SRA publishes responses to changes to education and training regulations


The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published its response to the 12-week consultation on changes to the education and training regulations.

The consultation was launched in December 2013 and closed on 25 February. It represents the first stage of the SRA’s Training for Tomorrow programme and contains proposals which, in line with the Red Tape Initiative, focus on the essentials of the Authority’s education and training framework and remove unnecessary requirements and processes.

This includes proposals for the removal of complex exemption arrangements, the replacement of student enrolment with a targeted approach to dealing with character and suitability issues, and the removal of the need to complete training under the terms of a training contract specified by the SRA.

Julie Brannan, SRA Director of Education and Training, said: “We are very pleased with the level and quality of response received to our consultation. I should like to thank all those who contributed.

“Overall, the proposed changes to the regulations were welcomed by most of those who responded, although in some cases support was on the basis that the SRA would provide clear and accessible guidance. We will be publishing guidance at the same time as we implement the new rules on 1 July, if approved.

“Two broad themes have emerged in the responses to this consultation – assuring the standards of those entering the profession and the requirement for a breadth of training which includes both contentious and non-contentious work, as required by the Practice Skills Standards. Both of these issues are relevant to the work we are doing on developing a Competence Statement for solicitors and a new approach to continuing competence and will be considered there.”

The changes will now be recommended to the SRA Board on 21 May and if the Board agrees, they will still be subject to LSB approval and thenreflected in a new version of the Handbook on 1 July. The changes will then be implemented in time for the 2014 academic year.

The full response is available here: