Civil news: Voluntary Appointments System replaced by Find an Adviser tool
From 1 November, LAA replaces the current Voluntary Appointment System used in asylum advice to the Find an Adviser online tool.
From Saturday 1 November, we’re replacing the Voluntary Appointment System for asylum advice provision (VAS) with the LAA Find an Adviser online tool.
As providers giving asylum advice may know, VAS has been based on shared software and a hosting platform with Civil Legal Advice (CLA) since 2009 (outside London) and 2014 (in London).
However, the contract for VAS ends on Friday 31 October, and the current CLA contract also concludes that day. It’s not financially viable for us to continue on this commercial platform in the current form.
From 1 November the LAA Find an Adviser online tool will enable the two operators Migrant Help and Refugee Council and the Home Office Asylum Screening Unit (ASU) to continue to identify providers in a client’s area.
To ensure the new system runs smoothly, we’re in discussions with the operators to make sure that they’re able to use the LAA Find an Adviser online tool as efficiently as possible.
What it means for you and your clients
After VAS comes to an end you may receive telephone contact from the two operators, Migrant Help and Refugee Council or the Home Office Asylum Screening Unit (ASU).
They may be asking for an appointment to be made for a new asylum client residing or coming to reside in your area, and they will use the contact details on the LAA Find an Adviser online tool.
Please check your details on this system to ensure that they are correct. If there are any errors contact your Contract Manager as soon as possible to have these amended.
It’s particularly important that you check your telephone contact number and make sure it’s the most appropriate number to be used in these circumstances.
Further information – any questions?
Published: 30 September 2014
From: Legal Aid Agency