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Apprenticeship Standards in Conveyancing and Probate ready to roll

03 September 2015

  • New apprenticeship standards in conveyancing and probate published following approval by the Department for Business, Industry and Skills
  • Developed by practitioners with the support of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  • Assessment bodies going through approval process so that apprenticeships can begin

Innovative apprenticeship standards creating accessible new pathways to recognition for legal professionals have been approved by government.

The apprenticeships have been developed by specialist conveyancing and probate practitioners with the support of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and, in the case of probate standard, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). The standards are part of the Government’s Trailblazer scheme and employers of apprentices will be able to apply for assistance with the cost of apprenticeships. These apprenticeships will help to meet the still growing demand for appropriately skilled and experienced specialist lawyers so that conveyancing and probate practices can grow their businesses with confidence.

Upon successful completion of the conveyancing apprenticeship, apprentices will be eligible to apply for licence by the CLC as a Licensed Conveyancer. Licensed Conveyancers are Authorised Persons under the Legal Services Act 2007 so this new apprenticeship opens up access to the legal profession to much broader sections of the population.  Other new apprenticeships create routes to recognition as a Conveyancing Technician or Probate Technician that will not lead to licence as an Authorised Person but will be proof of achievement of expertise in specialist areas of property law that will be valuable to employers and act as a stepping stone to further attainment.

Nick Boles MP, Minister of State jointly for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education said: “Businesses are better placed than anyone to train the next generation of workers and will help us deliver 3 million high-quality apprenticeships by 2020. By designing apprenticeships, employers like Conveyancing Direct are ensuring that young talented people develop the skills needed to progress up the career ladder and help drive businesses forward.”

Chief Executive of the CLC Sheila Kumar said: “The CLC was established to introduce innovation and competition into the legal sector and thirty years on these apprenticeships show that we continue to deliver on that mission. The apprenticeship route to licence as a specialist conveyancer will further broaden access to the legal profession and, along with the Conveyancing Technician and Probate Technician apprenticeships, provide a more robust pipeline of experts to support the growth that we see in CLC-regulated businesses. As the standards have been developed by practitioners working with the CLC as a regulator and STEP as a professional body in relation to the Probate Standard, we can be sure the apprenticeships meet the needs of contemporary practices as well as complying with regulation providing consumer protection. We hope that many employers will put existing staff and new hires through these apprenticeships.

David Harvey, CEO of STEP, said: “STEP has always considered itself a multi-disciplinary professional body welcoming and bringing together all professions involved in estates practice. With the successful launch of the Probate Apprenticeship we hope to enhance that diversity and to attract younger entrants into what is a very rewarding area of skilled work and one which demands a high level of knowledge and skill. This is an important move forward, and no more so than for the consumer.”

Andrea Pierce of Kings Court Trust and chair of the consortium that developed the Probate Apprenticeship Standard said: “Kings Court Trust was delighted to be involved throughout a process that should equip the next generation of estate administration and probate specialists with the skills they need to succeed in this sector.  I am confident that the apprenticeships framework will help the industry to continue to deliver the highest quality of service to families at their time of need.”

Michelle Timms of Conveyancing Direct and chair of the consortium that developed the Conveyancing Apprenticeship Standards said “The conveyancing industry is one that, in comparison to other legal services, is not particularly well known. I believe it is for this reason that employers such as Conveyancing Direct are choosing to promote from within and ‘grow their own’ conveyancers. The apprenticeships for both a Conveyancing Technician and a Licensed Conveyancer open up brand new opportunities for employers to ensure that their staff are trained  to a high standard, that a consistent level of training and quality assurance is given across the whole industry and to make people more aware of the prospects of becoming a conveyancer. I am delighted to represent the conveyancing industry and work alongside some reputable conveyancing firms to design the new apprenticeships. Getting the assessment plans published is the next big step towards the apprenticeships being ready for delivery and I’m confident that everyone will agree that the submitted plans offer robust assessment of the apprentices and that the methods of delivery are compatible with many different business structures.”

Notes for editors

The Conveyancing and Estate Administration Apprenticeship Consortia of practitioners were supported by the CLC to develop those standards which have now been approved by the Department for Business, Industry and Skills. STEP took part in the development of the probate standard.

The Conveyancing Technician and Licensed Conveyancer Apprenticeship Standards are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-licensed-conveyancer and these standards are ready to use.

The Probate Technician Standard is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-probate-technician This standard will be ready to use once assessment plan has been finalised.

Potential apprenticeship providers and assessors are currently going through an accreditation process and apprenticeships will begin after those providers and assessors are appointed.

The CLC will soon begin issuing stand-alone licences to Probate Practitioners, having secured that new power through the Deregulation Bill 2015 with the support of Cabinet Office and MoJ Ministers and Labour spokespeople.  An apprenticeship route to licence as a CLC Probate Practitioner will be developed if there is sufficient employer demand. 

August Newsletter Published

28 August 2015

Read the CLC's latest newsletter full of vital updates for conveyancers, including tackling cyber-crime threats to clients and businesses. 

August 2015 Newsletter 

 

 

CLC holds fees steady for third year

24 August 2015

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has today announced that it is freezing regulatory fees for the next year. This will be the third year for which fees have been set at the same level. Individual licences are fixed at £400 while entity fees are calculated based on a firm’s turnover.

The CLC has been streamlining the way it meets its core responsibility of consumer protection through specialist regulation of specialist property lawyers. It recently secured the power to issue stand-alone licences to probate practitioners and will soon be announcing major changes to arrangements for education leading to licence as a CLC Lawyer, whether Licensed Conveyancer or Probate Practitioner. The CLC is also putting the finishing touches to a major staff reorganisation that will deliver improved performance and customer service through a tighter staff team which is now located in London in offices that provide easier access for stakeholders and an improved, open plan working environment that fosters closer coordination.

Chief Executive of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, Sheila Kumar said: “At the CLC we are working hard to ensure that our model of specialist regulation of specialist property lawyers delivers all of the benefits it possibly can to the consumer as well as to individual lawyers and the legal businesses that we regulate.  Through improved infrastructure and changed staffing arrangements, we will be able to offer an improved service to the regulated community and others with whom we work closely. The new teams are reviewing the way we work with a view to making large or small changes that will improve efficiency and effectiveness and so the value for money of our operations. I am very pleased that we have been able to make these improvements without increasing the burden on the profession.” 

Licence Renewal 2015

Regulatory Return 2014/2015

14 July 2015

All CLC-regulated practices have until Friday 31st July to complete the CLC's Regulatory Return 2014/2015. 

We have written with full details to the preferred contacts of each practice. 

Find out more

CLC Consultation Adjudication Panel Rules 2015 Analysis of Responses

30 June 2015

Between May 2015 and June 2015 we consulted on proposed amendments to the Adjudication Panel Rules. The CLC received 2 completed responses. This document sets out the findings of that consultation exercise.  Whilst the response rate is disappointing, it does, perhaps, reflect the fact that the amendments proposed are not seen as particularly controversial:

CLC Change of address

19 June 2015

With effect from 1st August 2015 the address of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers will be:

Council for Licensed Conveyancers

CAN Mezzanine

49 - 51 East Road

London

N1 6AH

From 1st August all postal correspondence should be sent there.

If you are regulated by the CLC, please ensure this address is updated on all materials through which you promote the CLC’s address to clients or others.

We will advise of new telephone numbers shortly. Email addresses are unchanged. 

As has previously been announced, this decision has been taken to continue improvements to the service the CLC provides, placing us closer to key stakeholders and making us more accessible to the businesses we regulate.  With no more than 25 people on the staff and a governing Council of just nine, the CLC is a lean regulator that works hard to support innovation and competition in the legal market place through its specialisation in property law. Our new offices are in a building dedicated to not-for-profit organisations and present excellent value for money so that the change of premises and improvements it will bring will not increase the CLC’s costs or the cost to the profession.

 

CLC to move to London

02 June 2015

The CLC will be moving its offices from Chelmsford to London in August 2015.  This decision has been taken to continue improvements to the service the CLC provides to the regulated community, to place us closer to key stakeholders and make us more accessible to the businesses we regulate.  

Consultations on fees, Adjudication Panel members

28 May 2015

The CLC is consulting on the level and method for calculating individual and entity licence fees. The proposal is to make no change to current fee levels. Find out more and respond to the consultation here

We’re also asking for views on the make-up of the Adjudication Panel that determines disciplinary matters referred to it by the CLC. Find out more and respond here

Janet Paraskeva Appointed as Chair of CLC

20 April 2015

  • Dame Janet Paraskeva named as new Chair of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  • Follows open recruitment process through advertising and search carried out for the CLC by an independent organisation
  • Appointed for initial four year term with effect from 1 May 2015

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has today announced that Dame Janet Paraskeva has been appointed as Chair of the Council for a four year term which is renewable once. This appointment follows the stepping down of Anna Bradley after five years leading the organisation.

Dame Janet was Chief Executive of the Law Society from 2000 to 2006, preparing it for the advent of the Legal Services Act 2007 by establishing the separation of regulatory and representative functions. She has since served as First Civil Service Commissioner, been an independent member of the Consumer Council for Water, a non-executive director of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, Chair of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and is currently Chair of the Appointments Commission for the States of Jersey. Dame Janet was made a Privy Councillor to assist in her role as a member of the Detainee Inquiry established by the Prime Minister in 2010.

Interim Chair of the CLC and Chair of the Nominations Committee which made the appointment Jan Smith said: “We were delighted with this recruitment process, which delivered a very wide and strong field of candidates. We are especially pleased to have secured Dame Janet to chair the CLC through the next phase of its evolution. Her experience of the legal sector, consumer affairs and Whitehall will be of immense value to the CLC as will her experience of management and of non-executive roles in very high profile organisations.”

Dame Janet Paraskeva said: “I am looking forward to working with the Council and staff of the CLC. The team, along with my predecessor Anna Bradley, have set a clear strategy for the organisation. There is much now to be done to ensure that this specialist regulator of legal services can increase its support for innovation and growth in the legal sector for the benefit of consumers as well as providing an alternative model of regulation to inform change across the legal sector.” 

CLC granted powers to issue licences to probate specialists

09 March 2015

The Lords yesterday accepted government amendments to the Deregulation Bill that will enable the Council for Licensed Conveyancers to licence specialist Probate Practitioners.  

Until now, anyone wishing to be a CLC-regulated Probate Practitioner has also had to qualify as a Licensed Conveyancer. Today's amendments tidy up that and other quirks in the framework of legislation governing the CLC.