The three biggest legal regulators, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Bar Standards Board and the Institute of Legal Executives Professional Standards are jointly to review legal services education and training in the regulated legal sector.
The review will examine the educational requirements placed upon individuals entering the sector, the requirements for continuing education and, the requirements placed upon those delivering approved education.
The core aims of the review are to ensure that the ethical standards and levels of competence of those delivering legal services in regulated law firms are sufficient to secure a high standard of service for clients, and to support the public interest and the rule of law. The review will build on and feed into the regulators' existing projects in this area.
Welcoming the review, SRA Chief Executive Antony Townsend said: "Ensuring that solicitors and others delivering legal services are properly educated and trained is just as important as making sure that firms and individuals conduct their businesses properly. The two areas of regulatory work are complementary and interdependant.
"Much of the recent focus of regulatory activity has been on reforming the structures for regulating legal businesses. This review will ensure that serious thought, based on thorough research and comprehensive consultation with all interested parties, is now given to education and training."
He added that the SRA will continue its work on work-based learning and its review of continuing professional development, with a view to incorporating findings as they emerge.
The regulators plan to appoint an external research team in February 2011. This review is expected to produce significant policy findings at various points before its conclusion.