A response from the IOP

Chief Executives Response to the PPR Conference

The PPR Conference last week was a resounding success and we would like to thank all IoP members who attended, providing as always, their enthusiasm and support for the sector.

The Announcement by the PPR of the first National Paralegal Awards is an amazing way to promote and celebrate all Paralegals across England and Wales and is open to those who are or aren’t members of the PPR. We at the IoP are very excited by this.

The IoP will be sponsoring one of the categories so make sure you all apply- you simply fill in the application form, provide some evidence of your success and who knows you just might win! Entries open from 1st November.

The conference this year had fabulous speakers including Stephen Ward from the Clerksroom who introduced us to Billy Bot. Who would have thought that a Bot could make coffee? Truly inspiring.

The IoP is proud to announce it will be launching IoP Law School at the end of the year and already have 50 people who have registered their interest. Paralegal training and qualifications need to be designed to meet the needs of the Modern Lawyer, and as has been the trend over the last three years, qualifications need to be addressing how to practice law and not focus on how to write essays about it, or make learners do endless units of law that will not be used in practice. Ofqual qualifications are not in our opinion the preferred regulator for professional bodies, especially those who have Institute status.

Carmen on the IoP stand reported that we have received more enquiries about joining the IoP then ever which will keep us busy. Paralegals at the conference who were not members of the PPR are flocking to the IoP and we welcome them all.

The IoP was asked by two separate delegates whether the IoP would be offering Licenses or its own Practising Certificates. Our response was a resounding NO! The IoP is a professional membership body NOT a requlator. The IoP is proud to be a recognised body of the PPR, we signed up for regulation by the overarching regulator for Paralegals. The PPR is, as we saw once again at the conference, supported in its aims by the Legal Ombudsman, Office of Legal Complaints and the Consumer Panel of the LSB. The IoP opposes any kind of Licence to practice as it leads consumers to believe that those who hold one is allowed to do something which they would otherwise be prohibited to do. This is what the definition of ‘Licence’ means. This is not correct. A Licence from a representative professional body is a waste of money in our opinion as it does not offer independent regulation or real redress for consumers should things go wrong.

At the IoP we value our members and consult before we make decisions that will affect them. The Institute is its members and we will continue to support you by making the right decisions for your career.

Also, spurred on by the conference, the IoP will be organising networking events early next year.

If you haven’t signed up for our monthly newsletter then please do- you do not need to be a member of the IoP.

Rita Leat

Chief Executive

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