News releases

SRA announces 2013 diversity survey of the profession

The SRA has released details of the arrangements for this year's diversity survey to give firms time to prepare for collection and reporting of the data.

The survey is one of the Legal Service Board's regulatory requirements and is supported by the SRA. It will help firms demonstrate compliance with Principle 9 of the Code of Conduct. This will be the second year that the exercise has been run.

Firms will be obliged to give all members of their workforce - not just those who are legally qualified - the opportunity to complete a questionnaire. Firms may use the SRA's diversity questionnaire which is based closely on the LSB's model. They will be required to report that data to the SRA online by 31 January 2014.

The SRA will be sending out details of the online reporting arrangements in the summer. Further information and Frequently Asked Questions are available on the website to ensure the exercise is fully understood.

The questionnaire will stay the same for the next three years, and firms with complex structures which are made up of different related entities will be only required to supply one corporate response.

From this year, firms will be expected to publish an anonymous summary of their workforce diversity data annually and should ensure that they do this in compliance with data protection requirements (See the SRA's publication guidance).

Antony Townsend, SRA Chief Executive, said: "The collection of diversity data helps provide a comprehensive picture of the diversity of the legal workforce.

"It will help law firms address barriers faced by particular groups, and so promote a diverse and talented workforce."

The SRA published the results of its first diversity data collection survey and a thematic study of compliance with Principle 9 carried out last year which can be viewed on the website.

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