QASA: Act now if you wish to practise criminal advocacy
SRA Update Issue 25 – June 2012
You should have received communication from us recently if you are a solicitor or registered European lawyer in England and Wales, inviting you to notify us between 2 July and 21 September 2012 if you wish to register under the new arrangements for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (Crime), which will be launched at the turn of the year.
If you wish to practise criminal advocacy, either in the Magistrates' or Crown Courts, then you need to make an initial response to this communication: Visit https://forms.sra.org.uk/s3/qasa from 2 July.
QASA is being developed by the Joint Advocacy Group (JAG),representing the three main regulators of advocacy: the SRA, BSB and ILEX Professional Standards (IPS). There are some key dates where you can engage or will be required to interact with the scheme.
Notification is the process by which all solicitors and registered European lawyers are required to inform the SRA whether or not they intend to seek QASA accreditation once it is formally launched. We will be using the information provided through the notification process to continue planning and development of the scheme.
The notification window will be open from 2 July 2012 until 21 September 2012. We have recently contacted all solicitors and registered European lawyers with details and guidance on completing this process.
Other key dates
From July 2012 until October 2012, JAG will undertake a fourth consultation. The consultation will cover the final proposals of the scheme, provisional handbook and draft QASA regulations. If you are an individual solicitor, firm or representative body, we would like to hear your views.
Details of the consultation, including how to respond, will be available from 9 July 2012.
The scheme will be launched at the turn of the year. All advocates wishing to practise criminal advocacy will be required to register. They will then undergo assessment to obtain full accreditation within the scheme. Launch details will be available in late 2012.
Events and news
From time to time, we will be offering practitioners the opportunity to meet with us to learn more about QASA and exchange views. There will be an introductory webinar on 5 July 2012. Find out more about the webinar
If you require further information on QASA or have any comments or suggestions, please visit www.sra.org.uk/qasa or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.