News releases

SRA launches new Equality Framework

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched its new Equality Framework, following a three-month period of consultation with the public and engagement with its stakeholders.

The consultation focused largely on the SRA's proposed equality objectives, its proposals for publishing equality information and its engagement strategy. Responses were received from a variety of sources including the Law Society, the Bar Standards Board, the Legal Services Commission, and the Legal Services Consumer Panel.

The Equality Framework replaces the SRA's previous equality and diversity strategy. It will enable the SRA to continue to progress and promote its vision of equality and diversity as it moves towards outcome-focused regulation (OFR) in October 2011.

The SRA outlines its equality objectives for 2011/12 within the Framework, explaining how these will be met through a detailed action plan. Specific actions relate to data collection and equality monitoring; communication and engagement with stakeholders; encouraging equality of opportunity and respect for diversity in the profession, and the review of regulatory decision-making.

Two key priorities for the SRA in coming months are to ensure that respect for equality and human rights are embedded within its new authorisation, supervision and enforcement functions, and in the work being undertaken within the organisation to prepare for OFR.

It will also be working with the regulated community to help it meet the new mandatory principle to "encourage equality of opportunity and respect for diversity" by delivering the new equality and diversity outcomes set out in the Code of Conduct.

Chief Executive, Antony Townsend, says: "The Equality Framework will help us focus on our key equality objectives for 2011/12 and build on the improvements we have made over the past few years. Despite the progress we have made, there remain considerable challenges, which the Framework and objectives identify. As we transform our organisation to meet the challenges ahead, we will actively promote equality and diversity in all our activities and continue to work in partnership with our stakeholders."

Full details of the SRA's Equality Framework

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