Fit for the future

Fit for the future: IPS responds to LETR

Fit for the future: IPS responds to LETR

25 June 2013

ILEX Professional Standards (IPS), the regulatory body of CILEx members, has expressed satisfaction with the final report of the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) published today. The independent review was sponsored by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board and IPS, and provides a comprehensive review of Legal Services Education and Training.
 
The report supports the direction of travel already taken by IPS in developing best practice in outcomes based regulation, particularly through its new Work Based Learning and CPD schemes.
 
Speaking on how IPS’s current strategy and business plan have much in common with the themes of the report, IPS Chair Alan Kershaw said: “Our key ambitions for the Review related to diversity: not just that opportunities for entry to the profession would be supported and enhanced, but that alternative routes to qualification would be recognised, giving those who achieve comparable standards comparable opportunities for their careers. If the Review had concerned itself only with the graduate routes, it would not have met the challenge of influencing the shape and structure of legal services in the future.
 
“I am delighted that the report clearly highlights the many benefits of the CILEx routes to qualification as a lawyer. These include the focus on fields of competence, which must be in the interests of consumers; and affordability, which not only helps individual aspiring practitioners but also increases the social mix within the profession – a critical consideration for us and for the Review Team.”
 
IPS recognises the significance of the recommendations in the report for common standards in legal practice and particularly welcomes;
  • the endorsement of outcomes focused assessment of competence,
  • more constructive and meaningful ways to maintain competence through CPD, and
  • support for thorough training in ethics and professionalism in the curriculum.
  • Working closely with CILEx, IPS will study the report in detail and identify opportunities to build on past achievements and current best practice.
Alan Kershaw commented “I am particularly encouraged by the endorsement of the direction IPS has taken in recent years on matters such as the introduction of outcomes-focussed Work Based Learning and a radically revised CPD scheme - both of which emphasise ethics and professionalism. Furthermore, the research in the report, and the proposals it contains, provide further validation of the case for CILEx members to obtain rights of independent practice.”
 
IPS welcomes the recommendations that offer the sponsoring regulators opportunities to work both independently and collaboratively to ensure that legal services education and training is able to meet current and future demands. It will consider carefully how they can be achieved whilst maintaining the distinctive benefits of the CILEx qualification routes.

ENDS