A learning need is where you identify a gap in your knowledge and skills, or a need to update them. You’ll identify the needs by reflecting on your practice and any gaps that have become apparent as you do your work.
To help identify any gaps, you should:
- consider your professional responsibilities under principle 5 of the SRA Handbook. This requires you to provide a proper standard of service to your clients and consider how you can best show that you’re doing this
- think about your role within your firm and your responsibilities to your employer and colleagues
You may want to refer to the SRA’s competence statement for guidance.
Who can identify learning needs
You can identify learning needs for others, and others can identify them for you. It’s a good idea to share your reflections with your colleagues because they might have the same learning needs. Firms may also collaborate, formally or informally, with other solicitors, barristers or non-legal businesses such as accountants to:
- deliver training
- share best practice
- cut training costs
If you do not identify any learning needs
If you’ve considered your duty to your clients and to your firm and are satisfied that you do not have any learning needs, you do not have to do any learning activities. But you must still:
- be able to show that you carried out the reflecting and reviewing process
- keep adequate records to show the SRA if required
- make the annual declaration
It is important to note that if you have not identified any learning needs, nor completed any development, and the SRA raises concerns about your competence, it may decide to investigate further.