Existing firm applications

Updated 17 August 2016

Apply to change your compliance officers

Who is this application for?

We authorise the following types of role holders for existing SRA authorised bodies:

  • Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP)
  • Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA)
  • Related Entity COLP
  • Related Entity COFA

An individual can hold the role of COLP and/or COFA for multiple bodies firms who are related authorised bodies.

First, check whether the proposed individual is eligible:

  • COLP must be a lawyer and meet the eligibility criteria
  • COFA can be an employee or manager, and meet the eligibility criteria.

Your firm and proposed individual may be eligible to meet the deeming provision, check by looking at Rule 13.3 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011.

  Deemed approved COLP/COFA Non deemed approved COLP/COFA
Firm requirement Annual turnover is less than £600,000 Annual turnover is greater than £600,000
Individual requirement
  • The individual is either a sole practitioner or a lawyer who is a manager of the authorised body (If the individual is not deemed approved as a manager under Rule 13.2 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011, they must have already received approval from the SRA to be a lawyermanager)
  • the individual must not subject to any adverse regulatory history
  • we have not previously refused or withdrawn its approval of that person to be a compliance officer; and
  • the individual is not a compliance officer of any other authorised body.

For anyone else, you will need to apply.

Information you need


  • Personal details, work history, professional regulation, suitability to fulfil role
  • Certificates of Good Standing if regulated by another regulator
  • Confirmation that they have adequate levels of seniority to comply with the regulatory arrangements.

Help with your application

Contact us if you have any queries before you submit your application.

How to apply

Individuals and entities who do not meet the deeming criteria should apply as follows:

  • you need to complete an individual approval form (FA2).
  • individuals who are not SRA-authorised need to register on mySRA before you send in any application.

Individuals and entities who meet the deeming criteria should apply as follows:

  •  You need to complete an individual nomination form (FA6).


Individual Approval application form (FA2)
Editable PDF 23 pages, 789KB

Deemed approved compliance officer form (FA6)
Editable PDF 3 pages,  179KB

The application form is an editable PDF document. You need to fill it in electronically. You should save the form before you start completing it.

For help downloading or using the form see "How to use the form" in our Firm Authorisation guidance.


Send your application form to the email address on the form, along with supporting documents.


There is no fee for this application.

What you can expect from us

We will acknowledge your application within one working day. We will let you know if your application is incomplete or ineligible.

How we will assess your application

We may undertake validation of the information provided in the Suitability Test.


We aim to make a decision about your application within 90 days. We usually decide within 30 days.

The nominated Compliance Officer must not take up the role until they have been approved.