SRA Changes to CPD Training Requirements
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced changes to the compulsory CPD training regime, to be effective from November 2016. No longer will it be necessary for solicitors to achieve a minimum of 16 hours’ CPD. This decision needs to be confirmed by The Legal Services Board.
The requirement switches to a need for all staff within an authorised legal practice to achieve an appropriate level of competence in order to fulfil the guiding principles of providing a proper standard of service (Principle 5) and maintaining public trust (Principle 6.)
It will be for the Firm and staff to decide if they achieve these aims and the likely format will be an annual individual review and plan to set out areas of competence which could be improved on for each person. Training will then be pursued in the year ahead to attain these objectives. The training could be achieved by self-learning, external or internal courses or online. The need for a training provider to be accredited by the SRA will lapse. It is assumed that the COLP will need to certify annually that staff have attained the necessary level of competence.
Will some Firms just ignore training in the future or will the responsible Firm’s seek to ensure that they remain compliant? The removal of the minimum 16 hours makes it harder to evaluate if professional standards have been met but, in the past, the old points system never evaluated competency which must be the important issue for clients.
X-Press Legal will continue to offer clients quality training which will fulfil the SRA’s competence requirements for the future and reassure those in management of Firm’s that their staff are reaching the appropriate level of competence.
Written by: Andrew Crawford: Director AAC Law Ltd
Andrew Crawford lectures extensively across the country and brings his experience in private practice to make the law relevant to practitioners. Andrew brings the law alive with a touch of humour and cynicism and makes the theory relevant to the practical problems faced by hard pressed conveyancers at the coalface – always mindful of the need and difficulty of making conveyancing profitable.
Andrew co-writes the Law Society CQS Online training modules jointly with Prof Peter Reekie.