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 email@example.com 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
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 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
- Allion Partners Pty Ltd (trading as Allion Partners)
- AMCG Legal (trading as Andrew McGuiness)
- Arns & Associates
- Australasian Solicitors Pty Ltd (trading as Hudson Henning & Goodman; Wheatleys Legal and HHG Legal Group)
- 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
- MDK Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Mony De Kerloy)
- MDS Legal Pty Ltd (trading as MDS Legal)
- Mid West Lawyers
- Mossensons Pty Ltd (trading as Mossensons)
- Nigams Legal Pty Ltd
- Panetta McGrath Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Panetta McGrath Lawyers)
- Paterson & Dowding
- Perrella Legal Pty Ltd (trading as Perrella Legal Criminal Law)
- 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)
- Wayne Dawkins Lawyers Pty Ltd (trading as Wayne Dawkins Lawyers)
- Yarramundi Law
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.