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Conveyancing Academy – Update 04 February 2022

The CLC has been extremely concerned by the issues at the Conveyancing Academy and the experience of students and their employers. However, the Conveyancing Academy is approved by the SQA. The CLC has no CLC has no management or control over the Conveyancing Academy or any of the other education providers approved by the SQA. This is not part of CLC’s regulatory remit which is the regulation of legal services under the Legal Services Act 2007. We do have an expectation of any centre unable to honour its commitment to CLC students that it works openly with the appropriate agencies and self and employer funded students to facilitate the necessary student transfer arrangements.

Since the CLC became aware of the issues at the Conveyancing Academy, we have been helping the SQA and funding agencies as far as we can as they provide information and practical assistance to help students continue the course of study they choose. Below, there are FAQ from the SQA for students and employers.

Responsibility for the maintenance of qualification assessment standards falls to the SQA and governance of apprenticeship quality and funding compliance to the ESFA and Welsh Work based Learning Department. They are the responsible regulatory bodies with oversight of the Conveyancing Academy’s approved status as an SQA qualification centre and as an apprenticeship training provider.

The role of the CLC is to set the standards (academic and occupational) for individuals seeking to become eligible to register as a national conveyancing or probate technician and the entry standards into the profession for those seeking to licence as a CLC Lawyer.

This model has generally served the profession well, increasing the numbers of newly qualified lawyers entering the profession and helping to meet the growing demand for Licensed Conveyancers and Probate Practitioners. It is very regrettable that the current incident is doing so much to undermine confidence in this otherwise successful and robust arrangement.

We trust that the SQA and funding agencies will now be able to provide students and employers with the necessary information to assist them to transfer their studies and funding arrangements to new providers, though we accept that this could take some weeks to achieve.


Statement provided from The SQA (on 04 February 2022):

Information for students and their employers from the SQA

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy was suspended from offering SQA approved qualifications or advertising itself as an SQA approved centre on 21 April 2021.

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy has not registered any candidates with SQA since then. This includes the Level 4 and Level 6 Conveyancing Qualification.

As of 21 January 2022, Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy is no longer a SQA Approved Centre and has no licence to advertise as such or to enrol learners on any SQA qualifications.

The SQA is working with other providers of those qualifications and with funding agencies to identify solutions for students who have been under the impression that they are working towards an SQA diploma with Convey 365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy.

SQA answers some frequently asked questions

Candidates

Q: I enrolled/have been doing a SQA diploma in conveyancing/probate with Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy – why can’t I finish the course/be awarded the diploma?

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy was suspended from offering SQA approved qualifications or advertising itself as an SQA approved centre on 21 April 2021.

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy has not registered any candidates with SQA since then. 

If you have been under the impression that you are working towards an SQA diploma with Convey 365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy, please speak to the company in the first instance to discuss securing an alternative training provider and the return of any fees you have paid.

As of 21 January 2022, Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy is no longer a SQA Approved Centre and has no licence to advertise as such or to enrol learners on any SQA qualifications.

Q: I have spoken to Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy, and they say they can’t help me find another training provider and will not refund the fees I have paid – can you help?

We are currently working with funding agencies in England and Wales to look at how we can support individuals to enrol with other training providers who are approved to offer the SQA diplomas. If you leave your contact details, we’ll update you as soon as we can.

With regards to any fees you paid Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy, we suggest you contact a consumer affairs organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you thought you were doing the SQA diploma as part of an apprenticeship, the relevant funding agency is also aware of the situation. If you contact them, they may be able to help you find another training provider.

In Wales: askWBL@gov.wales

In England: complaints.ESFA@education.gov.uk  

Employers

Q: I have sent employees to Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy to study for the SQA diploma in conveyancing/probate – why are they not getting the SQA diploma?

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy was suspended from offering SQA approved qualifications or advertising itself as an SQA approved centre on 21 April 2021.

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy has not registered any candidates with SQA since then.

If your employees have been under the impression that they are working towards an SQA diploma with Convey 365b Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy from this date, please speak to the company in the first instance to discuss securing an alternative training provider and the return of any fees you have paid.

If your employees were under the impression that they were doing the SQA diplomas as part of an apprenticeship, the relevant funding agency is also aware of the situation.

As of 21 January 2022, Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy is no longer a SQA Approved Centre and has no licence to advertise as such or to enrol learners on any SQA qualifications.

Q: I have spoken to Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy, and they say they can’t help me find another training provider for my employees and will not refund the fees I have paid – can you help?

We are currently working with funding agencies in England and Wales to look at how we can support individuals to enrol with other training providers who are approved to offer the SQA diplomas. If you leave your contact details, we’ll update you as soon as we can.

With regards to any fees you paid Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy, we suggest you contact a consumer affairs organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If your employees thought they were taking the SQA diploma as part of an apprenticeship, the relevant funding agency is also aware of the situation. If you contact them, they will be able to help you find another training provider.

In Wales: askWBL@gov.wales

In England: complaints.ESFA@education.gov.uk  

Q: Why didn’t you inform us of this situation in April 2021

Convey365 Ltd/The Conveyancing Academy was suspended from offering SQA approved qualifications or advertising itself as an SQA approved centre on 21 April 2021 and has not registered any candidates with SQA since then.

Despite this, the company has continued to advertise itself as an SQA approved centre and has offered SQA approved qualifications to learners when it has not been in a position to deliver them.

We have been actively pursuing the case through our established procedures.

The SQA


Important information for those studying to qualify as a Licensed Conveyancer or Probate Practitioner

We want to remind students and employers that the assured educational route to qualify for licence as a CLC lawyer is via the SQA level 6 Diplomas in conveyancing and probate that are regulated as part of the Register of Regulated Qualifications that are offered by providers approved by the SQA. In addition to the SQA Level 4 and 6 Diplomas, the CLC publishes those legal qualifications it accepts as part of its routes to qualify HERE.  

Please note only regulated level 3 qualifications (certificated by national awarding body) and successfully completed level 3 Legal Apprenticeships (Certificated by The Education and Skills Funding Agency) are accepted by the CLC for exemptions at Level 4. However, candidates who have completed level 3 qualifications or Legal Apprenticeships are also required to complete units on the SQA Level 4 Diplomas before being able to progress to study a SQA Diploma level 6. Standalone unregulated level 3 courses are not recognised for any level of exemption by the CLC.

There are level 4 courses in place that provide a pathway to the level 6 qualifications and there may also be exemptions for candidates who already have some legal education. However, attainment of the Level 6 qualification is the final test.  

Completion of lower-level courses or unregulated courses will not enable students to seek licence by the CLC. When joining courses, students and their sponsoring employers must check that the course or qualification meets their requirements and will qualify them to seek to register as a national CLC Technician or first qualifying CLC licence if that is their intention.   

The SQA.


Apprenticeship issues

We have received some complaints from employers about the service provided by some apprenticeship providers. Although we are keen to know when students or their employers are facing difficulties, it important that you raise complaints directly with the apprenticeship provider in the first instance. If they cannot resolve the issue, you should inform the appropriate government funding agency for England or Wales, below.

England
You must contact the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) within 12 months of the issue arising. You can email or post your complaint to the ESFA complaints team at: complaints.ESFA@education.gov.uk  

For more information: https://www.gov.uk/complain-further-education-apprenticeship  

Wales
In Wales, you should contact the Work Based Learning team at: askWBL@gov.wales



Provider ceasing to offer conveyancing and probate apprenticeships

We have also received a number of concerning reports from employers telling us that an apprenticeship provider has informed them that it is no longer able to continue offering the conveyancing or probate apprenticeship. 

If your provider has ceased to offer your route to qualification, we would like to know more. Please complete our brief questionnaire and please ask anyone else affected to complete it too.

Let us know about your situation

Alternative apprenticeship providers

You can speak to other apprenticeship providers to continue your studies:
 
Total People
Enquiries@totalpeople.co.uk
 
PVT Training
info@pvt.org.uk
  .

22/06/2021 – You may have seen announcements in the press this week about proposed changes to The SQA. The situation currently is that nothing has changed and CLC centres and students should continue with their existing study programs as planned. We would like to reassure CLC students and their employers that The SQA will be continuing to work as normal to manage the CLC Conveyancing and Probate Diplomas to ensure that students are able to continue and complete their studies uninterrupted.

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