SRA in training regulation shake-up

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board has approved changes to their training regulations.

The changes form part of the SRA’s ongoing Training for Tomorrow programme of reform and Red Tape Initiative.

The Authority is seeking approval from the Legal Services Board with the hope of implementing the changes at the beginning of July.

The changes are intended to introduce a more proportionate approach to the regulation of pre-admission education and training and do not change the qualification pathway to admission as a solicitor.

With the new changes, the regulation of higher education by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, as well as developments in employment law will now be taken into account.

Law students also no longer have to enrol with the SRA before beginning their Legal Practice Course (LPC).

The SRA will still check the suitability of individuals seeking to qualify as a solicitor and under the new regulations those applying will be asked to disclose any issues relating to character before training commences.

Prospective LPC students can apply for a check if they wish before they start the course.

Requirements for the length and scope of training have not changed but no longer needs to be done under the terms of an SRA specified training contract.

The new regulations will also bring into force changes to the minimum salary of trainees, as consulted on and agreed in 2012 by the SRA.

The new regulations will replace the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 1 — Qualification Regulations, and the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 2 — Training Provider Regulations.

Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training, said: “We have taken the decision to remove complex and bureaucratic arrangements, which do not assure quality or promote standards.

“The changes will not alter the substance of our qualification requirements, but they will result in regulations which are more streamlined and which will enable us to focus on the essentials of our education and training framework."

The SRA consulted on the changes from December 2013 to February this year.

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