Members applying for Specialist Accreditation are required to demonstrate thorough knowledge of substantive law, procedure and practice and also sufficient skill, proficiency and experience in specialist areas of family law. The assessment process is in place to ensure accredited members can confidently represent themselves as highly competent to the public, the legal profession, officers of CAFCASS and relevant public bodies such as the Legal Aid Agency and Local Authorities.
Who is it for?
The lawyer scheme is open to solicitor and legal executive members who hold a current Practising Certificate issued by The Law Society or by The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX).
Specialist Accreditation is a badge of excellence in practice. Any candidate who wishes to achieve accreditation or reaccreditation should have undertaken a substantial level of work as a family law practitioner. You can find out more about the criteria in the prospectus. [link]
Benefits of accreditation
Resolution Specialist Accreditation is a mark of excellence in practice, recognised by the public, fellow members, the judiciary and the Legal Aid Agency. It demonstrates to colleagues, your employer, future employers, and the public your outstanding level of skills and expertise.
Other benefits of Accreditation include:
- Resolution Specialist Accreditation marks you out to potential clients as a trusted expert in your field.
- Accredited Specialists are identified as such on Resolution's public-facing and member areas of the website enabling potential clients to search by specialism and location.
- A certificate and Accredited Specialist logo which helps you market yourself and promote your expertise.
- Gaining Specialist Accreditation is an ideal way to demonstrate your professional development, either through gaining CPD points or, in line with the new SRA approach to professional development, having a fully auditable method of demonstrating you have fulfilled your continuing competence requirements.
- Access to our Accredited Specialist leaflets free of charge, and assistance with publicity via local regional press officers and Resolution Communications team.
- Accreditation as a Resolution Specialist, or successful completion of the Core Assignment, meets the legal knowledge element of the Legal Aid Supervisor requirements (Standard Civil Contract 2013 Family specification para 7.161).
- A guaranteed minimum 15% enhancement for all cases paid by way of hourly rates. That is, cases that escape the fixed fee and work outside the scope of the fixed fee schemes (Standard Civil Contract 2013 Family specification para 7.23).
What does it involve?
To achieve Resolution accredited status, you must pass an assessment programme which is in two parts:
- The Core Assignment: an open-book assignment, taken over a weekend, which will assess your ability to fulfil the Core Competencies for specialist family lawyers (Appendix III).
- Portfolio Assignments: the creation of two portfolios of work to prove knowledge and experience (see the Portfolio Competencies in Appendix IV of the prospectus [link]) in two different topic areas. The portfolios can be created over approximately eight weeks.
You must pass both assignments to qualify as an Accredited Specialist. You can take the assignments in the same round or separately. If you take the assignments separately, you must take and pass the Core Assignment before progressing to the Portfolio Assignments.
How to apply
Details of how to apply can be found within the prospectus.
Dates for the first 2017 round are as follows:
Deadline to apply: 27 January
Portfolio papers sent out: 10 March
Core papers sent out: 5 May
Set Weekend: 6 & 7 May
Deadline to return all papers: 8 May
Not a member? Please visit our membership section for more information.
To register your interest, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.