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Education and Standards

2014 was another busy year for IPS on education and standards.

Working with CILEx We reviewed how we oversee delivery of education standards and training by CILEx. This led to the development of a new form of reporting by the CILEx Awards Team which produced an annual report for the IPS Board of its performance. We are assessing the first report received under the new arrangement. As education portfolio holder, I continued to attend meetings of the CILEx Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee and contribute to its work. The Committee, which is a renewed version of the previous Awards Performance and Strategy Committee, plays a crucial part in quality assuring the standards of the CILEx qualification. Seeing the work of the Committee and the Awards team up close gave me a lot of confidence during the year that standards are being maintained and candidates in the various assessments are being fairly and rigorously assessed. During the year our education Policy manager, Vicky Purtill moved across to lead the CILEx awards team and we welcomed Walter Riggans to lead on education matters.

LETR Working Group The joint Legal Education and Training Working Group with CILEx has continued to make progress towards meeting the recommendations in the LETR report and LSB Guidelines. We have been developing a statement of day one outcomes for Chartered Legal Executives. This is important work, building on the work-based learning arrangements introduced the previous year, which aims to enhance confidence in the competence of Chartered Legal Executives, whilst keeping open routes to qualification which are flexible and proportionate. We also contributed to conferences on the impact of LETR during the year.

CPD A new CPD scheme based on reflective evaluation of training needs was introduced in late 2013. During 2014, a lot of work went into explaining the new scheme to CILEx members. A series of regional events were organised, supported by guidance on the IPS and CILEx web-sites and articles in the CILEx Journal. We also prepared for implementation of the full scheme in October 2014. Members’ concerns are gradually being overcome as they see the value of the new arrangements compared with the former hours-based scheme although this is a continuing challenge. The levels of compliance at the end of the CPD year under the new scheme were not as high as we would wish, but were comparable with previous years under the old scheme. Sampling of individual members’ CPD records begins in 2015 and will help inform the development of the scheme.

We have started a project to review the CPD requirements for Associate members of CILEx. Our work is focussing on developing evidence on the CPD activities undertaken by Associates and the position they have reached in their studies.

Ethics in Advocacy We are contributing to research being undertaken by the Advocacy Training Council into the training that advocates receive on ethics. The research project will assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of the training received by CILEx members, solicitors and barristers. CILEx advocates were encouraged to respond to the survey and our external assessors provided important support to developing case studies and benchmarking survey responses. A report will be published during 2015.

Youth Court Research It is important to ensure that advocates who represent or deal with young people in the Youth Courts have the appropriate skills to do so. During the year IPS joined the BSB to conduct research into advocacy in the youth courts. The research got under way towards the end of 2014 and we expect a report to be published after the Summer in 2015.

Trailblazer Apprenticeships The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) led the work to develop new-style Trailblazer apprenticeships for the legal sector, including for Chartered Legal Executives. IPS contributed to the development of a standards statement which meets the requirements of the Trailblazer scheme whilst being consistent with the general standards of the Chartered Legal Executive qualification. It was important to make sure that BIS appreciated those standards are defined by CILEx and maintained by IPS, not by the government. Our work will move on to the development of the assessment framework for the apprenticeship model in 2015.

Paralegal enquiry

CILEx launched a paralegal enquiry during the year. It is expected to conclude by next summer. IPS was represented at focus group sessions related to the enquiry and will continue to contribute to the enquiry in relation to regulatory issues.

QASA We were not able to proceed to implement the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates owing to the ongoing judicial review of the scheme by a number of barristers. The Court of Appeal rejected the application, finding the scheme was lawful, proportionate and does not impugn the independence of advocates or the judges. However, a further application was made to the Supreme Court and the outcome of that application is expected in early 2015. Implementation will be very straightforward for us when the legal challenges conclude. However we do not propose to implement the scheme ahead of the other Joint Advocacy Group members (the SRA and BSB). The current CPD requirements which CILEx advocates have to meet are sufficient for the time being to assure us that they remain fit to exercise their practice rights, without full implementation, but our position will be kept under review, with the other members of JAG if substantial further delays occur.

Portfolio Holder: Harvey

Sandercock Chartered Legal Executive Board Member

Key Objectives: IPS will ensure that it: • Regulates all

members of CILEx and organisations to provide a high standard of service to members of the public.

• Develops action plans in response to the LETR report and LSB statutory guidance and undertakes work in accordance with the plans.

• Carries out joint working with regulators on development of competence frameworks, where possible.

• Guides CILEx on regulatory issues affecting education, training and accreditation arrangements.

• Reviews CPD requirements for Associate members.

• Continues to make a full contribution to the Joint Advocacy Group, developing QASA.

Professional standards for specialist lawyers 13

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