The SRA has announced that the Practising Certificate Renewals Exercise (PCRE) 2012 will commence on Thursday, 1 November, with a closing date of Friday, 14 December.
On 25 September, they will be emailing all organisational contacts and authorised signatories to provide detailed guidance on how to prepare for the renewals exercise.
Following last year’s difficulties, the SRA is confident that this year things will run smoothly. However, if any firm does find itself with problems, please let BLS know at firstname.lastname@example.org and BLS will make representations.
In further SRA news, the SRA is moving to its new headquarters will be The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 lRN and our Redditch and Leamington Spa offices will close on 1 October.
The Contact Centre and the Professional Ethics helpline will be closed from 12.00, 28 September until 14.00, 1 October as part of the move.
During the closure any queries should be emailed to email@example.com
Finally, the SRA has announced that it will make “surprise” visits to 100 firms to audit their equality and diversity policies. This is part of the SRA’s data collection in relation to ethnicity, age, disabilities and caring responsibilities. Data will also be collected on sexual orientation, religion or belief, and gender reassignment.
The drive to collect diversity data arises from a statutory requirement, laid down by the Legal Services Board in August 2011, that all law firms and chambers should publish statistical information on the diversity profile of their staff.
So far approximately 70% of firms have returned questionnaires to the SRA.