Summary

This is a summary of what you need to do to ensure your ongoing competence.

For solicitors

Principle 5 of the SRA Handbook requires you to provide a proper standard of service to your client. For a solicitor, meeting the competences set out in the Competence Statement forms an integral part of the requirement to provide a proper standard of service.

To do this make sure your skills and knowledge remain up to date, we expect you to:

  • Reflect on the quality of your practice by reference to our Competence Statement to identify your learning and development needs. The Competence Statement is generic and so solicitors will need to apply it to their practice.
  • Plan and address your learning and development needs.
  • Record and evaluate your learning activity so that, if we need to engage with you on a regulatory matter or where we have evidence of a competence risk, you can demonstrate to us that you have taken steps to ensure your ongoing competence.  Failure to demonstrate that you have reflected on the quality of your practice and addressed any learning and development needs, may be an aggravating factor in disciplinary action we may take
  • Make an annual declaration to confirm you have completed the above. You can find more information on how to complete the annual declaration here.

For employers

Employers are responsible for delivering a proper standard of service to their clients and for training their staff to maintain a level of competence appropriate to their work and level of responsibility. You may want to consider how this resource aligns with your current approach to learning and development so that you continue to meet this obligation.

Reflecting on your practice: how to identify your learning and development needs

The key points you need to remember are:

  • Reflection involves thinking about your practice to identify learning and development needs
  • You will need to record your identified learning and development needs
  • It is important to devote an appropriate time for reflection.

View more information on how to identify your learning and development needs

Planning your learning and development

The key points you need to remember are:

  • You will need to record how you plan to address your identified learning and development needs
  • You should review your plan regularly.

View more information on planning your learning and development, including an example plan.

Addressing your learning and development needs

The key points you need to remember are:

  • Any approach to learning and development is valid as long as you can demonstrate it contributes you remaining competent to deliver a proper standard of service
  • You can tailor learning and development to suit your learning style
  • It is important to turn your learning into doing something differently in your job.

View more information on how you can address your learning and development needs.

Recording and evaluating your learning and development activity

The key points you need to remember are:

  • Record the activity you have undertaken to address your learning and development needs
  • Evaluating your learning and development activity will help you identify any key points you can introduce into your practice or where further learning and development is required
  • It is important to record your activity and evaluation in order to demonstrate that you are addressing your learning and development needs.

View more on recording and evaluating your learning and development activity, including an example development record.