SRA unveils how OFR will be delivered
The SRA has produced a paper setting out in more detail how it intends to deliver outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) in October 2011, including:
- how risk-based regulation will work in practice,
- what consumers, firms and regulated individuals can expect from the SRA under the new regulatory approach,and
- updated guidance is provided to help those who are looking to launch Alternative Business Structures.
Speaking about the plans, SRA Chief Executive Antony Townsend said:
“We remain firmly on target to become an outcomes-focused regulator by October next year. This paper sets out clearly how the SRA is approaching the task, and what this will mean for consumers and law firms.
“Consumers can expect us to uphold the standards of the profession and to provide more information to help them access and use legal services. Firms will benefit from greater flexibility, but will need to show they are delivering the required outcomes.
A key part of the new approach is about facing forwards, identifying risks before they happen, rather than looking backwards, finding and penalising firms who have breached prescriptive rules. The statement explains how we will assess and manage risk, so that we can target our resource at the areas of greatest need.
“I also encourage potential ABSs to contact our new, dedicated ABS team, which is developing the processes by which we will enable new kinds of law firms to obtain a licence from October 2011.”
Covered in the paper are:
- detail about risk-based regulation including how the SRA will risk assess firms and use that information to tailor our supervision,
- what the SRA is doing to ensure it is ready to be a successful outcomes-focused regulator,
- the SRA’s future approach to consumer education and support – helping consumers understand what they can expect from those whom the SRA regulate,
- information about each of the three key regulatory functions going forward, and how these will work together,
- analysis of feedback to the April consultation,and
- an indicative framework for cost-benefit analysis.
The paper, entitled Delivering Outcomes Focused Regulation can be found on the SRA web site at www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/freedom-in-practice/ofr/delivering-ofr-policy-statement.page