Solicitors do not need to demonstrate continuing competence until they qualify. However, the Competence Gateway is a great platform to record your pre-qualification training and allows you to instil good practice by reflecting on your learning needs and identifying ways in which you can address these. This will stand you in good stead for life post-qualification.
Yes, absolutely! The Competence Gateway is designed to be your complete record of activities that you have undertaken to ensure your continuing competence. You can upload files (including PDFs, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, with a maximum file size of 2MB) and your commentary explaining what you gained from the activity and where you have identified further training needs.
Your record may be accessed by your firm’s training partner/L&D manager but it will not be available to third parties.
The SRA is keen to ensure that solicitors reflect on their learning and development needs on a regular basis so that it becomes a part of their day to day practice. The amount of learning and development that you need to do to ensure your continuing competence will vary according to the stage of your career, the nature of the work you are undertaking and any additional roles or responsibilities that you may have. As a general rule, we would suggest that you log into your record on at least a monthly basis or whenever you have identified a training need or undertaken some activity that could count towards demonstrating your continuing competence.
The SRA recommends that solicitors keep a record of their continuing competence for at least six years. You can export your training record from the Gateway if you wish to keep a separate copy or provide evidence, for example for an appraisal.
Access to and use of the Competence Gateway is completely free for Central Law Training members and you will find some free content on the site. Further comprehensive content and training events are available at various prices and discounts.
Registered users can access free content through the Gateway that will help you understand the requirements and opportunities of the new regime and some of the concepts it introduces. The SRA has also published an online toolkit which can be accessed at www.sra.org.uk/toolkit
The competence statement is available on the SRA website at www.sra.org.uk/competence.