Legal services standards get the go-ahead

Occupational standards governing legal services have been ratified by Skills for Justice.

The new standards set out the definitions of competent performance and define the knowledge and skills needed for someone to carry out legal support tasks adequately and to a nationally agreed standard. The National Occupational Standards (NOS) will guide the framework for legal apprentices, paralegals and chartered legal executives.

It covers areas within the sector such as casework, case preparation, specialist legal advice, drafting documents, legal research, acting on behalf of clients and resource management as well as relationship building and professional development.

Alan Woods, chief executive of Skills for Justice, the charitable organisation which helps the profession with workforce needs, said: “We have worked closely with our employers in legal services and these NOS underpin every fundable, national legal apprenticeship. They ensure quality across the sector and, as they underpin the new Higher Apprenticeship framework, this further ensures that legal employers have a trusted and valid option to take advantage of the predicted increase in paralegals… over the next five years.”

The consultation launched during the summer. (6 July)