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Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime) starting soon

Registration for the first phase of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) – the Midlands and Western circuits - will start in just a few weeks on the 30 September.

From that date, solicitors who are providing advocacy services in courts on those two circuits, will be able to start the accreditation process by completing an application form and pay the appropriate fee online through the SRA’s website. QASA was approved by the three commissioning regulators – the Bar Standards Board (BSB); the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) earlier this year, and subsequently given the go ahead by the Legal Services Board in July.

The scheme is due to be rolled out in three phases, with the first open through to 7 March 2014. The fees for registration on one of the four levels, progression and reaccreditation, as well as the relevant regulations approved in 2013, can be found in our QASA section.

The QASA handbook which was recently published can be downloaded from

Richard Collins, SRA Executive Director, said: “QASA will establish a common set of standards for advocates across the three professions so that consumers can have confidence in the standard of advocacy they receive - regardless of their advocate's original route into the profession."

The remaining two phases of launch - in the South Eastern; Northern, North Eastern, and Wales and Chester circuits - will run from 10 March to 13 June 2014 and from 30 June to 3 October 2014, respectively. All advocates conducting criminal advocacy should therefore have registered within the scheme by October 2014, otherwise they will not be authorised to undertake advocacy in the criminal courts.

The SRA is holding a free webinar about the registration process on 1 October which offers solicitor advocates intending to enter the scheme the chance to learn more about the system used to manage accreditation, including screengrabs and requirements. The booking form can be found here:

Go to the Booking Form  

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