Regulation Review Roadshows

Regulation Review Roadshows

By Tim Pearce, SRA Policy Executive, 3 March 2014

Birmingham Roadshow

Good numbers of solicitors, academics, trainees and students have turned out at all four of the SRA's roadshows themed around our Regulations Review consultation, which closed on 25 February. We visited London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester. Sessions were held both for all stakeholders and for education and training providers. Thanks to all those who attended, gave us your views, and asked a range of thought-provoking questions.

Questions were raised about both the specific proposals under the Regulation Review, and the wider Training for Tomorrow landscape. Interesting questions included:

Is the SRA working with the Bar Standards Board on Training For Tomorrow?

Yes – while T4T is an SRA initiative, we are working together with the BSB and practising barristers in relation to the Competence Statement. It is not yet clear whether a single Competence Statement, or specific statements for each profession, will be most appropriate.

Why is the SRA proposing reducing its requirements on education and training institutions? Isn't there a risk that quality will be compromised?

There is no significant risk. At the time the regulatory regimes, for instance, for the Legal Practice Course were developed, bodies such as the University of Law were not regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's predecessors, and we wanted a rigorous regime to ensure every aspect of quality provision. The Quality Assurance Agency's role is now sufficient to ensure standards of provision at all the relevant institutions, and it is not proportionate or properly targeted to duplicate those requirements – and use our resources to police them.

Will there be guidance to make it clear to individuals who may have character and suitability issues that they need to approach the SRA for an early test of their suitability to become a solicitor?

Yes – the guidance will explain the process, and also indicate the issues which may give rise to the need for individuals to approach the SRA for an early test.

If you missed the Roadshows, you can download or view the webinar on our proposals for the reform of the training regulations, which covers the issues we addressed at the roadshows. Download or view a recording of the webinar

Consider submitting a response to our current public consultation—Training for Tomorrow: Continuing competence (deadline for responses 2 April 2014).