Guidance

Specialist quality mark tender 2016

Information supporting the tender process for organisations wanting to administer LAA's Specialist Quality Mark from April 2017.

Documents

Changes to the SQM audit process from 1 April 2017

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Information for Applicants

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Details

Latest updates

15 February 2017 - New SQM administration body announced

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) recently conducted a procurement process for a supplier to administer the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) on LAA’s behalf.

LAA has subsequently awarded the SQM administration contract to Recognising Excellence Ltd. They will begin delivering SQM audits from 1 April 2017 and will replace the current SQM administrator, SQM Delivery Partnership, from this date.

Changes to the SQM audit process

A small number of changes have been made to the audit process for the SQM quality standard and all audits after 1 April 2017 will follow this process.

The headline changes to the content of the Award process are:

  • a reduction in stages of the audit award process
  • an increase in requirements at the Pre-QM stage

Further details can be found in Changes to the SQM audit process from 1 April 2017 document on this page..

Previous updates

We’ve published the Invitation to Tender to administer LAA’s SQM from April 2017.

The deadline for submitting responses to the ITT is 12pm on Friday 30 September 2016.

Organisations wishing to administer the SQM from 1 April 2017 must submit a response to the ITT.

The Information For Applicants (IFA) that governs this procurement process is available in the ‘Tender related documents’ section at the top of this page. IFA provides full details about this procurement process, including the criteria that applicant organisations must meet. Tender responses must be made online through the eTendering portal. A helpline has been set-up to support you if you have any technical problems with the eTendering system: 0800 368 4850 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or email help@bravosolution.co.uk.

Compliance with the SQM, or equivalent standard (such as Lexcel), is a requirement for legal services providers that have, or are seeking to have, a contract with LAA.

Legal aid providers need to be aware of this procurement as transitional arrangements may impact on their audit cycle.

Published 18 August 2016
Last updated 15 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. New SQM administration body announced.
  2. First published.