SRA Policy Executive Richard Williams — “large and small firms face the same challenges”

On Wednesday 22nd March, around 100 firms joined Director of Best Practice Gary Yantin and SRA Policy Executive Richard Williams to discuss the first five months of the SRA’s new approach to Continuing Competence. The conversation focused on how firms have implemented the new approach and how the SRA will monitor compliance with it.

“Firms should be asking: what do I need to do to do the job well?”

Richard stressed the importance of focussing on the quality of learning, rather than the quantity. He reflected on the previous approach to CPD, whereby solicitors and law firms would often leave training to the last minute, without a focus on what they should be learning. The new approach should help change that culture and encourage individuals to identify their learning needs, rather than the amount of time they spend on training. Richard also said that “learning and development has a huge business benefit”, a factor that should encourage firms to implement the new approach.

“16-hours approach still works for some”

While discussing how to implement the new approach, Richard spoke about the new competence model offering more flexibility to firms. For some firms, he said, continuing to require their staff to complete 16 hours of training per year could still be effective; in some cases, this would be beneficial as it means less change. However, the learning must be reflective. As was highlighted throughout the webinar, the quality of the learning needs which are addressed is now far more important than the number of hours spent learning.

Other key takeaways

  • 53% of firms felt that communicating the changes to their employees was a key barrier to implementing the new approach
  • Most firms are addressing the new requirements by aligning with an existing internal appraisal process
  • The barriers to implementing the change are equally as relevant in large and small firms
  • Many firms still see the new approach as vague and unclear
  • The SRA is unlikely to penalise firms that have not completed all the learning, provided they can show that they have addressed their needs

View the webinar

To view the webinar, click on the link below.

View recording

VinciWorks’ continuing competence module

Continuing Competence Module Feature

VinciWorks’ system allows users to select and manage their own learning and development needs

VinciWorks offers a Continuing Competence module to help solicitors align to the SRA’s new approach to Continuing Competence. Our learning management system allows firms to track the learning needs solicitors have identified and add learning objectives when necessary. VinciWorks’ system allows solicitors to update the learning needs they have identified.

Upcoming Webinar – Continuing Competence Module live demo

On Wednesday 17th May at 12pm GMT, Gary will be hosting another webinar aimed at demonstrating VinciWorks’ Continuing Competence Module. During this webinar, Gary will be advising law firms on how they can use the Continuing Competence Module to enhance learning and compliance. You can register for the webinar here.