The Legal Services Board has given final approval for the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates ahead of its phased introduction in 2013/14.
The three frontline regulators behind the scheme – the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards – will now finalise the remaining operating aspects.
QASA, which applies to criminal advocacy, will be launched first in the Midlands and South-West circuits on 30 September running through to 7 March 2014.
A second phase covering the South Eastern circuit will run from 10 March to 13 June 2014.
The final phase – for the Northern, North Eastern, and Wales and Chester circuits will take place between 30 June and 3 October 2014.
A handbook providing an overview of the scheme is to be published shortly on the QASA website soon.
A spokesman for the three regulators said: “We are pleased that the scheme has had the final go-ahead from the LSB.
"QASA will work in the public interest by establishing a common set of standards for advocates across the three professions so that consumers can have confidence in the standard of advocacy they receive – regardless of their advocate's original route into the profession."
The QASA scheme has been subject to a number of delays – the BSB, SRA and IPS had originally intended to launch it in December 2011.
The Law Society and the Criminal Bar Association are among the organisations to have criticised its introduction.