Accreditation

2016/17 Annual Report

The Accreditation Committee advises the Law Society’s Council on the rules and regulations that govern the granting of accreditation by the Law Society. In a secondary capacity the Committee acts as the advisory board for family law accreditation. Accredited family law specialists must be members of the Law Society, and there are currently 41 family law specialists accredited in Western Australia.

The Committee’s achievements in 2016/17 include:

  • assessment of professional development activities submitted by accredited specialists, for which professional development points may be allocated;
  • delivery of the biennial specialist accreditation assessment programme, this being a year in which the accreditation assessment has commenced;
  • re-accreditation and auditing of accredited specialists; and
  • the mutual recognition of interstate accredited specialists, in accordance with the national programme.

The current accreditation assessment programme commenced in April 2017 with detailed information sessions for candidates. 12 candidates are participating this year, a 33% increase on the previous programme. That number reflects the esteem in which specialist accreditation is held. Specialist accreditation provides formal recognition of a legal practitioner’s high degree of technical competency in the area of family law. The privilege of formally applying the accredited family law specialist designation, and distinctive logo, is reserved exclusively for accredited specialists. Appointment as a specialist is a significant milestone in the career of a family law practitioner, and the Committee congratulates those admitted as candidates and wishes them well for the assessment tasks ahead.

The Law Society also actively participates in the Family Law Specialist Accreditation National Steering Committee. This ensures that all states and territories share information to facilitate a consistent approach to assessment and credentialing. In an assessment year, the National Steering Committee works to promote consistency and uniformity of approach. That has included the Committee working with representatives of the other law societies and institutes to review and settle the assessment tasks and marking guides for assessment.

Western Australia is the only state in which accredited practitioners are required to submit requests to the Committee for the approval and allocation of professional development points. This task represents a significant commitment of time for the Committee.

For more information about this committee please email accreditation@lawsocietywa.asn.au