News release

Continuing competence

The last renewal period marked the conclusion of a new way of making sure everyone in the profession keeps their skills and knowledge up to date. 

Instead of requiring solicitors to complete 16 hours of approved training – regardless of the subject matter – we now ask all solicitors to declare that they have assessed their needs and taken action or identified a suitable training programme to make sure they provide a proper standard of service. This allows research carried out as part of the job to be included as part of a solicitor’s development, when previously only the paid-for training would count.

Each individual solicitor and firm is different and will have different approaches to learning and development. Our priority is ensuring a focus on meaningful learning and client’s getting a high quality of serve, but removing the blanket 16 hours requirement should also reduce the cost of regulation for some solicitors and their employers.

At the end of each practising year, we ask all of you to say that your needs have been identified and have or will be dealt with. There are no other deadlines to meet.

If you want further information and advice on the new regime, our continuing competence resource is available in the continuing competence toolkit.