Workforce Education and Training Arrangements in Regulated Entities

Executive Summary

In its Training for Tomorrow policy statement, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) outlined fundamental changes to the requirements the SRA places on legal service organisations. This has included making legal service providers („entities‟), rather than individual professionals, responsible to the regulator for education and learning; and focusing less on learning processes and more on outcomes.

To accompany these changes, the SRA is developing its policy for all entities to assist in the maintenance, development and implementation of effective legal education and training practices. To inform this policy, the SRA commissioned IFF Research to explore the systems used by regulated legal service providers across all entity types („traditional‟ solicitors firms, and Alternative Business Structures1) to ensure their workforce, both qualified and unqualified, is maintaining a level of competence appropriate to their work and level of responsibility. This is with a view to informing decisions about whether further regulatory intervention may be needed and, if so, where the regulatory requirement might be placed.

The SRA specifically wished to look at qualified staff and others providing legal services; and this research does not deal with the legal education and training of trainee solicitors.