Scotland awards paralegals with formal status

The Law Society of Scotland has launched the first-ever training framework for paralegals in Scotland in a bid to arm them with a “registered status”.

The new career path, called The Law Society of Scotland Registered Paralegal Scheme, has been set up by the institution in conjunction with the Scottish Paralegal Association (SPA) to give paralegals a nationally recognised status of ‘registered paralegal’ upon completion.

Deputy director of education and training policy at the law society Collette Paterson said: “The Society is committed to this scheme which seeks to define and credit the role of the paralegal in Scotland – for paralegals, for solicitors, and crucially for the public who need to have faith in the knowledge and skills of the people dealing with their legal transactions.”

The scheme is set to launch in spring 2010 and would-be registered paralegals will have to meet entry standards as well as abide by a code of conduct while taking various Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules.

The news comes after a spat broke out between the Institute of Paralegals (IoP) and the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (Nalp) last month (November) over who launched the first national training framework for England and Wales.

At the time, Nalp branded the IoP’s unveiling of its new Route to Qualification (RTQ) “a money spinning exercise”, claiming it was the first provider to set out a national framework more than two decades ago. Nalp claimed it was the only licensed regulator in the field.