Continuing competence toolkit coming soon

Continuing competence toolkit coming soon

By Richard Williams, SRA Policy Executive, 9 March 2015

It's been a while since our last blog, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy delivering the T4T programme.

Since October 2014, we have

  • received approval from the Legal Services Board to implement our new approach to ensuring the ongoing competence of solicitors,
  •  consulted and received approval from the LSB to remove regulations that place unnecessary burdens on those we regulate,
  •  consulted on our proposed Competence Statement, and
  • continued to engage with stakeholders on our work.

I have been very busy working on the implementation of our new approach to ensuring the ongoing competence of solicitors. We recognise the cultural change required in some parts of the profession and will issue on 1 April an online toolkit to support solicitors and their employers in adopting our new approach. It will highlight how solicitors can identify, plan, address and evaluate their learning and development needs so they remain competent to provide a proper standard of service.

The toolkit reflects good practice and is drawn from research with the profession on approaches to learning and development. It will provide a road map for solicitors and employers to begin considering how to implement the new approach. It is not mandatory nor does it prescribe one particular approach. It will be supported by

  • case studies,
  • videos,
  • sample documents,
  • information on how to complete the annual declaration,
  • information on how to use the competence statement in ensuring ongoing competence,
  • high-level, bullet-point document on our new approach.

In order to ensure that the content is relevant to the profession, we've engaged with a range of stakeholders. It has been fascinating to see how people react to our new approach, generally starting with concern or confusion (and in some cases anger!) and then moving to a position where they can see the benefits and the opportunities it offers. The content has been developed in conjunction with

  • learning and development specialists from within the profession,
  • our small firms reference group,
  • a group of in-house solicitors,
  • a group of sole practitioners,
  • LETG members,
  • the Law Society,
  • a range of firms.

We're really pleased with the feedback from stakeholders. Your comments and suggestions have been positive and constructive, and the toolkit is a better resource for it. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate.