Nearly 73% of crime providers surveyed about the CRM14 eForm say they are no longer using the old paper form.
And more than 90% rated the eForm as either ‘easy’ or ‘really easy’ to use.
Liverpool provider Cobleys LLP said:
The new process is slick and applications can be completed within minutes.
The portal is user-friendly and human error is less likely. In addition, there is absolutely no scope for applications being lost in the post.
The Nottingham office of provider Cartwright King Solicitors said:
This change is definitely a positive one. The eForm is faster, saving (us) money and simplifying systems.
If you are still submitting paper applications in the old way, you should know that you have nothing to fear by using the eForm system.
Our survey highlighting the positive response to the eForm concentrated on Merseyside, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Popularity of eForm set to grow
But it seems likely that the popularity of the new crime application CRM14 eForm will continue to grow as it is introduced into new areas.
This is being done in tandem with the Legal Aid Agency assuming responsibility for the processing of criminal legal aid applications across the whole of England and Wales.
The roll-out programme will be completed by June 2015 – by which time we will have assumed responsibility for processing criminal legal aid applications across the whole of England and Wales.
Take-up of eForms
Our crime change programme manager Lisa Jeffery said:
Take-up is good. We’d like to see similar patterns of voluntary use across the country before we mandate the CRM14 eForm next year as part of the next criminal legal aid contract.
Drop-in sessions are available at selected magistrates’ courts to ensure that crime legal aid practitioners receive information and support about the eForm.
We are also running eForm web seminars. More details will be emailed to practitioners just before the eForm is introduced in their area.
Criminal legal aid processing - includes the eForms timetable
Crime news:court drop-in sessions on changes to applications