, please click "History" above.

Part 4: Assessments and ongoing training

Regulation 8: Assessments

8.1

We shall:

(a)

issue guidelines and standards for the provision of competence assessments in higher courts civil advocacy and higher courts criminal advocacy;

(b)

validate and authorise organisations to provide assessments; and

(c)

monitor the provision of assessments.

Guidance note

(i)

You are not required to undertake any training before taking the assessments, but you may decide that you need to undertake additional training, which will be offered by assessment organisations. Whether or not you require additional training is a decision for you.

(ii)

In satisfying the standards, you will need to comply with the relevant legislation and procedures in force at the time.

(iii)

You can apply for the qualification in either civil or criminal proceedings. Assessment providers will offer assessments that cover the generic standards in evidence, ethics, advocacy and equality and diversity as well as specific standards in either civil or criminal proceedings. If you wish to obtain the qualification in both proceedings you must take both assessments.

(iv)

A trainee may undertake the assessments but will not be permitted to exercise the rights until admission as a solicitor.

Regulation 9: Continuing professional development

9.1

Subject to regulation 9.3, if you have gained a higher courts advocacy qualification under regulation 3.1, you must undertake at least five hours of CPD relating to the provision of advocacy services in the higher courts in each of the first five CPD years following the grant of the qualification.

9.2

Subject to regulation 9.3, if you have gained a higher courts advocacy qualification under regulation 5.1 or are exercising any right of audience in the higher courts by virtue of any exemption you have under regulation 6, you must undertake at least five hours of CPD relating to the provision of advocacy services in the higher courts in each of the first five CPD years following the date of your first exercise of the right.

9.3

If you have chosen to comply with regulation 3.1(b) of the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 3 - CPD Regulations, neither regulation 9.1 or 9.2 applies.

Guidance note

(i)

The requirements in regulation 9.1 and 9.2 are not an additional requirement to that required by the SRA Training Regulations Part 3 - CPD Regulations.

(ii)

This requirement commences the CPD year following the year in which the qualification is awarded or from the date you first undertake advocacy in the higher courts if qualifying via a comparable qualification. It is up to you to decide what your training needs are in relation to the advocacy services you provide. Therefore, the training may be advocacy training, training on new procedures or on substantive law if relevant to higher court practice.

(iii)

Regulation 9.3 means that, if you have opted to meet your responsibilities on ongoing competence through learning and development you deem necessary rather than the hours-based approach of the CPD regime, you should consider how the development activity you do contributes to maintenance of competence in higher courts advocacy and provision of a proper service to your clients.

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