Should the Law Society give the MHT accreditation scheme back to the SRA?

The SRA took over all the accreditation schemes a few years ago, including the mental health panel, but in 2009 handed some back to the Law Society. The rationale was that the SRA should run the mandatory schemes (eg for Legal Aid police station advisors) as that involves regulation, whereas the Law Society should run the voluntary schemes as that involves representation.

This was before the mental health accreditation scheme became mandatory for Legal Aid tribunal representation in 2014. I’ve always wondered why the Law Society didn’t then give the mental health scheme back to the SRA. Does anybody know? Should it?

I never asked in public before in case we jumped out of the frying pan into the fire, but there have been enough problems recently to reduce those worries.

Might be a good question to put to the Law Society woman at the MHLA conference coming up.

I applied for me reaccreditation at the end of March - so far I only have the acknowledgement. Not so much of a worry because I can keep on working, but the waits for new applicants are appalling.

For a body that is supposed to represent our interests, they’re doing a really bad job.00

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Well something needs to be done because all of this is a bit silly. Mind you I’m not sure that the SRA would be much better: I was practicing in criminal law until 2018 and don’t remember passing an accreditation, although I must have, because they kept on extending it without any further input from me.

I think we’d be better off if neither of them were involved. Currently there’s a 2 day course to prepare you for accreditation. We could make it a 3 day course, with the third day possibly being a couple of months later, and the third day consists of a written exam, seminars and interviews. If you pass, you’re accredited.

That would clear the logjam and I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem finding course providers, given that the third day would be, in effect, a course.

My colleague applied in December and was offered a choice of dates in June. She replied with her available dates but she never received confirmation of a date, and all our emails have been ignored since and we can’t get through by phone. Does anyone have a suggestion on how we can progress things?