The Solicitors Regulation Authority has published the Competence Statement that set outs the standards required for a solicitor to practise.
A key part of the regulator’s overhaul of education and training, the statement is included in changes made in Version 13 of the SRA Handbook.
Solicitors who wish to adopt the new approach on a voluntary basis can do so from this week (1 April). Every solicitor will be required to adopt the new approach from 1 November 2016.
A consultation on the assessment framework for the Competence Statement is to take place later in 2015. The SRA said it was already engaging with stakeholders on this matter.
Version 13 of the Handbook also includes changes affecting the Compensation Fund, professional indemnity insurance, sole practitioners, and entities owned or managed by Registered European Lawyers.
Paul Philip, SRA chief executive, said: "These changes are a significant step towards meeting our commitment to reform our regulatory model, encouraging growth in the sector, and ensuring our approach is proportionate.
"Our Competence Statement has been developed with extensive input from the public, solicitors and training providers. It will play a key role in ensuring consumers can continue to rely on the quality of legal services they receive from solicitors."
The Handbook can be accessed here.