Consumer based evidence supports SRA's draft Competence Statement

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is today [24 October] publishing the findings from the extensive engagement work undertaken to support the development of the Competence Statement.

The SRA commissioned an external research company, BMG Research to undertake the study. The findings have been derived from a mixture of in-depth qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys with solicitors, legal educators and consumers. The findings have ensured that the development of the draft Competence Statement has been informed by the views and experiences of practitioners and consumers.

The study was carried out with a representative sample of practitioners and a broad base of business and individual consumers.

  • The research was carried out amongst a representative sample of practitioners.
  • Consumers were consulted about what they expected a solicitor to be able to do competently.
  • Practitioners were asked to give a rating from 1 -10 on the importance of the main competences.
  • Respondents were then asked to feedback on the adequacy of the statement overall.

Respondents were also asked to give a rating of between 1 and 10 for the adequacy of the statement as a whole.

The percentages of respondents giving a rating of between 7 and 10 to the adequacy of the Statement overall, as a description of the competences required by a ‘competent solicitor’ were positive.  Individual consumers and business consumers respectively giving ratings of between 87 percent and 90 percent.

Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training said: "This research has given us a strong evidence base from which to develop a Competence Statement that reflects the views and experiences of practitioners and consumers in describing what a competent solicitor needs to be able to do."

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