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.
To express your interest in a September QPS training workshop or to receive further information, please complete the Expression of Interest form HERE or contact the QPS Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (08) 9324 8600.
The Standard is divided into five areas:
Each practice is required to have a manual setting out procedures specified by the Standard.
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.
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
Stage Two - A detailed understanding of the elements of the Standard
Date to be announced
Completed the QPS Accreditation Workshop 1? This elective workshop is for legal practices on the pathway towards QPS accreditation. It builds on the key learning gained in the first workshop, but offers you and your team further support and coaching.
1 CPD Point Competency 1 Practice Management
1 CPD point Competency 3 Ethics and Professional Responsibility
As per current registration flyer – QPS Accredited Workshop Registration Form
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:
- 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.
- 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 2017/18
- 1-6 professional personnel: $75
- 7-15 professional personnel: $150
- 16-25 professional personnel: $230
- 26+ professional personnel: $290
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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.