Release notes for SRA Handbook, Version 10

Index of release notes

1 July 2014

The tenth version of the Handbook was published on 1 July 2014.

The changes contained in Version 10 came into effect on 1 July 2014 and the key changes are summarised in these release notes. The notes give a brief update only and you will need to refer to the Handbook itself for full details. Any sets of rules or regulations not referred to below remain substantially unchanged in this version.

There are two groups of changes contained in Version 10.

The first change is to the guidance notes in the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001 to reflect the change to the contact number for the SRA and the extension of the transitional period.

The second and main change contained in Version 10 is to the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 1 - Qualification Regulations and Part 2 - Training Provider Regulations, which have been repealed and replaced by the SRA Training Regulations 2014 - Qualification and Training Provider Regulations. These new regulations

  • remove the requirement for student enrolment, certificates of completion of the academic stage, and requirements for course providers on accreditation of prior learning duplicated by the Quality Assurance Agency
  • replace various exemptions provisions with a broader power to consider whether specified learning outcomes have been met by equivalent means
  • end the requirement for training to take place under a contract specified by us
  • remove restrictions on SRA approval of training principals and their experience requirements, as well as the limits on the maximum number of trainees an organisation can train.

As a result of the new SRA Training Regulations, consequential amendments have been made to the following parts of the Handbook.

SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 3 - CPD Regulations

These regulations have not been repealed and remain in force, but references to the repealed parts of the SRA Training Regulations have been amended.

SRA Admission Regulations

These regulations have been amended to take account of the new decisions enabled under the Training Regulations 2014, ensuring that those affected by such decisions have a right of appeal to the High Court.

SRA Suitability Test

References to student enrolment within the Test have been amended.

SRA Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme Regulations 2011

These regulations have been amended to clarify that qualified lawyers can only use these regulations to qualify as a solicitor, not the SRA Training Regulations 2014.

SRA Handbook Glossary

The terms in the Glossary relevant to training have been updated to allow the new SRA Training Regulations 2014 to function.

SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001

Guidance note (i) to Rule 5 has been amended to reflect the change to the contact number for the SRA.

Guidance note (ii) to Rule 5 has been updated to reflect the extension of the transitional period which applies to firms carrying on consumer credit activities. The transitional period has been extended to 1 April 2015.