Clinical Negligence Accreditation: Application

Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Application form guidance notes - Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Contents
Overall guidance ............................................................................................................................. 3
Glossary of terms ........................................................................................................................... 4
About the accreditation .................................................................................................................. 5
Eligibility to apply ..............................................................................................................................................5
Expected standards of competence .................................................................................................................5
Application form guidance ............................................................................................................. 6
Section 1 - General information ..................................................................................................... 6
A - Your details .................................................................................................................................................6
B - Organisation information .............................................................................................................................6
C - Suitability for accreditation ..........................................................................................................................7
Section 2 - Initial assessment ........................................................................................................ 8
E - Current caseload .........................................................................................................................................8
F - Supervision ..................................................................................................................................................8
Section 3 - Professional development statement ......................................................................... 8
Declarations .................................................................................................................................... 9
Application portfolio template - case reports and case handling ............................................... 9
Appeals............................................................................................................................................ 9
© The Law Society 2014
Version: 13 April 2016
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Overall guidance
Thank you for applying to the Law Society's Clinical Negligence Accreditation.
1.
These guidance notes are to assist you in applying for initial membership of the clinical negligence
accreditation. The application form includes basic instructions to help you complete the form correctly.
2.
Emboldened words (apart from document headings and advisory notes) are defined in the glossary of
terms which follows.
3.
The application form is designed to be completed electronically in Microsoft Word (1997 and later). Please
answer all relevant questions and use the 'tab' key to progress through the form. Questions require a
combination of typed answers, choosing an option from a drop-down menu or check box confirmation.
You are also required to provide separate supporting documentation, which must be submitted along with
your completed application form.
4.
References to statutes and regulations include any subsequent statute, legislation or regulation directly
or indirectly amending, consolidating, extending, replacing or re-enacting that statute or regulation and to
all orders, directions and notices made or served under them.
If any development after submission of this form would affect the answers given on this form (whether in
relation to complaints, claims, regulatory matters, changes to relevant persons or otherwise), you must notify
the accreditation office as soon as possible and, in any event, within 14 days of the change or the decision
to make the change, whichever is the earlier.
Questions?
We cannot process your application if any relevant information or documentation is missing from your application
form. If you are unable to resolve your query using information provided in the scheme guidance notes below,
please contact us:
Tel: 020 7320 5797
© The Law Society 2014
Email: [email protected]
Version: 13 April 2016
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Glossary of terms
Term
Definition
Accreditation office
The Law Society's accreditation office, which receives and processes
accreditation applications.
A structured approach to learning to help ensure continued competence in
law, practice and procedure. For the purpose of accreditation, CPD should
involve structured events or activities.
Continuing professional
development (CPD)
Once accredited, all members of the scheme will be required to ensure
that they complete at least 30 CPD hours of training related to clinical
negligence, with not less than 15 hours dedicated to medical issues, in the
three years prior to application.
FILEx
Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives
Glossary of terms
The glossary contained within these guidance notes.
Limited Liability Partnership
(LLP)
A recognised body within the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011.
Practice
Any law firm regulated by the SRA, including sole practitioners,
partnerships, companies and LLPs.
Scheme design
The document setting out the framework of the scheme including its
objectives, benefits and the eligibility criteria.
Sole practitioners
A recognised sole practitioner pursuant to the SRA Practising Regulations
2011 until 31/3/2012 and thereafter the Authorisation Rules 2011.
SRA
Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The scheme
The Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation, a quality standard for
representation of clients as set out in the scheme design.
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
About the accreditation
The Clinical Negligence Accreditation covers all work undertaken by solicitors and suitably qualified Fellows of
the Institute of Legal Executives (FILEX) arising out of any act of negligence, breach of contract and/or
statutory duty as a result of which the victim has sustained injuries in the course of medical or dental care.
The scheme is designed for claimants. Lawyers who act solely for defendants in clinical negligence will have
no need to be on the scheme. If you act for both sides you will have to satisfy the Law Society that you can
conduct actions properly on behalf of patients. The scheme is for confirmed clinical negligence specialists only
- not simply for those who wish to carry out this work. The scheme was created and is required so that the
public can identify specialist practitioners in this field.
Practitioners who are not scheme members will remain free to undertake clinical negligence work but will not
be identified as specialists.
Eligibility to apply
You can apply if you have personally been conducting clinical negligence cases for claimants for at least 3
years, as without such experience it is unlikely that you will be able to demonstrate expertise as a clinical
negligence specialist. Solicitors and FILEx who hold a practising certificate, normally free of conditions, may
apply.
You will need to have completed at least 24 clinical negligence cases over the three years prior to the
application, and had at least six cases taken as far as ‘case management conference’ and 3 to ‘meetings of
experts’ in the three years prior to the application.
Memberships last for three years, after which members are required to apply for re-accreditation
Expected standards of competence
Achieving accreditation is based on two elements:
1. Provide evidence that you have the requisite skills and experience to competently run a clinical
negligence case from start to finish. Applicants will be expected to have reached a minimum standard of
experience before they can submit their application.
2. Meet fitness and propriety standards by passing vetting checks carried out by the accreditation office
(see section 1, part C - suitability for accreditation).
Once the competency standards and fitness and propriety checks are satisfied, the accreditation office will
grant membership to the scheme.
You may be asked to attend an interview at the discretion of our scheme assessors once your application has
been received. Further information as to the format of this interview and any preparation that you will need to
undertake, will be provided before your date and time are confirmed.
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Application form guidance
Section 1 - General information
All applicants should complete sections A and B. Please note that some questions (where indicated)
are only relevant for solicitor and other (non-solicitor) applicants.
A - Your details
Item
Guidance
2
Please provide the daytime telephone number for the practice or organisation at which you work. This
will be the telephone number we will use in the event that we need to contact you to discuss your
application.
3
Please provide the email address for the practice or organisation at which you work. This will be the
email address we will use in the event that we need to contact you to discuss your application.
4
To be completed by solicitor applicants only.
The SRA ID is the practice’s reference number which identifies the p ractice and appears on the
Law Society’s public register. Each branch office of the practice will have its own individual SRA ID.
The SRA ID being asked for here is the SRA ID for the main office.
5
To be completed by solicitor applicants only.
Please indicate whether you currently hold a practising certificate.
6
To be completed by solicitor applicants only.
Please indicate whether you have held an unconditional practising certificate. If your answer is 'no',
please provide further details.
7
To be completed by other (non-solicitor) applicants only.
Please indicate your job title from the list of available options. If your title is not in the list, please
select ‘Other’ and specify the title separately.
8
To be completed by other (non-solicitor) applicants only.
Where professional qualifications are held, please confirm the full name of the qualification held, along
with the professional body it was awarded by, your membership number and the date the qualification
was attained.
B - Organisation information
Item
9
Guidance
To be completed by solicitor applicants only.
Please provide the name of your practice including any current and former trading names.
10
To be completed by solicitor applicants only.
The ‘main office’ will be the office that you have listed with the SRA as the main address for your
practice.
The SRA ID is the practice’s reference number which identifies the practice and appears on the
Law Society’s public register. Each branch office of the practice will have its own individual SRA ID.
The SRA ID being asked for here is the SRA ID for the main office.
11
To be completed by other (non-solicitor) applicants only.
Please provide the full registered name of your organisation, including a trading name if appropriate.
12
To be completed by other (non-solicitor) applicants only.
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes
Item
Guidance
Please provide the full postal address for your organisation. This will be the address that we use to send
you any post communications in connection with your application.
C - Suitability for accreditation
Item
Guidance
13 - 16
Please ensure that you provide full details of any issues that may affect your application and the reputation
of the Clinical Negligence Scheme. Kindly note this information will be cross checked against information
we hold.
17
Please provide details of any other accreditations you hold personally, for example AvMA, Headway, APIL.
Please add the year of initial membership of the scheme, if known, and the level of accreditation achieved if
applicable. There are spaces for the details of five memberships to be added, if you are a member of more
than five alternative schemes please provide the details of the five most relevant to clinical negligence work.
You must demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person to remain a member of the accreditation. The
accreditation office reserves the right to investigate any matter which may call into question the fitness and
propriety of any scheme member to act as such, and to take whatever action is considered appropriate at
whatever stage of the investigation.
The accreditation office will examine whether your past record reveals that you have committed any
offences involving fraud or other dishonesty or violence. It will also check for any practice in which you may
have engaged in the course of any business or employment which do not conform with the best standards of
professional conduct. Evidence showing delays in dealing with cases, failure to answer correspondence and
failures or delays in responding to enquiries from regulatory and revenue authorities will raise doubts as to
your competence to remain an accredited member.
The assessment of fitness is not a mechanical exercise whereby compliance with a number of specific
requirements ensures the grant of an authorisation. It is rather a judgement based on the review of your whole
record and individual circumstances.
If the accreditation office, with due regard to the rules of procedural fairness, determines that you have
ceased to be a fit and proper person to continue to be a member of the scheme, or that the fitness or propriety
to act as such has been compromised, it may refuse, revoke or suspend the membership or attach conditions
to it. Members affected by such a decision have a right to request a review in accordance with the appeal
procedures.
Where a complaint or other matter which may affect your suitability to remain accredited is considered to be of
sufficient seriousness, your membership may be suspended pending the completion of the investigation and
any proceedings as may arise.
For all applications, the accreditation office carries out vetting checks against its database and, if considered
necessary, will request vetting checks from other professional and regulatory bodies.
When applying for accreditation, you must declare any matters that may affect your fitness and propriety to
conduct clinical negligence work; this will include, but is not limited to:

criminal convictions, cautions and pending charges or investigations
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes



disciplinary findings by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, SRA adjudicator or any other regulatory body
complaints found or pending with the Legal Ombudsman or any other regulatory body
personal bankruptcy, voluntary arrangements and county court judgements.
If the accreditation office considers it necessary to obtain vetting checks from other bodies you will be
notified of which body is being approached and the reason.
Section 2 - Initial assessment
E - Current caseload
Item
18 - 24
25
Guidance
Please provide the requested detail regarding your current caseload using the drop-down options where
indicated.
Please provide a list of the matters in your current caseload, showing the information requested. You can
submit this information either by providing your own report (e.g. case management system report or Excel
spreadsheet) or alternatively you can use the Excel template provided on our website. This can be
downloaded from the 'How To Apply' page at http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/clinical-negligence
26 - 27
Please provide the requested detail regarding your current caseload using the free format boxes where
indicated.
28
You can use this free format box to outline any details regarding your experience in clinical negligence to
date that have not been covered by your answers in the application form so far. Maximum word limit 500
words.
F - Supervision
29 - 33
Please provide the requested detail regarding your current supervisory responsibilities using the free
format boxes where indicated. Where a question does not apply, please indicate this in the response box.
Section 3 - Professional development statement
You must have undertaken at least 30 hours’ training related to clinical negligence, with not less than 15 hours
dedicated to medical issues, in the three years prior to your application.
Members of the scheme will be expected to attend at least 10 hours per year of training courses or other
continuing professional development (CPD) events to update your knowledge of clinical negligence litigation
and practice.
Your CPD training record covering the previous three years must be included when you eventually apply for
re-accreditation.
You should make clear:

All CPD training events attended;
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Clinical Negligence Accreditation
Application form guidance notes



Any training events at which you have presented any lectures or talks relevant to clinical negligence;
Those training events containing a medical element;
Those training events which you identify as furthering your knowledge of clinical negligence practice,
law and procedure.
Declarations
The scheme’s reputation rests on the professional integrity of its members. By submitting an accreditation
application you agree to accept the terms and conditions outlined in the general application criteria and
guidance for individual accreditations.
Applicants must complete a declaration to confirm that:




the information provided by is accurate and true
they understand and agree to the terms and conditions of membership
the applicant has at least three years' experience in practising clinical negligence prior to application
the applicant understands how the information provided by them will be used by the Law Society
A partner or senior manager must complete a declaration to confirm that the information provided in the
application is correct to the best of their knowledge.
Application portfolio template - case reports and case handling
Case reports
We also ask for the completion of three case reports. These must be taken from cases you have personally
conducted and concluded in the last three years. There is a case report form within this template document
which you should use to supply this information.
You should select cases which you believe best demonstrate your specialist skills as a clinical negligence
practitioner. You are free to select those cases, but the 'Recording competencies evidenced' section shows
the key competencies expected of an accredited clinical negligence practitioner, which may guide your choice.
Please note, we do not expect every competency box to be evidenced in all or any of your submissions - this
list is intended as guide to assist you in preparing your case reports and the assessor in reviewing your
application.
Applicants who have a disability and find it difficult to complete the application, case reports or assessment
process should contact the Law Society for assistance. You can help us by informing us of what reasonable
adjustments you need to enable you to apply to the scheme and participate in the assessment process as
equally as other individuals.
Appeals
Any applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision made by the scheme's assessors on an application for
accreditation or re-accreditation is entitled to appeal to the Law Society against a refusal of accreditation or a
conditional recommendation for accreditation.
Appeals will be determined by the Scheme’s chief assessor on the basis of the application form, the
assessment documentation and any written representations made by the appellant. Please refer to our
general application criteria and guidance for further information on our appeals process.
© The Law Society 2014
Version: 13 April 2016
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