Organisations that employ solicitors

What you need to know about our new approach

From 1 November 2016, all solicitors must adopt our approach to continuing competence. This means that solicitors must reflect on their practice and undertake regular learning and development so their skills and knowledge remain up to date. All solicitors will need to make an annual declaration to us that they have done this.

The information below is for organisations that employ solicitors but are not regulated by us. It provides information on our new approach and outlines what you need to know and do.

Under our new approach

  • Solicitors have a regulatory requirement, under Principle 5, to provide a proper standard of service. We have published a new Competence Statement for solicitors, which defines what we mean by competence. Meeting the competences set out in the Competence Statement forms an integral part of the requirement to provide a proper standard of service and solicitors will need to undertake regular learning and development to ensure their skills and knowledge remain up to date.
  • Solicitors will need to record how they have reflected on their practice, what learning and development they have undertaken and how this has helped them to address identified training needs.
  • There is no regulatory minimum hours training requirement. It will be up to a solicitor to reflect on their practice and decide what they need to do in order to remain competent.
  • There are a number of ways a solicitor can address their learning and development needs.
  • Solicitors will be required to make an annual declaration that they have reflected on their learning and development needs.
  • You may want to discuss with the solicitor(s) you employ when to adopt the new approach.
  • You do not need to inform us that the solicitor(s) you employ have adopted the new approach.
  • You may want to consider how you can integrate our Competence Statement into your existing performance management systems.
  • A toolkit is available to support implementation of our new approach.
  • You can find out more by watching this webinar.
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