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Changes to the Conveyancing Quality Scheme

30 November 2018

CQS is changing

The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is changing to ensure we continue to champion the role of solicitors and their position at the heart of conveyancing.

We have been reviewing CQS throughout 2018 using research we conducted with our accredited members and stakeholders to the accreditation.

Following feedback from you and our ongoing discussions with lenders, we will soon be launching an improved CQS that will better support you by driving continuous improvement in best practice, client service and practice management.

We hope to continue to build a trusted CQS community through this re-launch.

We are fully committed to supporting and promoting our CQS members, which is why we are investing in CQS now and in the future. As part of that commitment, the cost of the changes will be funded by the Law Society and will not impact on current accreditation fees.

What the changes mean in practice

Three core values will sit at the heart of CQS. These values embody the outcomes that we expect to be demonstrably achieved by each CQS accredited firm and will form the basis of our CQS assessments.

The three core values are:

  1. members proactively and effectively manage risk and demonstrate behaviours that support and promote the integrity of CQS and the community
  2. members demonstrate best practice and excellence in client care through robust practice management of residential conveyancing
  3. members demonstrate thorough knowledge and skill in handling conveyancing transactions

We will be introducing a small number of on-site visits each year and increasing the number of desk-based assessments to ensure you are equipped and able to achieve the values of CQS.

We will help to support you in embedding a culture of continuous improvement by issuing corrective action reports after on-site visits. We will also be sharing best practice tips with the wider CQS community.

We are currently in the process of appointing an independent assessment body to carry out the on-site visits. We will provide more information on the chosen provider once the appointment has been made.

When will the changes take effect?

We are in the process of reviewing the current accreditation and re-accreditation assessments, along with the Core Practice Management Standards and Scheme Rules.

We will start to publish the changes from the New Year and will notify accredited members once this new information is available.

What action do CQS members need to take?

You do not have to take any action at present. Once we have published the new Core Practice Management Standards and Scheme Rules, we will give all CQS organisations time to make any ncecessary changes to processes and procedures to prepare for assessments against the three core values.

Building the CQS community

To continue building the CQS community, we will start sharing best practice with the CQS accredited membership and will keep you updated on the work we are doing.

We will also hold regional roadshows to support you in developing your skills, learning about changes in the residential conveyancing sector and networking with other CQS members.

We will start work on raising the profile of CQS to consumers and other key stakeholders in the residential conveyancing market to ensure current and prospective clients understand and value the CQS membership.

Finally, we will continue our engagement with lenders to ensure we are continually representing your views and interests.