Students enrolling on a legal practice course (LPC) next September will no longer have to pay the Solicitors Regulation Authority an £80 registration fee – a move which could cost the SRA £680,000 per year.
The proposal to end the formal registration process, due for to be approved tomorrow, follows the SRA's red-tape cutting initiative announced earlier this year. It appears in the SRA’s Training for Tomorrow: Regulations Review consultation, part of an immediate review into regulatory requirements for education and training.
The regulator says that only 3% of the 9,000 students it enrols each year require an assessment of suitability and that 'a more targeted, proportionate and efficient way of identifying character and suitability issues’ should replace the current process.
If approved, formal registration will be replaced by a requirement for students to notify the regulator that the period of training has commenced and when it is expected to conclude.
Loss in income from registration fees would be offset by administrative savings, the SRA said.
The SRA is not at this stage changing the requirements to complete an academic course and an LPC. Proposals to overhaul this route will not come into force until 2017/2018 at the earliest, the regulator said in its formal response to the Legal Education and Training Review last month.
According to the Chambers Student Guide, the average cost of an LPC for September 2014 is around £11,000.