Stronger rules on ongoing competence move step closer


LSB: Board meeting today

The current regulatory approach to lawyers’ ongoing competence needs to change, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has concluded, with assessments such as spot checks likely to be part of the reform.

It will also explore how “feedback and other intelligence” can be used to identify poor performance.

The LSB has been investigating since last year the methods by which the legal regulators ensure that those they regulate remain competent throughout their careers and is now ready to start testing its conclusions.

It has previously issued a call for evidence, a review of competence frameworks in other countries and earlier this month research among consumers.

In a paper going before today’s meeting of the LSB, officials said: “The current arrangements are out of step with consumers’ expectations that all legal professionals demonstrate their ongoing competence and undergo consistent, regular competence checks by regulators to prove they keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

“The current arrangements are also out of step with other professional sectors, and some other jurisdictions, that have more systematic ongoing competence checks to respond to competence concerns, promote public trust and confidence and protect consumers from harm.

“This means that the status quo is not the best way to protect and promote the regulatory objectives and across the market, we consider a change in approach is required.”

The LSB is now planning to discuss its outline policy proposals with stakeholders ahead of launching a formal consultation before the end of the year.

The LSB highlighted four areas where it wanted to “progress its understanding” – developing core competencies for all lawyers, using “feedback and other intelligence to prevent and identify poor performance”, remedial approaches to competence concerns and “competence assessments (such as spot checks) to provide assurance”.

The outcome could include new guidance to regulators or a statutory statement of policy under the Legal Services Act.

“We want to test views on the benefits, costs and overall effectiveness of the different measures and what should be the roles of regulators and others, including employers and judges, in ensuring ongoing competence,” the paper said.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


The hot graphic design trends in the legal sector

As we recover from an unprecedented 19 months within our sector, marketing teams and clerks’ rooms are keener than ever to try out something new in the promotion of their businesses.


What challenges will the Bar face in the next five years?

As we look towards the end of 2021 and at how the Bar has adapted to the harsh realities of the pandemic, the question beckons as to what the future holds.


The rise of cyber-criminal threat for law firms since Covid-19

The global coronavirus pandemic, and the rise in people working from home, has unfortunately provoked a growth in cyber-crime. The UK government estimates that the cost of cyber-crime is £27bn per annum.


Loading animation