3 September, 2015
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.