Designing a new paralegal apprenticeship standard

Oct 19, 2022 | Apprentices & school leaver

Employers can have their say in the design of the new level 3 paralegal apprenticeship standard.

In July the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) launched a major review of how skills training serves the legal, finance and accounting professions.  There are currently 39 apprenticeships for the sector ranging from level 2 (GCSE equivalent) up to level 7 (degree apprenticeship level).

Legal apprenticeships, particularly the level 3 paralegal standard, have been hugely successful and have broadened access to the legal profession over recent years.

However, the constant evolution of the legal industry has meant that the standard approved for delivery on 3 September 2015 has been in need of a review, to ensure it continues to meet the sector’s needs.

As well as being an effective standalone apprenticeship, the paralegal standard has been (and we hope, will continue to be) a springboard for further progression to higher level legal apprenticeships and vocational qualifications. It can also be a progression route from the T Level in Law currently in development.


Designing a new level 3 standard

Sarah Donoghue, chair of the paralegal trailblazer group, has been working with a range of employers, training providers and end point assessment organisations to design a new level 3 standard and end point assessment.

This has included:

  • A full review of the occupational summary.
  • Increased scope of the role and responsibilities of a paralegal.
  • A full review of the key Duties anticipated in this role.
  • Alignment of new Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours against these Duties.
  • A new end point assessment that demonstrates an understanding the wider English Legal landscape, with the ability to focus on the law relevant to the apprentice’s organisation.

In addition, there has been a greater focus on future proofing the role and developing key business skills such as analytical skills, research, communication and time management.

The standard should also provide a wholesome, well-rounded training programme that apprentices can apply practically in the workplace.

There will also be a much clearer route for progression on to other legal qualifications (level 4 to level 7).

In advance of the trailblazer submitting the new standard to Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education for approval on Wednesday 2 November, the group needs to understand if the new standard matches what the wider sector (law firms, in-house teams, and clients) expects from first-tier paralegals.

It is vital that the standard is relevant, that it meets the needs of the sector, it continues to widen access to the profession as well as develop high performing legal professionals.


Opportunity to have your say

The consultation is only open for a few more days. You can share your thoughts and observations using the following link:

Further details on the route review can be found at the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

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