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SRA provides keynote speaker for work-based learning conference

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is supporting a conference on work-based learning which has attracted more than 80 delegates involved in the legal education and training field.

Dr. Tim Pearce, policy executive at the SRA's Education and Training Unit, will be providing a keynote speech at the Work-Based Learning Update Conference, at the BPP College in London this Thursday, 22 July, which is being organised by the Legal Education and Training Group (LETG). He will set out the progress, successes and lessons learnt so far from the two-year pilot of work-based learning which the SRA is carrying out across England and Wales.

The conference will also look at different perspectives of the project for firms, training providers and the candidates themselves.

Dr Pearce said: "We decided to trial work-based learning in September 2008 to increase training options for both employers and individuals and secure high standards of legal training.

"We are drawing near to the end of the pilot, with candidates being assessed and due to qualify this autumn. This conference will be extremely useful to share experiences with those organisations which have been involved in the pilot, to discuss the benefits of work-based learning, and to look at what changes may be needed if it is to be incorporated as a formal option in the legal qualification process."

Fellow speakers include Dr. James Faulconbridge from the University of Lancaster who will be presenting research on legal on-the-job learning in the context of professional education and global professional service firms. Julie Brannan, Director of the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, one of the external assessment organisations, will also be speaking.

Peter Carrick, Chair of the LETG, said: "This is a good chance for training and learning professionals in law firms to hear an update on the pilot but more importantly to take some part in the consultation process on future plans for work-based learning, why and when it is happening, who and what it will involve, and how might it be implemented."

More information about work-based learning is available at www.sra.org.uk/WBL.

If you are interested in attending the Work-based Learning Update Conference, you can book online at www.letg.org.uk.

More information

The Legal Education & Training Group

The Legal Education & Training Group (LETG) is an association of legal training and development professionals, with some 180 members, representing law firms large and small, City and regional, throughout the UK. Established in 1986, the LETG is committed to identifying, developing and promoting best practice in legal training and development. It represents the interests of its members in ensuring quality in legal education and appropriateness of the regulation of legal education and training to the profession's needs.

Work-based learning

This new approach is being tested on individuals who are

  • in registered training contracts and being assessed by their organisation in-house;
  • working as paralegals and being assessed by an assessment organisation.

Candidates will

  • be supervised by a solicitor,
  • have regular meetings with their supervisor and a reviewer who will help them put together a personal development plan, and
  • keep their own records and build up a portfolio of evidence and reflection on their learning and development which will form part of the assessment process.

There are 59 paralegals with Nottingham Law Scheme (40 full time, 19 part time) and 50 in training contracts.

Assessment organisations (and employers, except where stated) are:

  • Beachcroft
  • Dickinson Dees
  • Freeth Cartwright
  • Hodge Jones & Allen
  • Jones Day
  • Leeds City Council
  • Nottingham Law School - non-employer Assessment Organisation
  • Oxford Institute of Legal Practice (Oxford Brookes University) in conjunction with LawNet - non-employer Assessment Organisation

Employers in partnership with Oxford/LawNet are:

  • Aldridge Brownlee
  • IBB
  • Lamb Brookes
  • Parrott & Coales
  • Scott Rees

Non-assessing employers are:

  • Adams Moore Solicitors Ltd
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Buro Happold Ltd
  • Campbell Hooper (N.B. Their candidates are being assessed by Notts)
  • CFBT Education Trust
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • Farrell, Matthews & Weir/Tiger Aspect
  • Flack & Co
  • Haddock Solicitors
  • Herbert Smith
  • Howells Solicitors
  • Leeds City Council (N.B. Leeds are exploring both routes, they have both internally assessed and Notts-assessed candidates)
  • London Borough of Richmond
  • Manchester City Council
  • McArthurGlen UK Ltd
  • MI Solicitors
  • Notting Hill Housing Trust
  • NP Lawyers
  • NW Ambulance Service
  • Pearson Rowe Solicitors
  • Periodical Publishers Association
  • Peters & Company
  • PLLG limited
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Stephen Lickrish & Associates
  • The Pharmacists' Defence Association
  • The Royal Bank Of Scotland
  • Transport for London (N.B. Their candidates are being assessed by Notts)
  • Vauxhall Community Law & Information Centre
 
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