FAQs about practising certificates, registration and renewal

Browse FAQs about practising certificates, registration and renewal. To begin, select a topic below.

You can also browse FAQs about using mySRA and FAQs about keeping of the roll.

Individuals

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You can track the status of your application in the My Applications and Documents section of your mySRA account.

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It is a position that you hold within an organisation such as assistant, associate, partner, member, director, consultant, employee.

It is a responsibility that someone holds within an organisation such as authorised to supervise.

A person nominated to update their organisation details and sign the declaration in a bulk renewal application. 

In a law firm, it must be a solicitor or registered European lawyer (REL) with a current practising certificate/registration and who is a manager (a partner in a partnership; a member in an LLP; a director in a company).  

If you work within an in-house team, it can be a solicitor or a REL with a current practising certificate/registration.  

The authorised signatory (AUS) can nominate an organisation contact (ORC) to complete the bulk renewal application but only an AUS can sign it.  

To find out how to add, change or delete a role, go to Manage my organisation account.

They are the person nominated by an authorised signatory (AUS) to update organisational details and complete the bulk renewal application for an organisation.

ORCs can see and change individuals' personal and professional details if they have opted in. There are no restrictions on who can be an ORC but the AUS should be satisfied they are suitable for this role.

To be nominated as an ORC, you must have a mySRA account.

Find out how to get a mySRA account.

Yes. An authorised signatory (AUS) or organisation contact (ORC) can remove someone who has left their organisation.

Once the AUS or ORC has clicked on Left organisation and entered an end date, the post and roles for that person are ended. This will include manager posts.

Go to Manage my organisation account to find out how to add, change or delete a post.

Completing renewal applications

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The organisation’s authorised signatory and organisation contact can view a bulk renewal application.

Please note that partners or equivalent status will not be able to access the application without one of these roles.

You can track the status of your application in the My Applications and Documents section of your mySRA account.

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Yes. To do this the organisation will need an authorised signatory (AUS). This can be a solicitor or a registered European lawyer with a current practising certificate/registration.

The AUS can opt the organisation in to bulk renewal through their mySRA account.

Once this has been done individuals will need to opt themselves in through their own mySRA accounts.

Go to Manage my organisation account which provides help with becoming an authorised signatory, how to opt in to a bulk application and completing the renewal application.

The date was chosen because it means all firms can provide a response without waiting until the closing date for renewals, which is 31 October.

Yes, but only if you are nominated as the firm's organisation contact.

If you don’t have a mySRA account you must create one so that your authorised signatory can nominate you.

Find out how to Get a mySRA account or go to Manage my organisation account to find out how to become an organisation contact.

No, you will not receive a hard copy.

Your certificate can be found in the Applications and Documents section of your mySRA account.

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Renewals

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The "go live" date is 1 October 2019.

The closing date to submit your application and fee is 31 October 2018.

The deadline date is 31 October 2019.

You must submit your application and payment by this date.

To check whether you need a practising certificate please read our guidance.

No, you will not receive a hard copy. 

Your certificate can be found in the My Documents section of your mySRA account.

Yes. Organisation contacts (ORC) and authorised signatories (AUS) can view and print individual practising certificates.

They can access them through their mySRA account under My documents – Organisation.

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No. Recognised bodies do not renew recognition annually. 

They pay a periodical fee each year as part of their bulk practising certificate renewal.

Renewal fees and payment

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You can pay by debit card or credit card if you are applying for:

 
  • renewal of your practising certificate 
  • renewal of registered foreign lawyer registration
  • renewal of registered European lawyer registration. 

For your firm fee, you can pay by: 

  • debit card or credit card
  • BACs
  • CHAPs 
  • telegraphic transfer
  • credit provider. 

We do not accept payment by cheque.

The cost depends on when your practising certificate starts. The fee reduces quarterly through the practising year.

Read more about our fee policy.

There is also a £90 contribution to the compensation fund.

The compensation fund fee for individuals is £60 whether or not you hold client money. The exception to this is Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) solicitors, for whom there is a statutory exemption from this contribution. 

Read more about our fee policy.

Yes. There are reduced renewal fees for maternity leave. The reduced fee is available if you are taking maternity leave at the time you apply for your practising certificate or started maternity leave on a date between 1 November 2018 and 31 October 2019. 

Read more about our fee policy.

No. A practising certificate (PC) is valid from the date of issue to the following 31 October. For example, if your PC is issued on 1 November 2019 it will have a replacement date of 31 October 2020.

If you apply for a PC part way through the year it will also have a replacement date of 31 October. For example, if your PC is issued on 1 April 2020 it will have a replacement date of 31 October 2020. The PC fee reduces quarterly through the year to reflect this. 

Read more about our fee policy.

You need to make payment immediately.

We will not process your application until we have received payment.

Turnover

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Turnover means a firm's total gross fees gained from work undertaken from offices in England and Wales. 

Gross fees includes: 

  • all professional fees of the firm including remuneration 
  • retained commission 
  • income of any sort of the firm (including notarial fees). 

Work in Progress (WIP) should be included. 

Gross fees does not include: 

  • interest
  • reimbursement of disbursements
  • VAT 
  • remuneration from a non-private practice source
  • dividends
  • rents
  • investment profit. 

Full definition of turnover.

The turnover figure should be for the last complete 12-month accounting period prior to 1 November 2019. The latest acceptable annual accounting period end date is 31 October 2019. 

The turnover figure that you give us will be used to calculate your firm fee in the 2020 renewals exercise. 

The firm fee payable in this renewal exercise is calculated based on the firm's turnover figure that you put in your 2018 renewal application. 

If you were a new firm, you should have given an estimate for your first 12 months of practice.

You must give us an estimate of turnover for the first 12 months of practice. This applies even if you complete your first 12 months of practice after 31 October 2019. 

VAT Returns Box 6 could potentially be used as a reasonable proxy for estimation purposes and pro-rated (scaled up to a 12-month period). 

Read more about turnover.

No. If you believe the turnover figure we hold for you is incorrect please email our renewals team.

Yes. The turnover field cannot be left blank but a zero figure can be added.

Opt-in/Opt-out

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There are two separate options available depending on your organisation.

Practising certificate and registration renewal

You can opt to be included If your organisation completes a bulk renewal application for practising certificates and registrations.

Personal information management

You can opt in so that your authorised signatory and organisation contact can view and change your personal information.

See Managing my account for more information.

There are two separate options.

Practising certificate and registration renewal

It means you will not be included in your organisation’s bulk practising certificate and registration renewal application.

Personal information management

Your authorised signatory and organisation contact will be unable to view and change your personal information.

See Managing my account for more information.

Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and tick the relevant option.

See Managing my account for more information.

You can. Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and make sure the relevant option is not ticked.

See Managing my account for more information.

You need to opt out of Personal Information Management.

Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and make sure the option to allow a representative of the organisation to manage your personal information is not ticked.

See Managing my account for more information.

Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and tick 'I want to opt into the organisations bulk renewal.'

See Managing my account for more information.

Your personal and professional details in the My Profile section of your mySRA account. They will not see equality data.

See Managing my account for more information.

Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and tick 'I would like a representative of this organisation to manage my personal information'.

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Yes. Go to the My Profile section of your mySRA account. Edit the work details and tick 'I want to opt into the organisations bulk renewal'.

You can only be opted in to one organisation at a time.

See Managing my account for more information.

Yes. If you are opted in you will receive a notification email if changes are made to your mySRA account.

Lockdown

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It is the period between an organisation opening and submitting its renewal application. 

During this time only the authorised signatory and organisation contact can edit an individual's profile information. 

Individuals can still see their profile information but cannot update it. 

Lockdown only applies to individuals that have been opted in.

The lockdown period starts when the organisation's authorised signatory or organisation contact opens the bulk renewal application. 

This will be on or after 1 October 2019. 

It will end when the application has been submitted.

Yes you can opt in at any time.

No. Only your organisation contact or authorised signatory can opt you out during the lockdown period.

Regulation 3 and conditions

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Regulation 3 is a circumstance or event, such as where an applicant's practising certificate or registration is subject to a condition, or where the applicant is an undischarged bankrupt. 

You must notify whether you are subject to a regulation 3 event or circumstance so we can assess whether you can hold a practising certificate or registration. 

If you are subject to regulation 3 you must complete your own application for a practising certificate/registration. You cannot be included in a bulk renewal application. 

A full list can be found here.

Opting into an organisation’s bulk renewal will only allow your organisation's authorised signatory and organisation contact to view and change your personal and professional details. 

You cannot be included in the bulk renewal application but must complete your own individual application for a practising certificate. 

Our user guide will help you to complete an application for a practising certificate.

Yes it will. A caseworker will verify your application and make contact with you. 

We will make a decision on 90 percent of applications within four months from the date of receipt. 

You will remain covered to practice under your 2018/2019 practising certificate until your new certificate is granted. 

If you have any further questions about this process please contact us.

When renewing your practising certificate we ask whether you would like us to consider removing any conditions. You can then give reasons and upload any supporting documentation in the box provided. 

Our user guide will help you to complete the application for a practising certificate. 

If you have any queries about your matter please contact us.

Revocation

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It is where we revoke the authorisation of a firm or the practising certificate of an individual. This happens if we have not received a completed renewal application or the fees have not been paid. 

It would also apply to the registration of a European or foreign lawyer. 

In practical terms this means that a firm would need to close and an individual would be unable to practise.

Providing legal services when not authorised to do so could be a criminal offence. It may result in a law firm being intervened into or an individual being investigated.

Yes, we attempt to contact all affected individuals before revocation. 

It is important that contact details are kept up to date. 

To find out how to change personal and professional details, go to Managing my individual account.

You should submit an application immediately.

If you do not your practising certificate or registration may be revoked.

We have not received your bulk renewal application. 

You are required to pay your firm fee even if you are not applying for individual practising certificates.

Complete a Notification of non-renewal (NNR) form.

Read how to submit a notification of non renewal

Your name will automatically remain on the roll until the next keeping of the roll exercise. This will not happen annually.

Please keep your personal and professional details up to date in your mySRA account so that we can contact you.

Yes. You must submit an application and pay the firm fee.

The fee is based on the firm's turnover. If the turnover is £0, the fee is £100.

By debit card or credit card if you are applying for: 

  • renewal of practising certificate 
  • renewal of registered foreign lawyer registration 
  • renewal of registered European lawyer registration. 

For your firm fee you can pay by: 

  • debit card or credit card 
  • BACs 
  • CHAPs 
  • telegraphic transfer 
  • credit provider. 

We do not accept payment by cheque.

Find out how to apply for an initial practising certificate.

Yes. If your firm provided legal services from 1 November 2019 you must submit an application and pay the firm fee. 

If you are unsure whether your firm has been practising, please contact our Professional Ethics Advice Service.