Authorisation and monitoring activity September 2014 to August 2015

Introduction and overview of 2014–15

We have a statutory responsibility for the education and training of solicitors, as set out in the Solicitors Act 1974 and the Legal Services Act 2007. Education and training requirements are a key regulatory tool to protect consumers of legal services. The purpose of this report is to tell our stakeholders about the outcomes of our quality assurance activity in relation to education and training. Unless otherwise stated, it relates to the period 1 September2014 to 31 August 2015. This reflects the higher education academic year.

On 1 April 2015, we introduced: a new approach to the regulation of the continuing competence of solicitorsa Statement of Solicitor Competence, with an accompanying Statement of Knowledge and Threshold Standard.

In Autumn 2015, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills approved a Trailblazer Apprenticeship leading to qualification as a solicitor. We amended our training regulations to permit qualification through this route.

Work continued to develop proposals for a new, national Solicitors Qualifying Examination.