The competence regime
The competence regime

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

  • The competence regime
  • Continuing competence
  • Who must comply with the continuing competence requirements?
  • The competence statement
  • Statement of solicitor competence
  • Threshold standard
  • Statement of legal knowledge
  • How to demonstrate compliance
  • Monitoring and enforcement by the SRA
  • Annual declaration
  • More...

Under the SRA Standards and Regulations:

  1. solicitors, registered European lawyers (RELs) and registered foreign lawyers (RFLs) must maintain their competence to carry out their role and keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date

  2. SRA-regulated firms must ensure their managers and employees are competent to carry out their role and keep their professional knowledge and skills, as well as understanding of their legal, ethical and regulatory obligations, up to date

  3. solicitors, RELs, RFLs and firms must all ensure the service they provide to clients is competent

The SRA’s continuing competence regime operates alongside the Code requirements, and applies to a more limited group of people—see below: Who must comply with the continuing competence requirements? It does however provide a framework for all lawyers and firms to assess, maintain and monitor competence.

This Practice Note looks at the SRA's continuing competence regime, focusing on the Statement of solicitor competence, Statement of legal knowledge and how to demonstrate compliance with the requirements. Practice Note: How to assess, maintain and monitor competence considers the competence lifecycle and practical issues arising from the competence regime.

Continuing competence

The SRA’s continuing competence regime has been mandatory since November 2016, replacing the previous hours-based CPD regime.

Continuous competence requires solicitors to reflect on their practice and identify (and then address) their learning and development needs to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.

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