The role of learning and development
Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd
The role of learning and development

The following Practice Management guidance note Produced in partnership with Beth Pipe of Bellis Learning Solutions Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The role of learning and development
  • Regulatory requirements
  • What contribution does the L&D department make to your firm?
  • Why do L&D departments sometimes fail?
  • Funding L&D
  • Who is responsible for L&D?
  • Ensuring L&D delivers results

What was once known as 'training' is now usually referred to as 'learning and development' (L&D) to reflect the fact that people learn in a variety of ways and not solely by attending training courses. L&D covers any opportunity for learning within the firm. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. attending training courses

  2. completing online tutorials

  3. watching webinars

  4. on-the-job coaching

  5. mentoring

  6. reading

  7. researching

Regulatory requirements


The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) considers learning to be of paramount importance.

Solicitors no longer need to count continuing professional development (CPD) hours each year. Under the SRA’s competency regime they need reflect on the quality of their practice, identify any L&D needs and then address these needs to make sure their knowledge and skills are up to date and they are competent to practice.

Prior to the release of the SRA Competence Statement, the SRA made no differentiation between technical legal skills development and personal development. The Competence Statement defines what solicitors must be able to do to deliver a proper standard of service and sets out core standards all solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) should be able to undertake competently. It is divided into four sections:

  1. ethics, professionalism and judgement

  2. technical legal practice

  3. working with other people

  4. managing themselves and their own work

Solicitors and RELs need to consider any L&D needs across