Drafting a compliance plan
Drafting a compliance plan

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Drafting a compliance plan
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Compliance officers and their areas of responsibility
  • Importance of compliance
  • Compliance arrangements
  • Monitoring compliance
  • Reporting compliance failures
  • Staff training and communication
  • Updating your compliance plan

No firm can afford to be complacent when it comes to compliance. The SRA has made it clear that firms adopting a less than comprehensive approach to compliance will face greater scrutiny. By contrast, firms that make a serious attempt to comply but fall short in some way are more likely to find the SRA supportive. Having a plan in place is an important first step on the road to compliance.

Regulatory requirements

The SRA Handbook does not specifically require firms to have a compliance plan, nor is the term defined. However, the guidance notes to the Authorisation Rules 2011 suggest that the SRA assumes firms will have a compliance plan.

Outcomes-focused regulation gives you greater freedom to decide how you achieve compliance with the regulatory requirements, meaning you can adopt a methodology that suits you and your firm. However it is unlikely that your firm will be able to comply fully with the regulatory requirements and be able to demonstrate this to the SRA’s satisfaction, without having a formal compliance plan in place. For a precedent compliance plan, see precedent: Compliance plan.

Compliance officers and their areas of responsibility

You must appoint two compliance officers as soon as possible and should explain their roles in your compliance plan. The roles are:

Related documents: