Accreditation

Family Law Accreditation

Family Law Accreditation

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The Law Society offers specialist accreditation in the area of family law. The Accredited Family Law Specialist programme provides family law practitioners the opportunity to be formally recognised as having a high level of competency in their field. Accredited Specialists have the added benefit of being able to use the Family Accredited Specialist logo and branding on their marketing material to promote their high standing in the area.

To become an Accredited Family Law Specialist you must:

  • Be a member of the Law Society
  • Hold a current practising certificate
  • Have at least five years’ practice experience
  • Have had substantial involvement (at least 25%) in family law over the past three years
  • Possess three references in support of your application
  • Successfully complete the Accredited Family Law Specialist assessment programme

In order to continue to remain accredited, a practitioner shall meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current financial member of the Law Society
  • Hold a current practising certificate
  • Paying the prescribed annual fee as it falls due
  • Completing a minimum of 10 CPD points in approved accreditation activities each year
  • Participating in re-accreditation every three years

Family Law Accreditation Assessment Programme 2017

The accreditation assessment programme allows Law Society members to become accredited specialists in the area of family law.

The programme is run every two years, and applications to sit the exam close on 4.00pm Friday, 7 April 2017. Please note that candidates who do not meet the application eligibility criteria may still apply by requesting the Committee’s discretion by 4.00pm Friday, 24 March 2017.  Please download the documents below for further information on the assessment programme.

Downloads

 

Approved seminars and events

If you wish to submit a seminar for Committee approval please complete the Family Law Specialist Accreditation Request for Points form and send it with supporting documentation to the Committee Secretary.

If you have any further questions about the specialist accreditation programme please email accreditation@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Disclaimer: The Law Society does not warrant or guarantee the work undertaken by any firm or individual listed or provided and is not liable in relation to any aspect of legal services they may provide to you.

Mediation Accreditation

Mediation Accreditation

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The Law Society is a Recognised Mediation Accreditation Body (RMAB) under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS).

The NMAS identifies standards of practice and competencies for mediators in Australia. A person must be accredited to NMAS standards to qualify as a mediator under the Rules of the Supreme Court.

Become an accredited mediator

To become an accredited mediator you must provide an application to the Law Society containing:

  • evidence of good character
  • an undertaking to comply with ongoing practice standards and comply with any legislative and approval requirements
  • evidence of relevant insurance, statutory indemnity or employee status
  • evidence of membership of, or a relationship with, an organisation that has relevant ethical requirements, complaints and disciplinary processes as well as ongoing professional support (this may be the Law Society itself)
  • evidence of mediator competence by reference to education, training and experience

Download the NMAS Accreditation Checklist for the full requirements to be an accredited or re-accredited mediator.

Visit the Mediator Standards Board website for the full National Standards. The new Standards took effect from 1 July 2015. The Law Society has also produced Model Mediation Rules, and has established a Panel of Mediators and a Panel of Arbitrators.

National Mediator Accreditation System: Accreditation and Re-Accreditation Application Forms

For more information please call (08) 9324 8600 or email policy@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Disclaimer: The Law Society does not warrant or guarantee the work undertaken by any firm or individual listed or provided and is not liable in relation to any aspect of legal services they may provide to you.

Quality Practice Standard (QPS)

Quality Practice Standard (QPS)

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NOTE: The Law Society is currently undertaking a review of the Quality Practice Standard (QPS) programme and until the review is competed and considered by the Council no new QPS applications are currently being processed.

The Quality Practice Standard (QPS) recognises firms that have developed and adhere to documented internal processes designed to improve client satisfaction and avoid wastage.

Quality Practice Standard law firms are audited each year to ensure they comply with standards which go beyond the requirements set out by legislation. Firms complying with QPS can use the Approved Quality Practice logo on their letterheads and promotional material.

QPS approved legal practices are entitled to a 7% discount for the first year on professional indemnity insurance premiums, and 5% discount thereafter.

To register your firm for QPS, please complete a registration form.

The Law Society has completed its current series of QPS workshops. To express your interest in upcoming QPS training or to receive further information, please contact the QPS Coordinator at qps@lawsocietywa.asn.au or call (08) 9324 8600.

QPS Accreditation

The Standard is divided into five areas:

Procedures Manual
Each practice is required to have a manual setting out procedures specified by the Standard.

Taking Instructions
The practice must ensure that it has appropriate expertise to handle a particular matter, and must ensure it effectively deals with any conflict of interest. The practice must confirm the basis upon which instructions are accepted, and costs are incurred, and identify and focus on clients’  expectations generally.

Handling the Matter
The practice shall have procedures for activity recording, file management and review, the recording of key dates and setting authority levels for personnel. In addition, provision must be made for progress reporting, the handling of subsequent instructions and/or variations to instructions and costs, changes in personnel and billing.

Finishing the Matter
The practice must have procedures for reporting to the client and accounting for money, property, documents, files and security and confidentiality issues.

Other Procedures
The practice must establish appropriate procedures for induction of personnel and training, access to reference materials and procedures for client redress.

Past Amendments to the Standard

On 2 July 2002 the Council of the Law Society adopted several changes to the Quality Practice Standard. These polish its operation in key areas such as costs and trust funds. The amendments also introduce new provisions for accredited practices in the areas of privacy and technology. The amendments will be required to be observed by firms seeking accreditation or further accreditation after 1 January 2003.

On 3 July 2007 the Council of the Law Society adopted amendments to the QPS Rule 5, Logo and Advertising, creating clauses 5.3 – 5.6.

On 31 January 2012 the Council of the Law Society adopted amendments to the QPS Standard; QPS Rules and the adoption of some terms of reference to define the role of the QPS Committee. These changes to the Standard will apply on and from the first audit in 2013.

A training programme is offered to assist practices with understanding and implementing the Standard. The programme is comprehensive, affordable and readily accessible to all practices and practitioners throughout Australia. Training is conducted at regular seminars organised by the Law Society or can also be delivered in-house.

The training programme is offered in two workshop stages:

Stage One - Introduction

The first stage is a compulsory two hour introductory workshop in a group forum. It features:

  • an overview of the elements of the Standard and guidelines to implementation
  • information on how to develop and document procedures
  • information on further training options
  • details of other forms of assistance, such as the use of consultants
  • an outline of the auditing process

Stage Two - A detailed understanding of the elements of the Standard

The second stage is optional training in a group forum and comprises of a more detailed examination of the Standard. It features:

  • further assistance in the development of documented procedures
  • suggested ways to introduce new procedures into the practice
  • skills which enable internal assessment of the practice’s readiness for the certification audit

Alternatively, QPS in-house workshops can be arranged for time suitable for your firm and QPS Trainer.

CPD Points

CPD points apply for participants who attend QPS in-house training:

  • 2.5 points (Competency 1, Practice Management)
  • 2 points (Competency 3, Ethics & Professional Responsibility)

Practices seeking certification will undergo an independent assessment. This will be in two parts:

  1. A ‘desktop’ audit will verify that documented procedures are sufficient to meet the Standard. This means, quite simply, that firms will submit their documented procedures to the auditor, who will check that they address all requirements of the Standard.
  2. An ‘on-site’ audit will follow to ensure that ‘you do what you say you do’.

The audit process has been designed to be a positive experience and, if any weaknesses or gaps are identified, the auditor will highlight these in a constructive manner and, if necessary, return at a later date to check that corrections and improvements have been made. Continuation audits will also be conducted on a regular basis to guard against complacency and to confirm that the practice maintains its ‘approved’ status.

Firms that have already achieved AS/ISO 9001 accreditation and wish to seek QPS certification will not be required to attend further training, but must complete a desktop audit before certification will be granted.

Schedule of costs to obtain QPS Accreditation for 2016/17

Registration Fees

  • 1-6 professional personnel: $75
  • 7-15 professional personnel: $150
  • 16-25 professional personnel: $230
  • 26+ professional personnel: $290

Training

  • QPS Accreditation workshops (one and two)
    • First two participants per workshop: $230 each
    • From third additional participant per workshop: $160 each
  • In-house training
    • Held in one session – $1,740
    • Held in two sessions – $1,920

Audit

  • 1-6 professional personnel
    • Documentation review: $455
    • Compliance audit: $670
    • Annual audit: $645
    • Audit length: ½ day
  • 7-15 professional personnel
    • Documentation review: $530
    • Compliance audit: $1,335
    • Annual audit: $1,290
    • Audit length: 1 day
  • 16-25 professional personnel
    • Documentation review: $670
    • Compliance audit: $2,010
    • Annual audit: $1,920
    • Audit length: 1½ days
  • 26+ professional personnel
    • Documentation review: $745
    • Compliance audit: $2,680
    • Annual audit: $2,565
    • Audit length: 2 days

Other Costs

  • Yearly Desktop Review for QPS Firms who also have ISO 9001: $450
  • Variation Audit for QPS firms who change their composition: $430
  • Re-issuing new QPS certificate for firms who change their composition and/or name: $80

Annual Fees

Applicable Annual Fee for QPS accredited firms where less than 50% of the lawyers at the practice are Law Society members

  • 1-6 professional personnel: $640
  • 7-15 professional personnel: $960
  • 16-25 professional personnel: $1,280
  • 26+ professional personnel: $1,600
  • Allion Partners Pty Ltd (trading as Allion Partners)
  • AMCG Legal
  • Arns & Associates
  • Avon Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Avon Legal)
  • BBV Legal Ltd as trustee for the BBV Legal Trust (trading as Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky)
  • Chalmers Legal Studio Pty Ltd
  • CM Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Cullen Macleod)
  • Culshaw Miller Legal Group Pty Ltd (trading as Culshaw Miller Lawyers)
  • DS Family Law Pty Ltd (trading as DS Family Law)
  • Dwyers Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Dwyer Durack)
  • Family Legal Services Pty Ltd (trading as Klimek & Wijay Family Lawyers)
  • HKT Legal Pty Ltd (trading as HKT Legal)
  • Haynes Robinson Pty Ltd as trustee for the Law Unit Trust (trading as Haynes Robinson)
  • Hickslaw Pty Ltd (trading as Lawfield Legal Practice)
  • Holden Barlow Pty Ltd (trading as Holden Barlow)
  • Integra Legal Pty Ltd
  • Jackson McDonald
  • Kott Gunning
  • KWC Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Kim Wilson & Co)
  • Lavan Legal
  • Leach Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Leach Legal)
  • Legal Aid Western Australia
  • Lynn & Brown Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Lynn & Brown Lawyers)
  • Main Legal Studio Pty Ltd
  • McLeods
  • MDK Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Mony De Kerloy)
  • MDS Legal Pty Ltd (trading as MDS Legal)
  • Mid West Lawyers
  • MM Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Mendelawitz Morton)
  • Nigams Legal Pty Ltd
  • Panetta McGrath Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Panetta McGrath Lawyers)
  • Paterson & Dowding
  • The Pier Group Pty Ltd (trading as CS Legal)
  • Robinson St Pty Ltd (trading as Pragma Legal)
  • Simon Walters Solicitors
  • Solomon Brothers
  • Squire Patton Boggs (AU)
  • SRB Legal
  • Tan & Tan Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Tan & Tan Lawyers)
  • Tottle Partners
  • Vogt Graham Legal Pty Ltd Lawyers (trading as Vogt Graham Lawyers)
  • Australasian Solicitors Pty Ltd (trading as Hudson Henning & Goodman; Wheatleys Legal and HHG Legal Group)
  • Wayne Dawkins Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Wayne Dawkins Lawyers)
  • WHL Legal Pty Ltd

Disclaimer: The Law Society does not warrant or guarantee the work undertaken by any firm or individual listed or provided and is not liable in relation to any aspect of legal services they may provide to you.