Continuing competence

To comply with our Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs, all solicitors must maintain competence to carry out their role. This means they must keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date.

This applies to all solicitors who have a practising certificate, whether they work in the UK or overseas.

Our Competence Statement says they need to:

  • take responsibility for their personal learning and development
  • Reflect on and learn from their practice and learn from other people.
  • Accurately evaluate their strengths and limitations in relation to the demands of your work.
  • Maintain an adequate and up-to-date understanding of relevant law, policy and practice.
  • Adapt their practice to address developments in the delivery of legal services.

To comply with our Code of Conduct for Firms, all firms we regulate must make sure that their managers and employees are competent to carry out their role.

As part of the annual practising certificate renewals, we ask if a solicitor has identified learning and development needs in the past year and addressed these.

Steps we expect you to take

To meet our continuing competence obligations, we expect solicitors to:

  • Reflect - regularly consider the quality of their practice
  • Identify - through reflection, identify their learning and development needs.
  • Plan - regularly update a plan on how they’ll address their learning and development needs
  • Record - keep an up-to-date record of their learning and development activity
  • Evaluate - think about the effectiveness of their learning and development

Find out more about these steps and how to complete them:

Use our learning and development template to record your activities.

Steps to continuing competence

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Use to link to this page.