Part-time peer reviewers wanted - Children’s Quality Assurance Scheme


Monday, Jul 25, 2016

We are looking to recruit solicitors to our panel of part-time peer reviewers. Panel members conduct periodic reviews of children’s legal assistance case files to ensure that they comply with the guidelines and criteria agreed between us and the Law Society of Scotland.

Solicitors interesting in joining the panel must be registered for Children’s legal assistance with experience in the Children’s Hearing System and a good knowledge and understanding of the associated children’s legal assistance regime.

The Children’s Quality Assurance Scheme

The Children’s Quality Assurance Scheme is administered by SLAB under Part IVA of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 and is part of our overall compliance regime. 

The process is overseen by SLAB’s Children’s Quality Assurance Committee, which comprises three members appointed by us, three members appointed by the Law Society of Scotland, and three independent or lay members appointed in consultation with the Society.

All children’s solicitors who have registered with SLAB to provide children’s legal assistance are subject to peer review. This peer review consists of an examination of a range of solicitor’s files by one or more of a panel of peer reviewers with relevant experience and who are currently practising and registered children’s solicitors.

The purpose of the review is to examine the quality of the work carried out on behalf of the client, based on evidence contained within the files. 

Files are assessed against set peer review criteria for legal advice and assistance, including assistance by way of representation (ABWOR) cases, sheriff court cases, and cases involving appeals before the  Sheriff Principal and Court of Session. 

The criteria cover issues such as:

  • initial contact with the client
  • explaining to the client any legal remedies they may have and, if legal assistance is being sought, what legal assistance is available to them
  • taking the client’s instructions forward timeously
  • preparing for children’s hearings and related court hearings
  • communicating the outcome of the hearing to the client and advising them of any options they have and whether legal assistance is available in that respect

The criteria were developed in consultation with the Law Society of Scotland, and with the reviewers themselves.

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers will be contracted on a consultancy basis, and will have to be able to provide up to two days a month to carry out these reviews.  They will have to attend compulsory training, which will be provided before conducting any reviews.  The contract will be for a 3-year fixed period.

Payment will be on a daily rate (£385 excluding VAT). Travel and subsistence expenses will also be paid.

Applying

The closing date for applying is Sunday 4 September 2016 at midnight.

Letters of interest and a detailed CV should be emailed to:

Ann Forbes-Partington,
Assistant Manager
Civil & Children’s Legal Assistance
E: forbesan@slab.org.uk

Ann can also be contacted by telephone on 0131 240 2072 if you have any questions about these positions.


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