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Children Law Accreditation

  • Updated Children Law Accreditation

    We have recently undertaken a review of the Law Society's Children Law Accreditation to ensure that the scheme continues to provide a robust means of recognising and identifying children law specialist, while keeping the representation of children as the focus of the scheme.

    As a result of the review, there are a number of changes are being introduced to the application and accreditation process as of 1 January 2016:

    Initial accreditation

    • The pre-requisite knowledge for accreditation has been updated to take into account Welsh law and changes arising from the Children and Families Act 2014.
    • The interview remains as part of the assessment process, but case reports have been removed. Private practice and local authority applicants will follow the same process. Details of the application and accreditation can be found on our how to apply page.
    • Everyone will be accredited as 'Children Law accredited'.

    Re-accreditation

    • The completion of an unseen case study and provision of drafting examples have been added.

    Accreditation term

    • Accreditation will last for three years, after which re-accreditation will be required. This will not affect the length of existing five-year accreditation terms however, upon successful re-accreditation accreditation will be for three years.

    Transitional arrangements

    • Individuals who hold adult party representative status will be transferred to the Family Law Advanced Accreditation, unless they opt to convert their accredited status.

    We will continue to accept initial and re-accreditation applications under the old process until 31 January 2016. From 1 February 2016, all applications for Children Law Accreditation must be made under the new process, ensuring that the requirements for accreditation are met. The new documentation is available on our how to apply page.

    The following pages outline the updated application, assessment and accreditation processes.

    What is Children Law Accreditation

    The Law Society's Children Law Accreditation covers all types of children law work.

    Accredited members will have shown, to the satisfaction of the Law Society that they have and will maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of children law and the representation of children.

    All accredited Children Law practitioners also agree to follow the Law Society Code of Practice for Children Law (PDF 50kb). The code outlines the standards of practice and conduct expected of accredited members throughout their accreditation.

    The Children Law Accreditation provides a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing children in children law proceedings and is a means of identification for professionals, such as guardians, to identify suitably qualified practitioners when representation of a child is required.

    Who is membership for?

    The accreditation is designed for children law practitioners who are able to demonstrate awareness, knowledge and expertise in children law proceedings and the representation of children in such proceedings.

    Only solicitors and chartered legal executives who are employed by a solicitor and hold the Rights of Audience Matrimonial Proceedings/Family Proceedings Certificate (or other appropriate advocacy qualification) awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), may apply.

    Although there is no minimum requirement for time spent in practice in this area of law before applying, applicants must ensure they have sufficient experience to clearly demonstrate their abilities.

    To view all current members of the scheme, download a list of members. This list is updated each month.

    Why apply for Children Law Accreditation?

    Children Law Accreditation evidences specialist expertise in representing clients in Children Law proceedings and also provides the following benefits:

    • ensures that clients can confidently select a qualified professional with proven competency in children law proceedings
    • confirms your expertise in representing children, allowing you to be instructed by CAFCASS/guardians
    • assessment against an accreditation recognised by the Legal Aid Agency, enables you to undertake publicly funded representation of children
    • shows that you maintain relevant standards of competency and expertise in the field through re-accreditation
    • demonstrates your conformity to a best-practice quality mark that prospective clients can trust

    How do I apply for accreditation?

    See the how to apply page for full details on how to apply.

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