Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation
Our Immigration and Asylum Law Accreditation is a recognised quality standard for practitioners providing advice under a legal aid contract.
The accreditation covers all immigration work that can be done under a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract and it can be used as a quality mark for privately funded work.
To apply for the accreditation, you must be one of the following:
- solicitor or a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives who holds a practising certificate (normally free of conditions)
- barrister in independent practice
- non-solicitor employed in a practice or an organisation that is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or the Solicitors Regulation Authority
How to apply
There are several stages to the accreditation:
- trainee casework assistant – accreditation members can practice at this probationary stage for nine months before becoming accredited as a casework assistant
- casework assistant – this interim accreditation is for applicants who do not feel ready to take the senior caseworker exam
- senior caseworker – accreditation members must be fully accredited at this stage in order to be paid by the LAA for work under the Standard Civil Contract 2018
Senior caseworkers may also apply to be accredited as a supervising senior caseworker and as an advanced caseworker.
Membership levels and duties
The accreditation has three stages designed for practitioners with different levels of experience of immigration and asylum practice.
Trainee casework assistant and casework assistant
Trainee casework assistants can remain at this stage for up to nine months.
Casework assistants can remain at this stage for up to one year.
Assistants who have passed the exam:
- can conduct tasks delegated by senior caseworkers from their own caseload, except in reserved matters
- cannot have conduct of cases or matters
Delegated tasks are supervised by, and remain the responsibility of, the senior caseworker who has conduct of the matter.
The LAA has confirmed that tasks in controlled legal representation (CLR) matters can be delegated to casework assistants, provided the matter or task is not reserved.
You must become accredited as a senior caseworker in order to be paid by the LAA for work conducted under an LAA contract.
Senior caseworkers should:
- have conduct of all matters
- delegate tasks to casework assistants and trainee casework assistants, but remain responsible for the progress and overall conduct of the matter
They cannot delegate:
- matters for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and other minors
- matters for those who lack capacity within the meaning of section 2 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
- matters for clients detained at an immigration removal centre
- exercise of delegated function to grant CLR, including when this is conducted at legal help level
Contract holders must maintain a maximum ratio of two full-time equivalent (FTE) casework assistants or trainee casework assistants to every FTE senior caseworker or supervising senior caseworker.
Supervising senior caseworker
Supervising senior caseworkers can have conduct of all matters.
They have responsibility for the:
- supervision of up to four supervisees (FTE)
- supervision and training of casework assistants and trainees, including allocating tasks appropriately in terms of capability, capacity and progress towards accreditation as a senior caseworker
- supervision and training of senior caseworkers
- allocation of matters to senior caseworkers, including to themselves
Supervising senior caseworkers must delegate tasks to casework assistants and trainee casework assistants.
Contract holders must maintain a maximum ratio of two FTE casework assistants or trainee casework assistants to every FTE senior caseworker or supervising senior caseworker.
How long your accreditation lasts for depends on your level of seniority.
You cannot be re-accredited at the trainee casework assistant and casework assistant levels.
Supervising senior caseworkers must be re-accredited as a senior caseworker every three years.
If you’re a senior caseworker, you can apply to be re-accredited up to three months before your accreditation expires.
The cost of the accreditation is made up of an application fee and a membership fee.
We’ll send you an invoice when we receive your application.
|Application||Application fee||Membership fee||Total (including VAT)|
|Trainee casework assistant||£0||£0||£0|
|Casework assistant, senior caseworker, supervising senior caseworker – initial application||£127||£228||£426|
|Senior caseworker, supervising senior caseworker – re-accreditation||£127||£228||£426|
|Add senior caseworker supervisor membership||£52||£0||£62.40|
|Other fees||Total fee (excluding VAT)||Total (including VAT)|
|Appeal against decision to refuse accreditation||£258||£309.60|
These lists are updated monthly.
Promoting your accreditation
We have logos, certificates, window stickers and more for you to promote your accreditation.
Call: 020 7320 5797
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
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