Legal aid providers: find out how the LAA sets quality assurance standards and make sure you qualify.
Applies to England and Wales
If you hold a legal aid contract with LAA you must have the SQM standard or the Lexcel Practice Management standard (Lexcel), owned by the Law Society.
The LAA owns the quality assurance standards known as Specialist Quality Mark (SQM).
Specialist Quality Mark
The Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) is a quality assurance standard designed for organisations:
- supplying complex legal help
- offering a full range of legal services, including representation in court (where necessary and permitted) by formally trained professionals
Changes to the Specialist Quality Mark from 1 October 2022
The LAA reviewed and updated the SQM Standard and SQM Guidance in September 2021. A summary of the main changes are set out in the document below alongside draft copies of the SQM Standard and SQM Guidance.
The revised requirements in the SQM will come into force on 1 October 2022. They will apply to all applications for a Desktop Audit and all requests for a Pre-Quality Mark Audit or a Post-Quality Mark Audit after this date
Withdrawal of the Family Mediation Quality Mark
The Family Mediation Quality Mark has been withdrawn from 1 September 2018.
Providers holding a 2018 Standard Civil Contract in the mediation category of law will be required to meet the quality requirements set out in the 2018 Standard Civil Contract category specific rules for mediation. This document is available to download here:
We publish updates about the Specialist Quality Mark standards in the LAA bulletin.