Ongoing Competence- Call for Evidence

Publish date: 07/02/2020

The Legal Services Board (LSB) have put out a call for evidence in regard to defining competence and competence assurance, consumer expectations of competence and competence in the legal services sector as part of their ongoing competence project. The LSB vies the call for evidence as "an important opportunity to ensure we capture all of the latest and most relevant information to understand if there are any gaps in our knowledge, or to identify areas where a policy response may be needed to address risks to consumers and the public interest". Evidence closes on 15th May 2020 and LLG are keen to respond.

If you would like to feed into a response from LLG please contact mailto:Helen@llg.org.uk

Excerpt from the Legal Services Board on their Call for Evidence:-

"Unlike some other professional service sectors (such as healthcare and education) however, there is no regular, formal assessment of legal professionals' competence during their careers. Instead, all of the legal services regulators currently rely primarily on requirements for continuing professional development (CPD), which usually involves participation in unassessed training. Given the importance of ongoing competence to consumers, coupled with the fact that many other professions have already embraced debates about ongoing competence and developed their approaches as a response, we think the time is right to lead an evidence-based discussion on ongoing competence in the legal services sector.

We have an open mind about whether a different approach is needed. First, we want to understand and map what is out there in terms of current practices, both within and beyond the legal services sector. This will enable us to build an understanding around what works best, with a view to setting standards and expectations in the future. We will seek to engage with as many stakeholders as we can. In fact, we have already benefited from engaging with a group of sector professionals representing a range of perspectives, as well as regulatory and representative bodies, in roundtable sessions. We have also gathered some information already, in preparing for this call for evidence. This includes information we hold at the LSB from previous work on quality in legal services, some feedback from stakeholders and published evidence from regulatory bodies and approved regulators. It also includes information about the approaches adopted in other sectors and learnings from academia

We are conscious that our findings so far do not tell the full story and that some of the information is from some years ago. This call for evidence is an important opportunity to ensure we capture all of the latest and most relevant information to understand if there are any gaps in our knowledge, or to identify areas where a policy response may be needed to address risks to consumers and the public interest. Following this call for evidence, we may find that some important information is not available and we think it is needed to inform our actions - in that case we will consider commissioning primary research.

We invite you to comment on one or more of the themes with any evidence you have to support or challenge our findings so far - evidence might include relevant published reports, datasets or research. It could also be reflections or examples based on your personal experiences or the experiences of others. We hope to hear from legal regulatory bodies, legal representative bodies, legal professionals, consumer groups and representatives, other regulated professional sector bodies and academia. This is by no means an exhaustive list and the call for evidence is open to anyone with an interest in this work. We are grateful to receive any information and evidence you can share with us.

The call for evidence closes on 15 May 2020. You can respond by emailing us at ongoingcompetence@legalservicesboard.org.uk and there is a template provided on our website for responding if you would like to use it. The call for evidence will be open for 16 weeks and closes on 15 May 2020. You can respond by emailing us at ongoingcompetence@legalservicesboard.org.uk and there is a template provided on our website for responding if you would like to use it. We might follow up with you to clarify or get more information if necessary. If you would like to know how information you provide us will be handled, please see the call for evidence page on our website"

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