Apply for temporary emergency approval of a compliance officer

Updated January 2022

What is this application for?

You need to tell us within seven days if your authorised body:

  • unexpectedly ceases to have a compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) or compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA); or
  • if the existing COLP or COFA is unable to fulfil the role.

First, check whether the person replacing the COLP or COFA meets the criteria to be deemed to be fit and proper to be a compliance officer under rule 13.5 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules. You will also need to confirm they consent to the nomination.

If they are, you can apply to change your compliance officer by logging into mySRA.

If not, then check Rule 15.2 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules to see if you are eligible for emergency approval.


We will only approve a request if:

  • you could not reasonably have commenced a substantive application in advance of the non-compliance
  • you tell us within seven days of the event
  • we believe that the individual is fit and proper to be a compliance officer.

The approval is only valid for 28 days, and a substantive application needs to be submitted during this period.

Help with your application

Contact us if you have any queries before you apply.

When to apply

You must tell us within seven days as we cannot accept applications outside of this timeframe.

Application for temporary approval of a COLP or COFA

Log in to mySRA to apply, go to start a new application

There is no fee for this application.

What you can expect from us

We aim to decide within 7 days. However, it can take up to 15 days if additional information and/or background checks are required.

We will let you know if your application is incomplete or ineligible.

The nominated compliance officer cannot take up the role until they have been approved.