Individual accreditation FAQs
CPD hours and other providers FAQs
Corporate accreditation FAQs
Do I need to have been a member of APIL for a certain period of time before I can apply for accreditation?
No, so long as you meet the criteria for your chosen level then you can apply for accreditation at the same time as you apply for membership.
How do I apply for accreditation?
Full details on the benefits, which level to apply at and how to apply can be found at www.apil.org.uk/accreditation-for-lawyers, alternatively you can call the APIL office on 0115 943 5422 or 0115 943 5427.
Can I start to apply for accreditation if I’m not yet or newly qualified?
Yes, the application can be used as a workplace assessment where each criterion in the candidate’s column of the portfolio can be signed off as you meet it. You can work your way toward accreditation as you develop your skills.
How can ability be judged by a completed form (the portfolio)?
The application process has changed over the years; yes a candidate does need to enter details in the candidate’s section of the portfolio. The principles are then discussed by the candidate and the assessor, who must also meet certain criteria. The assessor must declare whether they have seen sufficient evidence to sign off the applicant as being suitable for the level they have applied at.
How come so many members seem to hold individual accreditation, should the criteria be tougher?
Only approximately 30% of APIL members are accredited. We feel that the graduated competence framework is sufficiently robust to ensure that those with the appropriate level of experience gain accreditation at the relevant level/specialism.
Does APIL review the accreditation process and requirements on a regular basis?
Yes, all criteria for the accreditation scheme are reviewed regularly by the training and accreditation committee and the various working parties which established the criteria.
In addition, we review the criteria following any new law reform and take on board members’ suggestions in respect of portfolio completion. All processes and procedures are reviewed continually to ensure that the scheme continues to meet its purpose.
Can someone on other accreditation panels be automatically accredited with APIL
The APIL scheme is based on a competence framework which was introduced in 2012. When comparative mapping was carried out, the criteria for the other panels did not correspond with the APIL scheme and we must therefore ask applicants to apply separately by using the APIL portfolio.
Is there accreditation for Scottish members/solicitor advocates in Scotland?
Yes, when choosing the appropriate level of individual accreditation here, there is an option to select “Scotland” for nearly all relevant levels. The accreditation scheme has been tailored for Scots members and advocates.
Why are the forms so lengthy?
Please do not be put off by the portfolio – the application form. If applicants wish to view the criteria on their own, please scroll to the bottom of the page of the appropriate level and view the Competence Standard itself. For example, the Senior Litigator Standard can be viewed here
Evidence must be provided against specific criteria to ascertain if an applicant meets a certain standard. These areas are verified by an assessor to ensure that when accredited lawyers are promoted to injured people, they can be assured that the lawyer meets the Standards of the scheme which in turn re-assures them that they are approaching a solicitor of competence.
The Standards are also development tools so criteria can be signed off over a period of time as and when new skills are acquired and throughout an applicant’s day to day work.
Do I need trial experience?
Not for Senior Litigator level but an applicant would need this for Fellow level.
Do I need to have worked in PI for a certain number of years before I can apply for Fellow level?
No, we look at the experience that you have gained, however, you would need to apply at Senior Litigator level first before being able to move onto Fellow level. The key elements of the Fellow criteria are sharing your knowledge and expertise both within and outside your firm, and managing a PI team.
Why do I need to revalidate my accreditation?
To ensure that APIL’s accreditation scheme is recognised as having the highest standards and the maximum level of client confidence in the services provided. Revalidation guidance and the forms can be found at www.apil.org.uk/revalidation.aspx.
Why do you not advertise the accreditation scheme more?
linking to individual member profiles, biographies, photographs and CVs. We also have a public information campaign leaflet which can be personalised and ordered here.
Press and TV advertising campaigns can be costly. APIL uses social media to celebrate member achievements and encourages members to promote their own accreditation wherever possible.
Why is it so expensive?
There is no charge for general personal injury accreditation at any level, unless an external assessor is needed. The cost for this is £450 + VAT, payable directly to the assessor for their time.
CPD HOURS AND OTHER PROVIDERS
Why does APIL have an accredited CPD requirement? Why not remove this requirement for those who are accredited?
To uphold the quality mark we need to reassure the public that those who have gained accreditation with APIL maintain their knowledge and keep up to date with changes in the law.
Do other providers’ events count towards my APIL CPD hours?
Yes, APIL accredits other external providers’ events which are all listed at www.apil.org.uk/other-accredited-courses. A full list of how to acquire your CPD hours can be found at www.apil.org.uk/individual-accreditation-cpd-requirements.
Why do you not accredit all external events?
External providers’ events are accredited on an event by event basis so the provider can choose which ones to accredit. Not all meet the criteria or would be relevant for those working within personal injury. However, if you know of a provider whose events you attend then you can encourage them to apply for event accreditation.
Can I just count in-house accredited training towards my CPD hours?
Yes, so long as your office holds APIL in-house accreditation or the training is delivered by an APIL trainer.
Why not reduce the CPD requirement?
The hourly requirement is regularly reviewed by APIL’s Training and Accreditation Committee. To maintain or gain the knowledge required to keep up to date in personal injury law, the committee continues to stipulate that 16 hours annually is a fair requirement and should be achievable through the various means.
If I only attend clinical negligence events would these count towards APIL CPD hours?
Yes, if they are run or accredited by APIL, presented by you (the latter is applicable to Senior Litigators and above) run in-house by APIL or APIL trainers or by external providers if the course has been granted event accreditation.
Would accreditation benefit my firm?
- Accredited members appear on the public search facility on our website, where approximately 4,200 searches are carried out every month.
- Individual members with senior litigator status or above can use the APIL quality mark, displaying the APIL logo and accredited status. This can be used on business cards, as part of their signature, on letter headed paper, and on your profile on your website.
- A corporate accredited organisation can also use the accredited practice/accredited chambers logo. The firm details are also highlighted on the public search area.
- Corporate members benefit from discounted training for everyone at the firm, whether an APIL member or not.
Can I still benefit from corporate accreditation if I am a sole practitioner or the only person in the firm dealing with personal injury?
Yes, we have many sole-practitioners who already hold corporate accreditation. If you are a sole-practitioner you would qualify for the concessionary rate of £150 + VAT rather than £225 + VAT. Corporate accreditation is offered on a branch by branch basis rather than the firm as a whole. Your details would still appear on the public search page on our website which would direct the public to you with their claims. You can use the accredited logo as part of your signature as well as on your letter headed paper and website page, as well as benefitting from an additionally discounted event rate on all full day events.
Why do we have to take part in corporate auditing?
The integrity of the corporate scheme depends on compliance with its criteria so to ensure this is happening we have to monitor all aspects of the scheme including those firms who have gained corporate accreditation. Although some firms have been apprehensive when approached regarding a monitoring visit, most find the visit beneficial. 99% of those we have visited have met all criteria, and only a small number of firms are subject to conditions and given time to implement procedures to ensure they then meet the criteria.