SRA plans to scrap limit on trainee intakes

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is proposing to abolish the limit on the number of trainees that firms can take on, in a bid to increase trainee numbers.

The regulator has outlined its proposal in a consultation paper for Training for Tomorrow, a policy statement published in October in which the SRA outlined its plans for “radical” reform, including proposals to introduce alternate routes to qualification in 2017/18.

Its suggestion to terminate the cap on the number of trainees a firm can take on, which currently stands at twice the number of partners and senior solicitors at a firm, is aimed to both encourage firms to recruit more trainees and to recognise that the existing 2:1 ratio does not necessarily ensure adequate and good quality supervision.

The SRA explained: “There is no data to support the assumption that the quality of training and supervision is assured by specifying minimum numbers and it may unjustifiably restrict the number of training places available.

“Our regulations should reflect our focus on the quality of the training, not artificial, arbitrary measures.”