News story

Civil news: changes to streamline family work from 19 April 2019

We are simplifying certificated work processes in certain family cases following a pilot with providers and representative bodies.

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A new approach to certificated family work is being rolled out across England and Wales from 19 April 2019 following a successful pilot with providers.

The change is an example of partnership working between providers and our caseworkers. It means that legal aid certificates will in future be granted with a wider limitation on costs for most family proceedings.

Providers will be able to free up administrative time currently spent collating and submitting evidence before they can carry out their work.

What does this mean for my work?

Starting on 19 April 2019 applications for a set number of proceedings will be granted with a cost limitation of £25,000. These are all listed in the appropriate guidance. This change will reduce the need to submit a cost amendment in the future.

If you are submitting a Special Children Act application you will see the £25,000 cost limit applied on CCMS when submitting the application. For other types of family proceedings, the £25,000 cost limit will be shown on the case on CCMS and the certificate once granted by the Legal Aid Agency.

The evidence we currently ask to see upfront from providers for certificate amendments can be submitted when proceedings are concluded.

Why are you doing this?

This was a change suggested by providers at our process efficiency team (PET) working group. This group brings together caseworkers and providers to look at how we can work together more efficiently.

The change means we can:

  • reduce the paper burden for providers
  • give providers more time to act quickly for clients
  • reduce the need for providers to contact us for further information

It also means that our caseworkers will have more time to spend on complex applications and providing a quality service.

What about existing cases?

Certificates with existing limitations will be amended in line with the new arrangements. This will apply for providers seeking amendments from 19 April 2019.

Further information

New guidance will be available on the CCMS training website from 23 April 2019

Digital.Assist@justice.gov.uk – to email enquiries about CCMS training

Published 18 April 2019