Report on findings from the Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme for Criminal Legal Assistance for 2019 to 2023

We have now published the latest report on the findings from the Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme.

The report sets out the statistics, issues, and findings from the Criminal Quality Assurance scheme for the four-year period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023.

This is a longer period than the previous annual reports we have published, to take account of the peer reviews being temporarily halted for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the pandemic the decision was taken to suspend peer reviews in March 2020.

The reviews restarted in April 2022. There were a few virtual meetings of the Criminal QA Committee during 2020 and 2021 to consider the outstanding reviews that were completed by the peer reviewers.

It is encouraging to note that out of the 163 routine reviews carried out from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023, 95% were passed.

A total of 64% of the reviews were marked as Competent, while 18% were rated as Very Good. Only 3% of the reviews were failed.

As well as covering the results of the peer reviews carried out in this four-year period, the report also includes details of how the scheme was affected by the pandemic, and the impact on the signing of the legal aid declarations.

The report also summarises the main areas of good practice identified in the reviews carried out, as well as the areas of where improvements were needed.

A selection of anonymised quotes from the peer reviews which highlight these findings is also included at Appendices 1 and 2.

Read the full Criminal QA report

More information

Please contact Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance on

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