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SRA continues to embed diversity principles

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has made further progress towards embedding the principles of equality and diversity into its work, according to a latest report.

The SRA has been seeking to ensure every aspect of its work embraces the diverse nature of the legal services profession since an independent report from Herman Ouseley in 2008 showed there was an over-representation of black or minority ethnic solicitors in SRA regulatory decisions. This prompted the authority to introduce a diversity strategy in March 2009 that provided a framework for the organisation to address the recommendations in the Ouseley report.

Further research was then carried out by Pearn Kandola, a group of business psychologists who specialise in the area of diversity, to identify the reasons for disproportionality and more recommendations were made, including areas where the SRA needed to make further improvements. These were accepted by the SRA in July 2010. A progress report on the authority's work to incorporate these recommendations will be presented to the SRA's Board meeting on Wednesday 7 December 2011.

The report also includes further audits of the authority's key regulatory and decision-making processes to look at any disproportionality issues. The report shows that while there is still work to do on ensuring the SRA's regulatory work is more proportionate in relation to the profession, significant strides have been made to address the issue.

Antony Townsend, SRA Chief Executive, said: "We're pleased that the steps we have been taking are the right ones, and that gives us a solid platform on which to build. "It's obvious that we still have work to do and we shall continue to address the concerns raised. But the report shows that we're heading in the right direction and that's to be welcomed."

The SRA published an Equality Framework in July that further enhances the authority's work, and is supported by a programme of action.

The progress report to the Board is available by following the link below:

 Board Meeting Agenda 

The Ouseley Report is all available on the SRA's website by following the link below:

SRA Website

The public session of the Board meeting takes place at Martin Lane at 1.30pm.  

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