Ongoing competence


 

Five-year policy objective: Regulators have appropriate frameworks for continuing assurance of professional competence throughout the careers of the people they regulate

Recent reforms to education and training have largely focused on entry to the profession, but regulators also need to ensure that the people they regulate remain competent throughout their careers.

While consumers can usually observe and experience service quality (e.g. promptness, courtesy, administrative efficiency), often they are not able to assess the technical quality of work (e.g. legal knowledge, quality of products). The regulators use a range of approaches to monitor these different aspects of quality.

We have noted that, unlike other professions, such as healthcare, there is no regular formal assessment of practitioners during their careers beyond requirements on continuing professional development. In light of the Bar Standards Board’s decision not to implement QASA, we consider that the time is right to look again at this issue from first principles.

What we will do

During 2019-20 we will carry out a thematic review of how regulators ensure that the people they regulate remain competent throughout their careers. As part of this work, we will revisit our previous work on quality assurance as well as looking for good practice elsewhere in the legal sector and in other professional service sectors.

Further details on the project, including timelines and milestones, will be added as the project is scoped.