The Law Society of England and Wales has launched a new form of accreditation aimed at individuals working in the legal sector who want to demonstrate their knowledge and skill of risk and compliance to stakeholders and prospective clients. There are three levels of accreditation:
- Foundation – aimed at those with basic risk and compliance skills and knowledge
- Advanced (Legal Practice) – aimed at experts in risk management
- Advanced (AML) – aimed at experts in anti-money laundering.
To qualify for accreditation, applicants must be able to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and competence in risk and compliance against a number of factors that have been set out in a syllabus published by the Law Society.
Anyone who passes the relevant exam and background checks may apply – they do not need to be employed or qualified as a solicitor.
If successful, a person’s risk and compliance accreditation lasts for three years.
There is no doubt that the accreditation will be seen by many as a blatant example of money making by the Law Society (they are charging a total of £366 + VAT for an application and membership fee) and as an attempt to reinforce their credentials in relation to regulatory knowledge given the increasing role of the SRA. Some might even argue that they would be better spending their time checking on those who claim conveyancing competence under the CQS. But who are we to comment?