We’ve been in touch with some legal aid contract holders now using CCMS and would like to share their thoughts.
Some key themes are emerging in feedback we have collected from providers using the Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) which we would like to share.
More than 1,000 out of 1,600 organisations with a civil/family contract are using the system. What follows is a summary of advice gathered from the feedback plus comments from providers.
Preparing for CCMS
- Identify who will need to use CCMS upfront so you are clear about users and the scale of change.
- Decide early on what roles and responsibilities your CCMS users should take on – see ‘Before Using CCMS’ link at the end of this article.
- Register your users as soon as you can so they have time to familiarise themselves with CCMS.
Donnelly McArdle Adamson said:
We identified who would need to use the system and registered all of these individuals – all our solicitors and also support staff – across our three offices. Everyone then went live together. This was important for team morale.
Getting familiar with CCMS
- Do the training and you will have fewer issues than those who don’t – see below for a training link.
- Read the quick guides and the FAQ document to help you use the system correctly – see links below.
- Master classes are on offer and there is a new Q&A session to go through the application process – subscription link below.
Reena Ghai said:
I made sure my staff and I invested the time we needed to train ourselves before using the system. I would say to other providers that preparation is key and doing the training upfront is critical.
Rolling out CCMS in your office
- Individual offices are rolling out CCMS in a way that works for them and their personal preferences.
- Some roll out simultaneously across their organisation while others adopt an office-by-office approach.
- Some have focused on specific teams first, e.g. public law child care teams, while others have concentrated on fee-earners before support staff.
We gave access to fee earners, rather than everyone in the family department, so that they could understand timescales and the detail of what was required. In other words, we restricted access until people were confident and comfortable with the system.
When using CCMS consider:
- Building LAA guidance into your business processes to help ensure the system works for you.
- Downloading our quick guides on to your intranet or collating manuals with ‘easy step’ guides based on our materials.
- Assigning a lead for queries or you could take a more group approach to accessing training and giving support as a team.
Make sure you have time when submitting your ‘first’ application, read everything you get from the LAA, and complete the training. Then download the quick guides, read them and you should be in a position to proceed.
Published: 23 July 2015
From: Legal Aid Agency