Consultation questionnaire form
Question 1. Do you foresee any impacts from option 1, positive or negative, that we have not already identified?
No but in our view Option 2 is better.
Question 2. Do you foresee any impacts from option 2, positive or negative, that we have not already identified?
No. This is our preferred option.
There is still a risk of a “tick box” approach but less so than with Option 1. Our view is that most solicitors are proud to to be responsible for their personal career development. This option, matching individual needs with the CPD policies of the entity offers greater freedom for the solicitor than at present. The solicitor is best placed to identify gaps in his or her own knowledge and will derive maximum benefit from courses he or she has chosen.
In particular women solicitors and members of other Equality Act protected categories might prefer to attend CPD events staged by specialist organisations such as ourselves. We at AWS London organise regular events offering opportunities for networking as well as CPD points and our workshops address the fundamental issues for women solicitors of combining legal practice with raising a family, unconscious bias etc.
Question 3. We would welcome your views on whether or not the SRA should continue to suggest a minimum number of hours CPD for all solicitors.
No. Our view is that the current 16 hours “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate for either the profession or the public. It does foster a minimum compliance, box ticking mentality.
Question 4. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of these alternative approaches to monitoring?
We suggest that responsibility for continuing CPD compliance at entity level remains with the COLP.
AWS London April 2014
About AWS London
The Association of Women Solicitors London Group (AWS London) offers educational courses, lectures and seminars designed for women solicitors in the London area. The Group also holds a number of social gatherings and events throughout the year, offering women solicitors in London the opportunity to get together, support each other and network.
We also aim to articulate and represent the views of women solicitors, promote the interests of women within the solicitors’ profession, campaign on issues important to women generally and actively oppose discrimination against women solicitors.