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SRAFinalReport

SRA Final Report


Evaluation Work Based Learning Scheme Pilot Cohort 1 2008 - 2010

ReportDateDecember2010

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Reportcompiledby
Headofproject Leadresearchers

InstituteforWorkBasedLearning MiddlesexUniversity,2010
ProfessorCarolCostleyIWBL DrKateMaguireIWBL SusanScottHuntSolicitorandPrincipalLecturerMULawSchool DuncanMcLuckieMAHonsTraineeSolicitor DrNatashaShukla ProfessorJohnStephensonconsultanttoIWBL DrStanLesterconsultanttoIWBL MaureenSpencerPrincipalLecturerinLawandHeadofthe BusinessSchoolLearningDevelopmentForum ProfessorJohnStephenson MaureenSpencer DrNicoPizzolato

Legalresearchsupport Literatureresearchsupport Criticaladvisers

Criticalreaders

Editorialtechnicalsupport

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TheoverallobjectiveoftheWorkBasedLearning(WBL)projectistodevelopanapproachto ensuringthecompetenceofqualifyingsolicitorsthatisqualityassured,consistentand reliable.


Source:SRAWebsite

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Contents
GlossaryofTermsasusedinthisReport............................................................7 1. ExecutiveSummary.....................................................................................10

2.EvaluationMethodology....................................................................... 19 3. EvaluationConclusions...............................................................................25 Generalconclusions................................................................................... 26 Qualityassurance ...................................................................................... 28 . Learningoutcomes.................................................................................... 29 Portfolio.......................................................................................................31 Assessment................................................................................................ 33 Barrierstoentry......................................................................................... 36

Professionalissues...................................................................................... 39 4. KeyRecommendations...........................................................................41 Qualityassurance ...................................................................................... 42 . Learningoutcomes.................................................................................... 44 Portfolio..................................................................................................... 44 Learningoutcomesandassessment.......................................................... 45 Professionalissues..................................................................................... 47 Barrierstoentry......................................................................................... 49 Annexe1.i...................................................................................................... 49 1. Consultation,Design&Implementation(CDI)..............................................50 2. SRAmonitoringvisitsandtheMUevaluationexercise..........................50 3. Handbookandcommunicationmanagement........................................51 4. Fulfillingaimsandobjectivessummary..................................................53 5. Learningoutcomes..................................................................................55 6. Portfolio...................................................................................................56 7. Timecostsfororganisationsandcandidates..........................................66 8. Issueswhicharoseregardingthefutureofthescheme ........................66 . Annexe1.ii..................................................................................................... 68 stream2:paralegals ...................................................................................... 68 . 1. Issuesarising................................................................................. 68
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SRAFinalReport 2. Potentialtoaddresssocio/educationalbarriers........................... 69 3. NoevidencethattheWBLpilotdirectlyaddressedanyother............. barrierstoentry..............................................................................71 4. Feasibleroutetoqualificationforstream2typecandidates....... 72 5. Useofexternalassessmentorganisations.................................... 73 Annexe1.iii.................................................................................................... 75 Narrativereporting........................................................................................ 75 1. Sufficiency......................................................................................... 75 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Outcomesandissuesoflevel.................................................... 75 Skillsrequiredasasolicitor....................................................... 77 WBLportfolioandemployability............................................... 78 KeyCriteriaofWBLlearningoutcomesandemployability....... 78

2.SRAroleinrelationtovocational(training)andstandardisation....... 79 3.Vocational(training)stageincoherenttrainingframework.................81 4.FutureDevelopmentandImpactonVocationalStageTraining.......... 85 Annexe2Resourcepapers........................................................................... 88 1.Theworkbasedphaseofinitialprofessionaldevelopment:.................. practicesandtrendsamongUKprofessions..................................... 89 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Challengestoachievingprofessionalism.......................................... 94 Theroleofportfoliosinthedevelopmentofpersonalcapability.....100 TheRoleofaccreditationofpreviouslearning .............................. 105 . Learningoutcomes......................................................................... 108 . Masters(Level7)andDoctorate(Level8)AssessmentDescriptors 113 Theuseofreflection....................................................................... 115 Assessment..................................................................................... 122 Ethicsanddilemmas....................................................................... 123

10. Whatiscoaching?........................................................................... 125 11. Equalityinthelegalprofession....................................................... 127 Appendix1BackgroundtotheWBLPilotScheme ....................................... 149 . Appendix2EvaluationandScopeofActivities.............................................. 160 Appendix3SRAScopingDocument2008...................................................... 162 Appendix4MUScopingDocument2009..................................................... 171

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Appendix5Datagatheringandanalysisdetail ............................................177 .

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GlossaryofTermsasusedinthisReport
SRA wbl IWBL MU Context Setups SolicitorsRegulationAuthority WorkBasedLearningwhichreferstothepilotscheme workbasedlearninginitsgenericform InstituteforWorkBasedLearning,MU MiddlesexUniversity thelegalprofession thevariouslegalenvironmentsinwhichtraineesare trained:small,mediumandlargelegalfirmswitharange ofspecialisations;legaldepartmentsinorganisations whicharenotlegalfirms individualsemployedastraineesonatrainingcontract individualswhoareemployedtodoparalegalwork allindividualswhetheremployedbyanorganisationasa traineeorasaparalegalwhoareenrolledontheWBL pilotschemetoqualifyassolicitors allcandidatesregisteredfulltimeforthescheme commencing2008andending2010 allcandidatesontheWBLpilotschemeemployedas traineesandwhoareeitherinternallyorexternally assessed allcandidatesontheWBLpilotschemewhoare employedinlegalrolesandareexternallyassessed externalassessmentorganisationscontractedtoreview, supportandassesscandidates.Inthispilotscheme,there aretwoEAOs:NLSandOXILPselectedthrougha tenderingprocessfortherole NottinghamLawSchool(NottinghamTrentUniversity) contractedforallstream1andasmallnumberofstream 2 OxfordInstituteofLegalPractice(OxfordBrookes University)contractedforLawNetfirms legalfirmswhoarepartofanetworkinggroupofover60 legalpracticesinEnglandandWales internalassessmentorganisations:legalfirmsinternally assessingtheircandidatesontheWBLpilotscheme

WBL

Trainees Paralegals Candidates

Cohort1 Stream1candidates

Stream2candidates EAOs

NLS

OXILP LawNetfirms IAOs

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accordingtoSRAguidelinesandsubjecttoSRA monitoring SupportiveEmployers legalfirmsandlegaldepartmentsinotherorganisations preparedtomeetalltheprocedures,trainingandethics criteriasetdownbytheSRAforparticipationinthepilot schemeandabletoprovideevidenceofbeingina positiontogivefullsupporttotheparticipating candidatesintheirorganisations bothprofessionalsandcandidatesparticipatinginthe schemeunlessotherwisestatede.g.candidate participants allprofessionalsinvolvedinthedeliveryofthescheme: EAOsandIAOs theachievementofasetofstandardsthatarereliable andconsistentacrossallsetups assessmentofdifferentstagesofprogresstowardsan award finalassessmentforanawardaftertheincremental stageshavebeensuccessfullycompleted indicatesquotesfromdata

Participants

Professionals Standardisation Formative/incremental assessment Summativeassessment Useofitalics

Guideonhowbesttousethisreport 1. 2.

Executivesummaryprovidesabackgroundtotheprojectandsummarisesthe
keyfindingsinrelationtomeetingtheobjectivesofthepilotscheme.

Evaluationmethodologydetailshowtheevaluationwascarriedoutandhow
thechallengeswereaddressed.

3. 4.

Evaluationconclusionslisttheconclusionsoftheevaluationteambasedona
critiqueoftheFindingsofAnnexe1.i.

Recommendationslistthekeyrecommendationsarisingfromthefindingsof
theevaluation.

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Annexe1 i. Findingsrelatetothemainthemeswhichreflectparticipantsviewsand
experiencesrelatingtotheschemewhichemergedfromtheevaluationexercise accompaniedbyevaluators'comments.Themesrelateto:thesetup;supportand maintenanceofthescheme;keyfindingsonaimsandobjectives,learning outcomes,portfoliosandassessment;wideningparticipationandthefuture.

ii. iii.

Stream2candidatesthissectionexplorestheissuesarisingfromhowthis
schemeaddressedwideningaccesstotheprofession.

Narrativereportssupplementtheextractedfindingsbyi.capturingthemood
andmodesofexpressionsofprofessionalswhentalkingabouttheschemewhich conveytheimplicitsandtheintangibles.Thesetermswereusedfrequentlyby professionalandcandidateparticipantstodescribewhattheybelieveobjective measurescannotii.contributingarangeofprofessionalparticipantsviewsabout howtoensureprofessionalstandardsacrossallsetups.Thenarrativereportsare onsufficiency:sufficiencyoflearningoutcomesandlevels;sufficiencyto demonstratetheskillsrequired;sufficiencyofaWBLportfolioandemployability; sufficiencyofcorrespondencebetweenevidenceofkeycriteriaand employability;theroleoftheSRAinthevocationaltrainingstage;thepurposeof thevocationalstageasdistinctfromtheotherstages;desirabilityof standardisation;theimpactthefuturedirectionoflawfirmswillhaveontraining.

Annexe2 ResourcePapershavebeenwrittenorcommissionedespeciallyforthisreport
relatingdirectlytotheissueswhichhaveariseninthisparticularpilotschemeand inthecontextofthelegalprofession.Theycanbeusedtoi.supportthe recommendationsii.contributetoanexplorationofwhetheraspectsofthe schemearestillrelevantintheexistingclimatewhichhaschangedsincethe schemewasfirstintroducediii.provideideasonhowrecommendationswhich areconsideredrelevantcanbereframedandrealised.Thepapersareon:WBLin otherprofessions;beingaprofessionalandbeingprofessional:competencesand skills;portfoliosandcapabilities;accreditation;learningoutcomesandcredit systems;leveldescriptorsofachievement;theuseofreflection;assessment; ethics;coachingmodels;criticalliteratureondiversity:educationandthe professions.

Appendix1isabackgroundtotheconsultation,designandimplementationofthe
WBLpilotscheme. Appendix2isagridofthetasksrequiredoftheevaluationexerciseaslistedintheSRA ScopingDocument2008. Appendix3SRAScopingDocument2008. Appendix4MUScopingDocument2009. Appendix5givesdetailsoftheanalysisofeachphaseofdatagathering.

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1. Executivesummary
Background
Thetrainingcontractstageofqualifyingasasolicitorisaprimeexampleof'workbased learning'(WBL),aphrasethatgenerallydescribesthelearningprovidedinconnection withapersonsemployment.Itisthroughworkbasedlearningthatemployeesgainthe vocationalskillsandknowledgeneededtobecompetentintheirjobroleoradvancetheir careerandwhilethereisageneralconsensuswithintheprofessionthatthetraining contractsystemseemstofunctionwellenoughinprovidingthenecessaryknowledgeand skills,neverthelessithasbeenvulnerabletothefollowingconcerns:

standardisation:thatthetrainingcontractdoesnotexposealltraineestothe samecoreareasoflawanddevelopasetofskillsthatarequalitatively comparablewhetherfromasmallfirmintheNorthoramagiccirclefirmin London; underrepresentationofdiversesocioeconomicandculturalgroupsandofthose withdisabilities; unfairnesstothoseinparalegalroleswhohadnotbeenabletogaintraining contractsevenalthoughtheyhadsuccessfullycompletedthefirsttwostagesof theroutetobecomingasolicitorandwhounderthecurrentsystemwerehighly unlikelytoeverqualify.

Arisingfromtheseconsiderations,theWorkBasedLearning(WBL)pilotschemewas initiatedbytheSRAinSeptember2008toresearchandexploreanalternativemodelof assessingcompetenceatthetrainingcontractstageofqualifyingasasolicitor.The primaryaimsoftheresearchwere: todevelopamethodofassessmentthatwasqualityassured,consistentand reliableallowingdemonstrationofcompetence; totestaroutetoqualificationthatdidnotdependonthecandidatehavinga trainingcontractandasavehicleforreducingbarrierstoaccesstothesolicitors profession. TheInstituteforWorkBasedLearningatMiddlesexUniversitytenderedfortheroleof externalevaluatorforthepilotandwascontractedinFebruary2009.Theroleofthe externalevaluatorwastoensureanobjective,thoroughandinformedassessmentof everyaspectofthescheme.TheevaluationwasintendedtoprovidetheSRAwitha reliableanalysisofthescheme,acrossarangeofsetupswithacrosssectionof participants,toinformitseducationandtrainingstrategy,andtoprogressthe developmentofacompetencebasedframeworkthatwouldfulfilitsobligationsasa regulator.

Projectdescription
Thepilottestedandevaluatedapointofadmissionassessmentofcompetenceagainsta setofWBLoutcomesduringtheperiod20082010.Theoutcomesspecifiedfellunder eightkeyheadings:

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SRAFinalReport 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. applicationoflegalexpertise communication clientrelations businessawareness workloadmanagement workingwithothers selfawarenessanddevelopment professionalconduct.

TherewerefourdifferentstrandstotheSRAproject,ofwhichtwohavebeencompleted infullandtwoareongoing: Thetrainingcontract/employerassessedrouteemployersassessedtheirtrainees againsttheWBLoutcomes; Thetrainingcontract/externallyassessedrouteemployersagreedthatan externalproviderwouldassesstheirtrainees. Theothertwostrandsare: Theparalegalrouteaimedatthosewhodonothavetrainingcontractsbut whoselegalworkiscommensuratewiththeworkundertakeninatraining contract.Assessmentisprovidedbyanexternalprovider.Fulltimecandidates havecompletedtheirassessmentandthefindingsareincludedinthissummary report.Parttimecandidateswillbeassessedduring2011and2012. Thecombinedroutesingleproviderprovidingalawdegree,LPCandassessment ofWBLintwocontexts:clientfacingexperienceintheUniversity'sStudentLaw Office(aprobonoclinicprovidingfreelegaladvicetothelocalcommunity),anda placementwithanemployer.Assessmentsforthisstrandwilltakeplacein2012. TheMiddlesexReportevaluatesthosepartsoftheprojectthatcompletedbyDecember 2010.Findingsfromthoseontheparttimeparalegalrouteandthecombinedroutewill alsobegatheredandusedtoinformfuturework. UndertheWBLpilot,theSRArequiredcandidates,boththoseintrainingcontractsand paralegals,tocompleteaperiodofpractical,assessedlegalexperiencepriorto qualification,withtheaimofensuringthateachcandidateshoulddemonstratethe requiredstandardofcompetencethroughtheWBLoutcomesinsupportivelegal environments. Aportfoliowaschosenbyboththeinternalandexternalassessmentorganisationsasthe methodbywhichtraineeswouldbeabletodemonstrateevidenceoftheircompetency againsttheWBLoutcomes.Suchevidenceincludedarangeofmaterialsuchasreflection sheets,supervisorfeedback,examplesofexposuretoareasoflaw,andexperienceof contentious/noncontentiouswork. Thebasicnatureofthecurrenttrainingsystemremainedinthattrainingwasdesigned anddeliveredbyautonomousorganisationsunderthecentralregulationsandguidance

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oftheSRA.ForcandidatesinparalegalrolesintheWBLscheme,externalassessment organisationsdesignedanddevelopedprogrammesunderthenewpilotframework whichtheSRAvalidated.Theexternalassessmentorganisationsperformedthefinal assessmentofcompetenceforthisgroup.

Methodology
Asystemofmixedmethodswasusedtogatherthedataincludingquantitativemethods forbenchmarkinginformationandqualitativemethodsintheformofinterviewsand thematicanalysisofquestionnaires.TheevaluationteamatMiddlesexjudgedthatthis would: bestcapturetherangeofdatarequiredtoattendtotheaimsandobjectivesofthe SRA ensurereliabilityoverawiderangeofvariablesintheabsenceofthediversesample beingabletoproducesignificantstatisticalreliabilityinallaspects theopportunityfortriangulationtoincreasereliability give,asfaraspossible,abalancebetweendatathatcouldberegardedasobjective anddatawhichwouldbeexperienceandopinionfocussed.Thiswasimportantfor candidatesforwhomthispilotwouldbeanentirelynewexperience.Itwas anticipatedthatcandidatesontheparalegalrouteinparticularwouldhaveauseful perspectiveontheendeavourtowidenparticipationandthatthiswouldnotbe capturedindepththroughsurveysonly elicitdataonbothgeneralandspecificareasandissues capturerepresentativeindividualviewsandperspectivesaswellassystemic considerations. Othermethodologicalconsiderationswere: issuesarisingintheevaluationduetothenumberofvariablescontainedinthe sample:differentsetups;differentcandidatestreams;differentassessment arrangements;differentregions;differenteducationalandexperiencelevels amongcandidates theevaluationexerciseitselfcouldimpactontheviewsofparticipants theadditionaltime,overandabovetherequirementsoftheirtraining,thatthose inthesamplewouldberequiredtogivetotheevaluation theresponsibilitiesoftheevaluatortoprovidereliabledatatoinformfuture decisionsinthelightoftheSRAsaims,andthepotentialoftheevaluation exercisetoimpactonfuturepolicies. Tokeeptheseconsiderationsattheforefrontoftheevaluationexercise,theevaluation teamhadregularmeetingswiththeSRAinthefirstphasesoftheresearchandinvolved externalexpertsonlawandprofessionalqualificationstoactascriticalreadersand advisers. Participationintheschemewaslimitedtocandidatesatsupportiveorganisationsin EnglandandWaleswhohadorwouldhavecompletedtheacademicrequirements(alaw

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SRAFinalReport degreeorGDL)andtheLPCbeforethestartofthescheme.Thedeadlinewas3April 2008. Thereweretwosourcesofcandidates: 1. Candidatesnominatedbyparticipatinglegalfirmswhohadalreadyagreedtotake themonfortrainingassolicitors 2. Candidatesvolunteeringfortheschemewhowereinemploymentinlegalroles (whichwouldnototherwisehaveledtoqualification)inlegalfirmsorlegal departmentsofotherorganisations. Thefinalnumberofcandidateswhoparticipatedintheschemeisshownbelowwith assessmentoutcomes: Revised Referred Withdrawn No. Passed deadlines candidates 27 6 1 1 Externally 35* Assessedby Nottingham LawSchool Externally 8 Assessedby OxfordInstitute ofLegal Practice Internally Assessedby Legalfirms TOTAL 36 8 0 0 0

35

79

70

*Over85%ofthisgroupwereparalegals/inlegalemploymentinorganisationswhich werenotlegalfirms.

Analysis
Asystemoftriangulationofdatawasused:eachdatastream(surveys,interviews, portfolios,literature,policydocuments,qualityassurancedocumentsfromthevarious setups)wasanalysedandcheckedagainsteachotheruntilthedistillation producedconfidentsuperordinatethemes(highconsensus)andsubordinatethemes (lowerconsensusbuthighsignificanceforcertainparticipants).Wheretherewasno consensusinthedatacollectedthedatawaseitherusedtodescribeorillustrate particularproblems,oromitted.Theconclusionsandrecommendationsinthefinalreport arebasedonthemesthatwereconsistentlysuperordinateandhighsubordinateinthe finalphasesoftheevaluationexercise.

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Keyfindings
Thefindingsreportedhereareorganisedtoaddressspecificallythetwoprimaryaimsof theproject: 1. todevelopamethodofassessmentthatwasqualityassured,consistentand reliableallowingdemonstrationofcompetence; 2. totestaroutetoqualificationthatdidnotdependonthecandidatehavinga trainingcontractandasavehicleforreducingbarrierstoaccesstothesolicitors profession. 1.1 Workbasedlearningoutcomes 1.1.1 TheWBLschemedemonstratedthevalueoflearningoutcomesasanappropriate learningandassessmentapproachforthevocationalstageoftraining. 1.1.2 Learningoutcomeswereregardedbyalargemajorityofrespondentsasgood practiceinprinciple.Learningoutcomes: areamoveintherightdirectiontoachieveobjectivemeasuresand standardsacrossallsetups assistinqualityassurance enhancelearningifdeliveredwell guidethecandidateandencourage,eventually,selfmanagedlearning guidethesupervisor/reviewerinhowbesttosupportthecandidate formasoundbasisforassessmentinskillsapplicationandcompetences encourageaprofessional(solicitors)attitudebytheirrequirementto evidenceallwork,beproactive,disciplined,businessawareandmanage timeappropriately. 1.1.3 Allthelearningoutcomeswereconsideredrelevantbutthebusinessawareness outcome,particularlyinthechangingeconomicclimate,emergedasakeyonefor bothlegalfirmsandotherorganisations. 1.1.4 Whilealargemajorityofrespondentsregardedthelearningoutcomesasgood practiceinprinciple,therewerereservationsandqualifications: intheircurrentformtheyareadministrativelyburdensomeandtime consumingforeveryone althoughdesignedtobegeneric,notallmayberelevantforallsetsupsor shouldbegiventhesameemphasis therearetoomany severaloverlap anumberarechallengingtoevidenceparticularlythoseinvolvingpeople skills concernsaboutassessinglevelsofincrementallearning concernsaboutwhetheronecoulduse,andthevalueofusing,thesame pieceofevidenceforseveraloutcomes uncertaintyaboutreflectionsheetsandhowbesttousethem

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SRAFinalReport notconvincedthatontheirownthelearningoutcomesmeasureanything morethanskillsapplicationandtrackthedevelopmentofthatprocess. 1.2 Portfolios TherewasnounanimityontheeffectivenessoftheWBLportfolioasanassessmenttool buttheconsensusdrawnfromthedatawasthattheportfoliowasausefultoolfor providingapictureofacandidate'sreadinesstobea'Day1solicitor'intermsofcertain specificskillsandtheirapplicationundersupervision.However,theportfoliowas consideredinsufficienttogiveacompletepictureofwhetherornotthatcandidate wouldbeagoodsolicitor.Thelimitationofthisendorsementrelatedtotwocrucial factors: i. theinabilityoftheportfolio,byitself,toshownecessaryskills,inparticular softskills,suchasinterpersonalcommunication ii. strongconfidenceonthepartoftrainingorganisationsintheinstincts, perceptivenessandgoodjudgementofprofessionalsinvolvedintrainingin respectoftherelevantqualitiesoftrainees.Itwasfrequentlystatedthat thesequalitiesweredifficult,ifnotimpossible,todescribe,defineor evidenceinanobjectiveformat. Mostlegalfirms,eventhoseexpressingreservations,intendedtodooneofthefollowing withanumberstatingtheyhadalreadystartedtodoi.orii.: i. adoptaWBLscheme ii. adaptthebestoftheWBLschemetothebestoftheirownpractices iii. belessresistanttoanadaptedversionofWBLfromtheSRA Benefitsincludedforsome WBLisgoodbecauseithelpsatraineetoconcentratemoreonacquiringskills. Itwillproduceamuchmoreroundedindividual. theresponsibilityWBLseemedtoputonthetrainee,isonethingthatattracted[ourfirm] tothescheme. Overall,therewasconcernforeveryoneaboutwhatstagesoftheportfolioshouldbe measuredatwhatlevel.Forthosewhohadnegativecommentsontheeffectivenessof theportfolio,criticismfocusedonthewholeexercisehavingtheclearpotentialto becomeameaningless,mechanicaltickboxprocess.Therewasanindicationthat'just gettingon'withwork,showinginitiative,willingness,selfmanagedlearning,attentionto detail,professionalknowledgeorhowtogetitandbeingproactivewereclearenough indicatorsofemployabilityintheprofession.Amorecomplexcriticismarosefroman overallperceptionthattheschemedidnotdeliverasystemmorebeneficialthantheone usedbytherespondingorganisation. 2 Reducingbarrierstoaccess 2.1 InrelationtotheaimtotestWBLasaroutetoqualificationthatmayhelpto reducebarrierstoaccesstothesolicitorsprofession,thepilotfoundthat:

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2.2

mostcandidateswereconvincedthatsuchaschemewouldhelpaddress thespecificperceivedbarriertoentryintotheprofessionof socio/educationalbackgroundbutonlyrelatingdirectlytoparalegalsand thoseinlegalrelatedemployment professionalswerenotconvincedthatbyitselftheWBLschemecould addressbarrierstoentrybutratherbarrierstoentryneededtobe addressedearlierintheeducationandtrainingprocess,forexampleat thetrainingcontractapplicationstage duetotheeconomicclimate,professionalsinlawfirmsbelievedthatthe levelofdegreeandtypeofuniversitywouldstillneedtobeoneofthe criteriaofinitialselectionforprocessingtointerviewstage professionalswerenotconvincedthathavingaWBLportfoliowouldoffer anyparticularadvantagetotheindividualinseekinganewlyqualified solicitorjobinalegalfirm.Itcouldassisttosecureaninterview. Professionalsinlegalfirmsallagreedthatthisrouteforparalegalstoqualifyas solicitorswasafairersystem.Howeveroverthecourseofthepilottheybecame lessconvincedthatitwasdesirableorfeasibleonalargescaleduetoanumber offactors: shiftingeconomicclimateandpotentialprofessionalisationof otherlegalrolesinfluencedamodificationinviewsfromsupportivein principletoperhapsnotfeasible allprofessionalsdidbelieveitwasfairtohavethisroutebutwere concernedthatreducedavailabilityoftrainingcontractswouldmake entryintotheprofessionevenmorecompetitiveandselectioncriteria wouldbeevenmorerefinedmakingachangetothedegreelevel requirementunlikely concernsoverwhetherbeingemployedasaparalegalcouldgivefull exposuretotheareasoflawwithouttheparalegalbecomingafulltime trainee theprocessofreplacingaparalegalwouldalsoincurmorecostsforthe employer duringthecourseoftheschemeconcernsarose,whichwerenotevident inthefirstyear,thatgivingaccesstoparalegalstoentertheprofession throughtheWBLschememaycreateatwotiersystembecauseparalegals wouldneverbeabletohavethesameexperienceastraineesunlessthey wereemployedsolelyastrainees theimpactofAlternativeBusinessStructuresaswellasthe emergenceofaprofessionalbodyforparalegalswasmentionedinthis contextbutnotelaboratedupon thepossibilityoffirmsbecomingmorespecialisedandtraditional paralegalworkgoingabroadmeantthatfirmswouldbelookingfor individualstoentertheprofessionwhohadthehighestknowledgeand skillslevelstobringinandmaintainbusiness.Itwasbelievedbysomethat thisapproachwasameritocraticapproach,decidedbythemarket,that

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SRAFinalReport 2.3 wouldremovebarrierstoentrywhichwerebasedonotherfactorssuchas age,ethnicityandgender.

Themajorityofotheremployerswhoseemployeesaccountedforthemajorityof paralegalsontheschemeallagreedthatthisrouteforparalegalstoqualifyas solicitorswasafairersystem.Howevertheywerenotconvinceditwasdesirable inallcasesandtheirreasonsdifferedfromthelegalfirmsinanumberof respects: iftheparalegalsweregoodatdoingtheirjobtheemployerwouldnot wanttolosethembutrecognisedtheyalsodidnotwanttostandinthe wayofadvancement extracostincurredintermsoftimetohelptheirparalegalstoqualify extracostincurrediftheparalegalswantedtostayonasqualified solicitors wantingtosecurestaffdevelopmentfortheiremployeesand reconsideringwhetherthisisthemostappropriateway.

2.4 Candidateswhowereemployedasparalegalswereveryenthusiasticaboutthe schemebutalsohadreservations.Overalltheyreported: thepilotaddressedbarrierstoentryonthegroundsofsocio/educational discrimination itwasafairersystembecauseitrecognisedthatwithoutatraining contractthosewhohadsuccessfullycompletedthefirsttwostagesof trainingcouldneverqualify theyunderstoodwhypreviousexperiencewasnottakeninto considerationbutwouldliketoseeitcountiftheschemeisrolledout theWBLframeworkencouragedthembemoreproactiveinseeking opportunitiesthatwouldenhancetheirlearning theWBLframeworkhelpedthemtoengageatamoreprofessionallevel ofthinking concernsaboutwhethertheiremployerwouldbesupportive,andwere notclearwhatshouldbeexpectedintermsofreasonablesupport differencesarose/wereaccentuatedbetweenhowtheyweretreatedin relationtotraineesonstandardtrainingcontractse.g.fortraineesona trainingcontract,theprofessionalskillscoursewaspaidforbythe employerandtheyhadmorefreedomtomovearoundseats concernaboutgettingexposuretoalltheareasoflawrequired, contentiousandnoncontentiouswork,andalackofconfidencethat asecondmentcouldworkforthemortheiremployers littleconcernthatWBLmaybeasecondrate/tierroute moreconcernaboutpaymentforprofessionalskillscourseand exposuretoadvocacy. 2.5 Candidateswhowereemployedastraineeswerelessenthusiasticinthefirstyear oftheschemebutonthewholeweremoreenthusiastictowardsthecompletion oftheirtrainingcontract:

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atfirsttheyfelttheywerebeingtreateddifferently,havingtodomore work,meethigherlevelsofevidencethancolleaguesonstandardtraining contracts duringthesecondyearconfidencehadincreased,theyfelttheyhad achievedmoreandcouldevidenceit unlikeparalegalsandthoseemployedinotherlegalroles,theybelieve theywerehelpedbytheirorganisations,drawingontheorganisations existingtrainingpracticetosupportthemaswellastheWBLsystem theydidnothaveconcernsaboutexposuretoareasoflawbuthad concernsaboutgettingexperienceofadvocacy theyhadconcernsthattheprofessionmayconsidertheirWBLtrainingto beinferiortothestandardtrainingcontractbecausetheprofessiondid notreallyknowaboutit.

Summaryofkeyrecommendations
TheMiddlesexEvaluationReportfoundthattheWBLframeworkdemonstratedalevelof successinprovidingthelegalprofessionwithalearninganddevelopmentapproachto thevocationalstageofqualificationthatassuresqualityinassessment,andthatcanbe monitoredandcontributetoenhancingstandardsacrossallsetups.Theevaluation reportalsohighlightedanumberofkeyrecommendations: 1. Undertakefurtherworktosetouttheskillsandattributesforqualifyingasa solicitor; 2. DevelopprogressivestepsofachievementlinkingtheLPC,thevocationalstage andDay1competences; 3. Setoutthelearningoutcomesnecessarytodemonstratecompetence; 4. Consideracreditsystemtoassessincrementallearningandtoopenthedoorto moreflexibleroutestoqualificationandtransferbetweenprofessions; 5. Retainanddeveloptheuseoftheportfolioasalearningjournal; 6. TrainkeyprofessionalsincoachingandassessingwithinaWBLframework; 7. Continuetheboldmovesinwideningparticipationthroughexploringan accreditedlearningschemeforpriorlearning; 8. Addressbarrierstoentryatsecondaryschoollevelwhenchoicesofuniversity, coursesandfuturecareersarestillintheformativestage.

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2. Evaluationmethodology
Introduction
Theroleofeducationandtrainingstrategyforanyregulatorthatsetsprofessional standardsistoapplyeducationtheoryandpracticeacrosscriticalareasofriskthe validity,consistencyandreliabilityofassessmentinordertoensurecompetenceand theembeddingofprofessionalvaluesandethics.Forthevocational/admissionstageof solicitortraining,failureinthesecriticalareasconstitutesrisktothepublicintermsof assuringthecompetenceofnewentrantstotheprofession. Currently,thereisnoassessmentatthepointofadmissiontothesolicitorsprofession. ThiswaspivotalinthedecisionbytheSRAtopilotWorkBasedLearning(WBL)forthe vocationalstagetoinformfuturestrategy.TheSRAtooktheviewthataworkbased learningframeworksupportedtheaimofensuringcompetenceratherthanadheringto process,andalsoallowsflexibilityofroutestoqualification.Atthemoment,large numbersofgraduatesoftheLegalPracticeCourse(LPC)donotsucceedingettingtraining contractsandthereforecannotproceedwiththevocationalstageofsolicitortraining.The WBLpilotalsohadtheaimofexploringaworkbasedroutetoassessingthecompetence ofsuchindividuals,workinginparalegalroles,toentertheprofession,andtherebythe opennessoftheschemetocandidatesfromawiderangeofbackgroundsandexperience. UndertheWBLpilot,theSRArequiredcandidates,boththoseintrainingcontractsand paralegals,tocompleteaperiodofpractical,assessedlegalexperiencepriorto qualification,withtheaimofensuringthateachcandidateshoulddemonstratethe requiredstandardofcompetencethroughtheWorkBasedLearningOutcomesin supportivelegalenvironments. Thebasicnatureofthecurrenttrainingsystemremainedinthattrainingwasdesigned anddeliveredbyautonomousorganisationsunderthecentralregulationsandguidance oftheSRA.ForcandidatesinparalegalrolesintheWBLscheme,externalassessment organisationsdesignedanddevelopedprogrammesunderthenewpilotframework whichtheSRAvalidated.Theexternalassessmentorganisationsperformedthefinal assessmentofcompetenceforthisgroup. Anexternalevaluationoftheschemebyconsultants,experiencedinbothworkbased learningandlegaleducation,wasconsiderednecessarytoensureanobjective,thorough andinformedassessmentofeveryaspectofthescheme[Appendix3SRAScoping Document].SuchanevaluationwouldprovidetheSRAwithareliableanalysisofthe scheme,acrossarangeofsetupswithacrosssectionofparticipants,toinformits educationandtrainingstrategyandtoprogressthedevelopmentofacompetencebased frameworkthatwouldfulfilitsobligationsasaregulator.TheScopeofWorkdocument preparedbytheSRAwasextensiveanddetailedandhaditselfbeeninformedbytheopen andengagedprocesswhichtheSRAencouragedduringitssettingupofthepilotandits recruitmentprocedures.

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Theexternalevaluationteamwasgivenaccesstoallaspectsoftheschemeandall participantsduringtheCohort1trainingperiod20082010.Thisreportisbasedonthe findingsoftheMiddlesexUniversityevaluationteamoverthisperiod.Thescopeofthe evaluationexercisecanbefoundinAppendices2and3. TheEvaluationmethodologywasinformedbytheguidanceissuedintheSRAScoping document[Appendices2,3,4]andtheInstituteforWorkBasedLearningsconsiderable experienceinmethodologiesappropriatetoprofessionalworkenvironments underpinnedbyacommitmenttoinclusion.TheIWBLsupportsthenotionthateveryone hasthepotentialtolearnandcontributetoknowledgethroughcriticalreflectiononwork experiencesandpractices. Theevaluationteamdecidedonamethodologicalframeemployingmixedmethods (quantitativeandqualitative)thatwould: bestcapturetherangeofdatarequiredtoattendtotheaimsandobjectives oftheSRA[Appendix2,SRAscopingdocument,Appendix3,MUscoping document]; ensurereliabilityoverawiderangeofvariablesintheabsenceofthediverse samplebeingabletoproducesignificantstatisticalreliabilityinallaspects; theopportunityfortriangulationtoincreasereliability; give,asfaraspossible,abalancebetweendatathatcouldberegardedas objectiveanddatawhichwouldbeexperienceandopinionfocussed.This wouldbeimportantforcandidatesforwhomthispilotwouldbeanentirely newexperience.Itwasanticipatedthatstream2candidateswouldhavea voiceofvaluetotheprofessionparticularlyinitsendeavourstowiden participationandthatvoicewouldnotbecapturedindepththroughsurveys only; elicitdataonbothgeneralandspecificareasandissues; capturerepresentativeindividualviewsandperspectivesaswellassystemic considerations. Othermethodologicalconsiderationswere: issuesarisingintheevaluationduetothehighlevelofvariablescontainedin thesample:differentsetups;differentcandidatestreams;different assessmentarrangements;differentregions;differenteducationaland experiencelevelsamongcandidates; theevaluationexerciseitselfcouldimpactontheviewsofparticipants; thesamplewouldbesubjecttoevaluationattentionwhichwouldrequire theirtimeoverandabovetherequirementsoftheirtraining; theresponsibilitiesoftheevaluatortoprovidereliabledatatoinformfuture decisionsinthelightoftheSRAsaims,andthepotentialoftheevaluation exercisetoimpactonfuturepolicies. Tokeeptheseconsiderationsattheforefrontoftheevaluationexercise,theevaluation teamwould:

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SRAFinalReport havere egularmeet tingswithth heSRAinth hefirstPhas sesofthere esearch; involve eexternalex xpertsonla awandprof fessionalqu ualifications stoactascr ritical readers sandadvise ers.

Analysis sdetailforeachphase eoftheeva aluation nalysesseeA Appendix5) (formoredetailedinformationonthean asystemofmixedmethodsw wasused tativeforbe enchmarkin nginformati ion quantit qualitativeinthef formofinte erviewsand dthematica analysisofq questionnaires themat ticanalysiswastheorg ganisationo ofthemeso overtimeint to superordinate=m majortheme eswithhigh hconsensus sandsubord dinate= themes swithalow werconsens susbutstillimportantinresponsetospecific areasa andsetups.Issuesraise edwithnoconsensusw wereomittedorusedfor describ bingindividu ualproblem ms allthet themesint thebodyofthefinalre eportandon nwhichthe econclusion ns andrec commendat tionsareba asedwerec consistently ysuperordin nateandhig gh subordinateinPha ases3and4 4oftheeva aluationexe ercise asystemoftriangulationofd datawasuse ed:eachda atastream(surveys, intervie ews,portfolios,literatu ure,policyd documents, ,qualityass surance documentsfromt thevarioussetups)wa asanalysedandchecke edagainste each othertillthedistillationproducedconfid dentsupero ordinatethe emes(high nsus)andsu ubordinatet themes(low werconsens susbuthigh hsignificanc cefor consen certainparticipant ts) Evaluat tionresearc chpathway y

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ProfileofSample Stream1 Candidatesemployedbylegalfirmsonatrainingcontract.Internallyassessedby theirindividualemployers. Othervariables:locationmainlyLondon;largeandmediumpractices;cityfirms, litigation;commercial;ethnicity;gender. Candidatesemployedbylegalfirmsonatrainingcontract.Externallyassessedby OXILP. Othervariables:locationmainlyLondon,southandsouthwest;mixtureofmedium andlarge;differentspecialisations;ethnicity;gender. Stream2 Candidatesemployedbylegalfirmontrainingcontracts.ExternallyassessedbyNLS. Othervariables:locationtheNorth;largefirm;ethnicity;gender;socio/educational. Candidatesemployedbylegaldepartmentsinavarietyof organisations. ExternallyassessedbyNLS. Othervariables:theNorth,theMidlandsandLondon;varietyofsmall,mediumand largeorganisations;differenttypesoforganisationsincludinglocalgovernmentand bigbusiness;widerrangeofage,gender,ethnicity,socio/educationaland socio/economicbackgrounds. Researchphases
Phase1 FebtoApril2009 anexplorationofthesetup,selectionandrecruitingdocuments oftheSRApilot anevaluationofthelearningmaterialsandguidancedocuments ofthevariousassessmentorganisations anoverallbenchmarkingquestionnairetoallcandidatesand professionalsinvolvedinthescheme ongoingliteraturesearchondiversityintheprofessionsandin education. Developmentsinworkbasedlearningpracticeandasspecifically appliedtoprofessionalqualificationsmostnotablyinthe assessmentofcompetence,skillsandcapabilities. Bestpracticeinworkbasedlearningintheprofessions indepthinterviewswithkeyprofessionalsanddiscussionswith SRAteammembers Indepthinterviewswithabroadselectionofcandidates INTERIMREPORT akeyquestionnairedesignedtopayattentiontothekeyissues distilledfrombothananalysisofthedataandtheemerging picturefromtheSRAmonitoringofthescheme ongoingliteraturesearchondiversityintheprofessionsandin education.

Phase2 MaytoSept2009 Phase3 MarchtoJuly2010

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Developmentsinworkbasedlearningpracticeandasspecifically appliedtoprofessionalqualificationsmostnotablyinthe assessmentofcompetence,skillsandcapabilities. Bestpracticeinworkbasedlearningintheprofessions INTERIMREPORT furtherindepthinterviewswithkeyprofessionalstospecifically focusonlearningoutcomes,assessments,widening participation,thepilotschemeasawhole,thefuture. examinationofawideselectionfrombothIAOsandEAOsof completedportfoliosandsummativeassessments indepthinterviewswithprofessionalsoffirmsnotinvolvedin theschemetotestvalidityofthefindingsfortheprofessionasa whole analysisofthedatafromtheevaluationexerciseandan interpretationofthefindings recommendations commissioningofparticularpaperstosupportthe recommendationsbasedonthefindings assessmentofthediversitystrategy extrapolationofbestpractice FINALREPORT

Phase4 AugustDecember 2010*

*AllassessmentswerenotcompletedtillendofOctober2010 Detailsofenquiryactivitiesover2years
Year1 Year1andYear2 Year2 deskresearchintosetupofpilotscheme 1benchmarkingsurveytoallcandidates 19interviewswitharangeofcandidatesfrombothstreams 9interviewswithprofessionalsincluding2withEAOs deskresearchintoawiderangeofassessmentdocumentsand portfoliosystems literaturesearch:diversity;socio/economicdiscrimination; professionalroutestoqualification;WBLasappliedtothe professions 1majorkeyquestionnairetoallparticipants 17interviewswithprofessionals LargeCityofLondon/internationalfirms MediumsizedlitigationintensivefirmscentralLondon SmallhighstreetmixedpracticefirmssuburbanLondon LegaldepartmentsofCityCouncils MediumregionalmixedpracticefirmsnorthofEngland MediumregionmixedpracticefirmssouthernEngland Nonschemesmalllitigationintensivepracticefirm regional,NorthofEngland Nonschememediumsizedmixedpracticefirm centralandsuburbanLondon Nonschemeinternationalexclusivelycorporatepracticefirm (CityofLondon)

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ExternalAssessmentOrganisations

Considerationswhicharoseduringtheevaluationexercise: AnumberofteamchangeswhichtookplaceintheSRA Twoteamchangesintheevaluationteam AchangetoteamleadershipintheSRA Fullimpactoftheeconomicdownturn Imminentchangesinthelawprofession

Challengesduringtheevaluation
1.Multiplevariablesandno representativesampleforsome factors 2.Socioeducationalfactorscitedas majordiscriminationfactorinthe legalprofession

Responses
increaseinterviewsforreliability gooutsideoftheschemetocheckvalidity dedicateadiscretesectioninthereporton stream2.[SeeAnnexe1.ii.] widendiversityliteraturesearchandbarriersto entryintotheprofessions[Resourcepaper11] havecriticaladvisers recognitionthatduetothesignificant implicationsofthepilotschemeitwasnecessary tocooperateoncertainissues:information; changestoprocedures/materials;reviewing changesinfocusduetoshiftingexternaland internallandscape nocollaborationduringPhase4andwritingof theFinalReport

3.CooperationwiththeSRAonan independentreport

4.Twoprocessesgoingonatthe sametimei.themonitoringofthe schemebytheSRAwhichalso includedconsultationsandeliciting evaluationmaterialfromparticipants forSRApurposesii.theindependent evaluationbytheMUteam.Thisled tocandidatesandprofessionals beingregularlycontactedfor informationandviews 5.ThattheSRAmonitoringvisits appearedtohavetwofunctions:i. theSRAmonitoringofthe implementationanddeliverytomeet qualityassurancerequirementsii. informationgathering/researchon aspectsofthescheme

cooperationwithSRAontheKeyQuestionnaire

agreementonprioritizingtheissues

regularlyapologizingtoparticipantsforwhat appearedtothemtoberepetitivechecking

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recognizingtheinfluencethesemeetingswith theSRAwerehavingontheviewsofthe professionals recognizingthatthemoreoftenthe professionalswereasked,themoredistilledand cleartheirthinkingappearedtobecome tobeclearerindiscussionswiththepolicy executiveaboutthenatureofinterimreports andthefinalreport ensurethatthefinalreportisgiveninpersonby anMUteammember

6.Presentationofinterimreportsto theEducationandTraining CommitteenotbyanMUteam member

3. Evaluationconclusions
TheconclusionslistedhereemergeoutoftheFindings[Annexe1.i]andare informedbyanextensiveliteraturesearch[Resourcepaper11:workbasedlearning; wideningparticipation]andtheworkbasedlearningexpertiseinresearch, employerengagementandprofessionaltrainingandpracticewhichhasbeen developed,andinsomecasespioneered,bytheInstituteforWorkBasedLearning overthelastnineteenyears. Theevaluationexercisesoughttoevaluatetheschemeagainstthetemplateof validity,consistencyandreliabilityintheapplicationofeducationtheoryand practiceinthevocationalstageoftrainingandtoassesstheschemesimpacton addressingtheissueofwideningaccesstotheprofession. Thelegalprofession,aftermanyyearsofifisisntbrokenwhyfixitapproachhas, throughitsregulator,beguntochallengetheacceptedrouteofatrainingcontract initspresentformasbeingthemostappropriateandsustainablefortheprofession inthecurrentsocio/political/economicclimateofaglobalworld.Asystemwhich hasnoobjectiveassessmentcriteria,hasahighvarianceinstandardsandhasno requirementforobjectiveevidenceofskillsandcompetencesacrossallsetupsis onethatwouldfinditnotonlyincreasinglydifficulttocompeteinaknowledge economybutmostimportantlywithstandscrutinyofstandards,qualityassurance, risk,ethicsandinclusion. TheWBLframeworkisanadaptableframeworkwhichhasatitscoreasetof learningoutcomeswhich,ifsuccessfullyachieved,demonstratearangeof competences/capabilities/skillswhichareevidencedthroughvariousactivitiesand recordedinsomeform,themostcommonvehicleforthiscurrentlybeinga portfolio.Thelearningoutcomesareformatively/incrementallyassessedandthe portfoliocontainingtheactivities,whichconstitutethebodyofevidence,provides thebasisforthefinalassessment.Suchalearningoutcomesfocusedapproach facilitatesandenhancesqualityassuranceacrossarangeofsetupswithinthesame professionwhichensurestheregulatoryobjectivesofaprofessioncanbemet.

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Theevaluationexercisewasabletosomeextenttodifferentiatethereasonsbehind someofthefindingsrangingfrominsufficienciesinalearningoutcomesframework itself,thevariouswaysinwhichitwasinterpretedandappliedandtheinfluenceof environmentalfactors. Theevaluationconclusionshavebeenorganisedintosectionswhichfocusonthe differentpartsoftheWBLframeworkasdescribedabovewithanintroductory paragraphforeach.Theuseofboldindicatesareasfornoteordevelopment.Key recommendationstoaddresstheseareinSection4andResourcepaperstosupport therecommendationsareinAnnexe2. Generalconclusions TheevaluationteamfoundthattheWBLpilotschemewascarriedoutwithdue attentiontoconsultation,researchandtransparency.Throughitsownmonitoring ofthescheme,theSRAwasabletocontinuetoclarifyorconsultonissueswhich aroseforallparticipants.Someoperationalaspectstooktimetoresolve.TheWBL schemewasconsideredbyasignificantmajorityofitsparticipantsasmotivatedby necessaryandworthwhileaimswhileatthesametimeraisingbothpositiveand negativeresponses.Anumberofnegativeorresistantresponseswereinfluenced bychangesintheeconomicclimatesincetheWBLpilotschemewasinitiated. 3.1 Thepilotwasasuccessagainstmostofitsstatedaims: todevelopanapproachtoensuringthecompetenceofqualifying solicitorsthatisqualityassured,consistentandreliable; todevelop,testandevaluateWBLasamodelforimprovingthequality assuranceofthevocationaltrainingstageofqualificationasasolicitor; todevelop,testandevaluateWBLasamodelforwideningaccesstothe profession. 3.2 Intermsofdevelopinganapproachtoensuringcompetence,thepilotwas successfulintesting: theconceptofaframeworkofcompetencemeasuresforthepractical vocationalstageofsolicitorsqualification.Thepilothasshownthatthis conceptisappropriateforSRAaims; thecompetencemeasuresthemselves(theWorkBasedLearning Outcomes).Althoughtheycovertheessentialareas,modificationsto thestyleandstructureoftheOutcomesareneeded[Resourcepaper5]; theuseofevidencebasedassessmentcriteria; avehicleforevidencingcompetences(theportfolio)whichhasprovided valuabledatatoinformthenextstepsinthisarea[Annexe1.i.Findings andResourcepaper3]; aqualityassurancesystemthatcanbemonitoredandcontributeto enhancingstandards; themeansforcandidatestoselfmanagetheirlearning;

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SRAFinalReport amodelforwideningaccesstoqualificationasasolicitor,allowing conclusionstobedrawnastothenextstepsinthisarea[Annexe1.ii andResourcepapers4and9].

Detailedconclusions 3.3 TheSRAsdesign,implementationandmonitoringoftheWBLpilotscheme wereunderpinnedbyconsiderableresearchandongoingconsultationwithin theprofessionandwitheducationalexperts. Anumberofoperationalissuestooktimetoresolve. 3.4 Thepilotstwomajoraimswereambitioustoachievewithinthesame scheme: (i) (ii) aprofessionaltrainingandassessmentframeworkthatisquality assured,consistentandreliable andwidensaccesstotheprofession.

Itwasaboldmovetoincludethesecond.Itbrokewithtraditionand producedvaluabledatatoinformfuturestepsregardingwidening participation[Annexe1.i.andii.andResourcepapers4,5]. 3.5 Theschemesucceededinpersuadingeventhemostresistantparticipantsof therationalityofthepurposeoftheschemeresultinginseveralparticipating legalfirmsenhancingtheirexistingtrainingpracticesduringandsincetheend ofthisCohort1pilot. 3.6 Itdidnotsucceedinconvincingtheprofessionthatitcouldbeadoptedasa trainingframeworkinitspresentform. 3.7 Impressiveprogresstowardsaviablesystemofprofessionallearning appropriatetoallsetupswasevident. Thereisstillaconsiderableamountofdevelopmentandconsultationwork tobedonewhichrequireslookingatalllevelsoflegaltraining. 3.8 TheWBLpilotwasabletodemonstrateprogressivelearninganddevelopment appropriatetotheprofessionalstandardsrequiredtoqualifyasasolicitorand anacceptablelevelofconsistencyacrossallsetupswasachieved. TheWBLframeworkneedsfurtherdevelopmentparticularlyintheareaof assessment. 3.9 TherewasahighlevelofcompliancetotheWBLframeworkandits proceduresandprotocolsbecauseitwasacloselymonitoredexercise introducedbytheregulatorforwhichorganisationshadvolunteered. Ifanewframeworkisrolledoutthereisnoguaranteeofsuchahighlevelof compliancewhichneedstobetakenintoconsiderationwhenplanning qualityassuranceandcomplianceprotocolsacrossallsetups.Howeverif

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thenewframeworkcanmeettheconcernsraisedduringthisevaluation exercisethencompliancewillnotbeacoreissueasthebenefitsto organisationswillbeevidentandmakesoundbusinesssense. Qualityassuranceandenhancement(QAE) TheSRAismovingtowardsanOutcomesFocussedRegulationframeworkforallits regulatoryactivitiesdirectedatensuringtherightoutcomesforsolicitors'clients andothers.Thisrequireseffectiveandproportionatequalityassuranceofentrance totheprofession.TheSRAneedsaframeworkwhichensuresthatcompetenceto practiseasasolicitorisattributedtoeachindividualthroughassessmentthatis valid,consistentandreliableandtheWBLpilotwasdesignedtoresearchandtest this Inthisinstancewearereferringtoqualityassuranceasprocesseswhichreducerisk tothepublicandtheprofessionbyensuringthatprofessionalstandardsand practicesaremonitoredandmaintained.Qualityassurancehassensiblyevolvedto includeenhancementthroughtheaspirationofhighqualitylearningand development.Itcannotrelyonasetofruleswhichemployeesfollowbecauseof authoritycomplianceratherthanstakeholdercompliance.Qualityassuranceforthe professionsintegratesfundamentalprinciplescommontoallworkandprofessional practicesandthosewhicharedomainspecific.AmongthecontributionswhichWBL philosophyhasmadeinthelastfifteenyearsare: (i) (ii) thenotionthatprofessionalpracticeisacontributortoknowledgeworthyof academicaccreditation; thatthecritiqueofprofessionalpracticeasopposedtojustdoingitproduces guidancetoqualitythatisrelevant,informed,opentoongoingdevelopment andmakesgoodbusinesssense.Mostimportantly,itencouragescompliance throughprovidingaprofessionderivedbasisforconsistencyacrossdifferent setupswhichcanbeobjectivelymeasuredagainstastandardthathasbeen designedandsupportedbyitsmemberswiththehighestaspirationsforits membership.

3.10 Theschemeraisedawarenessinlegalfirmsofthebenefitsofworkingtoa WBLtrainingframework/adaptedframeworkinparticularitsvaluein facilitatingselfmanagedlearningandsupportingsupervisors. Thevehicleofdelivery(theportfolio)initscurrentformisadministratively burdensomeforcandidatesandprofessionals. Thevehicleofdelivery(ifusedonitsown)haslimitationsinassessing whetheranindividualhasmetthecriteriaforprofessionalqualification[see LearningOutcomesandPortfoliobelow]. 3.11 Theschemeachievedsuccessinprovidingafirmbasisandanappropriateand flexibleframeworkforobjectiveassessmentcriteriawiththepotentialto achieve alevelofstandardisationacrossallsetupsbutconsiderable challengesremain.

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SRAFinalReport Evenbasiclevelcompetencesvaryindifferentsetupswithvaryingdegrees ofsupervisoryskillsinassessingandfacilitatinglearning. Theuseoftheportfoliovariedacrossdifferentsetupsgivingsome indicationofthechallengetodrawingupasetofbasiccompetenceswith whicheveryoneagreesandcomplies. 3.12 Attemptstostandardisecouldpossiblyresultinafocussingonaminimum standardtoqualify.Thisisachallengenotuniquetothelegalprofession. Learningoutcomes Thepilotschemeaimedtotestalearningoutcomesframeworkwithinthelegal professionanditspotentialtoreplacethestandardtrainingcontractasamore objectiveprocesswhichencouragesselfmanagedlearning,aprofessionalattitude toworkthroughevidencegatheringandreflectionandtoassuretheregulatorand theprofessionthatqualifyingsolicitorshavemetanevidencedbenchmarkstandard acrossallsetups.Thelearningoutcomesforthisschemewerebasedonwhatwere consideredthemaincompetencesrequiredofaDay1solicitorandtheseneededto betestedforrelevance. Theliteratureonskills,competencesandcapabilities[Resourcepaper11]hasbeen extensiveparticularlyinthelastfifteenyearswithconfusionsarisingover terminologyandarangeofcompetingconceptualisationsofaprofessional:the skillsandattributesrequired;anapproachtofacilitatethedevelopmentofa professionalandasystemofobjectivemeasurestoassesswhetherthatgoalhas beenachieved.Theevidencedlearningoutcomesapproachhasemergedasthe mostappropriatepedagogicframeworktofulfiltheseaimsandhastheflexibilityfor applicationindifferentprofessionsandenvironments.However,traininginhowto facilitateandassesslearningoutcomeshasbeenshowntobeanessential componentinthesuccessoftheframeworkparticularlytheuseofreflectionand whatconstitutesevidence[Resourcepaper5]. 3.13 TheWBLschemedemonstratedthevalueoflearningoutcomesasan appropriatelearningandassessmentapproachforthevocationalstageof training. 3.14 Thelearningoutcomesapproachwasoveralleffectiveinguidingcandidates, supervisorsandreviewers: toensurecandidatesreceivedadequateexposuretotheareasoflaw Thiswasmorechallengingforstream2. toenablecandidatestobeproactive toenablecandidatestoselfmanage Selfmanagementwasaslowerprocessforsomethanforothersbut noclearevidenceastowhy. Itwasunclearfromtheportfolioshowmuchandwhatkindofhelp wasgivenbysupervisors/reviewers.Noteveryexchangewasrecorded intheportfolio.

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toensurecandidatesprovidedevidencefortheirlearningwhichformed thebasisfordiscussionsbetweencandidatesandsupervisors/reviewers aswellasforassessment Theuseofonepieceofevidencetomeetseveraloutcomesisindicativeof (i) theoverlapinthelearningoutcomes (ii) insomecasesalackofvariedwork(moreevidentinstream2) (iii) challengesinevidencinglearningoutcomes58. 3.15 Theschemesucceededinensuringallcandidateshadexposuretotheareasof lawinpartduetothisexercisebeingacloselymonitoredpilotinwhich compliancewasexpected. Thiswasmorechallengingtoachieveforstream2andneedsfurther development. 3.16 Thelearningoutcomesweretoonumerous,overlappingandprescriptivefor theintendedpurposeandtookupresourcesparticularlyintimecausing hesitationaboutand,insomecases,resistancetoadoptingsucha frameworkinthefuture. 3.17 Allthelearningoutcomeswereconsideredrelevantoverallbutthebusiness awarenessoutcome,particularlyinthechangingeconomicclimate,emerged asakeyoneforbothlegalfirmsandotherorganisations. Thechallengewasnotrelevancebuthowtheycouldbedemonstrated. 3.18 Thesoftskillslearningoutcomes58werechallengingtodemonstrateforall candidatesusingtheevidencerequired.InotherapplicationsoftheWBL framework,softskillsi.e.interpersonalandsocialskillsaredemonstrated moreeffectivelythroughlearningconversationsandthroughreflection sheets. 3.19 Reflectionsheetswereusedinseveralcasesinanattempttodemonstrate theseoutcomesintheabsenceofotherformsofevidence. GuidanceonthepurposeandvalueofreflectionwithinaWBLframework waslimited,absentinsomecases,andneedstobeaddressed. 3.20 Thecontentious/advocacyexperiencerequirementwasitselfcontentious andoutofdate.Itrequiresclarificationofwhatdefinesit,whatevidencesit anditsrelevanceinallsetups. 3.21 Thelearningoutcomesastheyareframedanddeliveredcannotontheir ownevidenceprofessionalismorpotential. 3.22 Learningoutcomes,tobeeffectiveasalearning,developmentand assessmentapproach,needtobecomplementedbyskilledsupervisorsand reviewerswhoareanessentialsourceoflearning,developmentand assessment(ofpotentialandprofessionalismaswellasskills)and

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SRAFinalReport instrumentalinfacilitatingamovetowardsselfmanagementandprofessional acculturation. Itwasnotclearwhatimpacttheskillofthesupervisor/reviewerhadinthe achievingoftheoutcomes. Tobeeffectiveintheroleofsupervisor/reviewerandassessorwithina learningoutcomesbasedapproach,trainingisessentialandshouldincludea developmentalmodeltakingthecandidatefromdependenceto independence,frombeingtaughttobeingcoached.Coachingmodelsare widelyregardedasthemostappropriatefortheprofessions[Resource paper10]. Portfolio Inworkbasedlearning,aportfolioisavehicleforevidencingcompetences.Inthis pilotschemeitsusehasprovidedvaluabledatatoinformthenextstepsinthisarea. AlthoughtheSRAdidnotprescribeaportfolio,boththeinternalandexternal assessmentorganisationschosethismethodofdelivery,recordkeeping, evidencingandassessment.Anumberofinternalorganisationschosetheportfolio becauseaportfolioorsomethingsimilarwasalreadyafeatureoftheirexisting trainingpractices.Externalassessmentorganisations,influencedbyworkbased learningpractices,foundittobethemostsuitableandaccessibleformof (i) (ii) Someorganisations,whichhadnotusedaportfoliobefore,founditusefulandwere consideringadoptingitwithsomechangesinanyevent.Howeveraportfolioisnot theonlyvehicleanditsefficacyvariesdependingonseveralfactorsincludinghowit isused,howthevariousaspectsoftheportfolioareinterpretedandmanagedand whetheritbecomesrelieduponasthesolemeansofassessment.Itisopentobeing highlyprescriptiveandprocessfocussedwhichdoesnotsupporttheSRAs educationandtrainingstrategywhichemphasisescompetenceratherthanprocess. Therearedifferentversionsofportfoliosandevidenceintheliteratureofdifferent waysinwhichtheyareusedintheprofessions,inworkplacesandinacademic settings.Inanacademicsetting,portfoliosaremoreoftenusedatthe undergraduateandmasterslevelsasevidencinglearninganddevelopmentin particularpartsofthecurriculumwhichmaybenewandhavepracticecomponents. Forexample,theycanbeusedtoevidencetheapplicationofresearchmethods throughsmallexercisesorprojects,aslearningjournalsforworkplacementsto recordhowtheoryisrelatedtopracticeorasevidenceofattendanceandof contributionstheexperienceismakingtothelearningofthecandidate/student.At doctorallevel,portfoliosaremostoftenusedasoptionalselflearningtoolsand assessmentisbasedontheintegrationofknowledgeandpracticethrough papers/projects.Inaccreditingworkplacelearning,portfoliosareareliablelearning tooltheearlystageswhenarticulatingpracticethroughreflectionandwriting papersonpracticeare,formanyexperiencedworkers,relativelynewactivities.In thesecases,theportfoliosaremoreafacilitationoflearningthananassessment collectingandrecordingevidenceacrossvarioussetups facilitatinglearningdevelopmentforcandidatesandtheirroleasassessors.

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tool.Iftheyareusedforassessmentthentheyconstituteonlyapartofthat assessment.Howeverportfolioscanbeusedeffectivelyinaverysophisticatedway fortheprofessions[Resourcepaper3].Ifportfoliosareusedinthedeliveryofa WBLframeworkandforassessmentthentheyrequiretrainingforcandidates, supervisors/reviewersandassessors.Theyarenotnormallyusedastheonlymeans ofsummativeassessment.Portfoliosaremoreoftenconsideredasalearningtool forthecandidate/studentandtheeducationalinstituteorworkplacethanas somethingwhichistransferableandpublic.Oneoftheexceptionstothiswouldbe inthearts. 3.23 TheWBLschemebroughtaboutthesuccessfulintroductionofaportfolioasa vehicleforlearning,professionaldevelopmentandformativeassessment. Attimeslearningoutcomesandportfoliowereusedsynonymously. 3.24 TheWBLportfoliosystemsucceededinhelpingcandidatestoplantheirwork, tracktheirprogress,reflectonchallengesandhaveabasisfordiscussionwith theirsupervisorsandreviewers. Itwasrepetitiveandburdensomeresultinginonepieceofevidencebeing usedtodemonstrateseveraloutcomesparticularlyinstream2. Itwasprescriptiveinhibitingcandidatesfromthinkingforthemselves. 3.25 Thelimitationsoftheportfoliowerealsoduetohowitwasusedby candidatesandemployers(see2.242.28). Overconscientiouslyasinthecaseofsomeorganisationswhichwerenot legalfirmswantingtodoeverythingwellandtotheletter. Somelegalpracticesoperatingitinparallelwiththeirexistingtraining contractexamplesofsomeportfoliosconcentratingontheincremental stagesandothersmoreonthefinalstages. Supervisorsfeedbackandreportsvaryingindepthandskill. Somecandidateswritingupfeedbacktoworkon,othersnot. 3.26 SomeIAOsallowedmorerepetitionofdocumentsintermsofevidencingthe learningoutcomesthanotherswhichhadimplicationsfortracking progression.SomeIAOswereverysuspiciousofallowingacandidateto includeevidenceofsubstandardworkintheirportfoliosevenifitwasinan efforttoshowthattheyhadlearnedfrommistakesandprogressed.Other IAOsweresupportiveofallowingacandidatetoshowwherefailingshad occurredandhowtheyhadcorrectedthemwhendealingwithfuturematters indicatinglearningprogression. 3.27 Therewassomeconfusionabouthowtodealwithevidenceof supplementaryinternaltrainingforcandidates.SomeIAOsprovide extensiveinternaltrainingfortheirtraineesincludingcourses,presentations, lecturesandseminars.Inonecasetheportfoliosweregiventheirownsection todealexclusivelywithevidencingattendanceatsuchsessions.OtherIAOs eitherhadlessformalinternaltrainingorchosenottoincludeevidenceofitin theportfolios.

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SRAFinalReport 3.28 Thepersonallearninganddevelopmentplanwasconsideredasignificant contributionbyfirmswhichdidnotpreviouslyhavethispracticeandby employersofstream2. Stream2reviewersactivelyhelpedwiththiswhichinthevariedandoften challengingcircumstancesofstream2wasgoodpractice.Itwas instrumentalinhelpingtodevelopselfmanagementinachievingthe outcomes. Stream2candidateswerequitecapableofselfmanagementintheirlegal rolesbuttherewasevidencethatundertakingtheWBLwasdeskillingwhen candidatesmovedoutoftheirusualareaoflaw. 3.29 SomeIAOsemphasisedtheimportanceofthepersonallearningand developmentplanandconstructedthemindetailwiththecandidateandthe supervisorcollaboratingonitscontent.Theseorganisationstendedtobe thosethatusesimilardocumentsorsystemsintheirstandardtraining contracts.AnumberofotherIAOshowever,preferredtoallowagreater degreeofautonomyintheircandidatesbyhavingthemformulatetheirown personallearninganddevelopmentplansasameansofselfreflection. 3.30 SomeIAOsweremoreconcernedwithconfidentialitythanotherswithsome beingparticularlyconcernedaboutthecontentsofportfoliosbeingviewedby partiesoutsidetheorganisationwhilstotherswerecontenttouseredaction. Theevaluationteammembershadsomedifficultyinaccessingportfoliosin somelegalpracticesonthegroundsofconfidentiality. Therewasevidencefromtheportfoliosthatsubstantialredactionhadthe sameimpactasexcludingthedocumentforanypotentialemployeror externalmonitor. 3.31 Theexternalassessmentorganisationsmadeseveralcontributionstorefining andconveyingthepurposeandprocessesoftheWBLframeworkto participantsinhowtomeetthelearningoutcomes. 3.32 Threetypesofportfoliosystemwereusedadaptedelectronic,tailored electronic ndhardcopy. a Theportfoliosystem,particularlythehardcopyhassignificantproblems concerningtransferability/portabilityincludingissuesofconfidentialityhard copywasusedbymostofstream1andstream2. Thetailoredelectronicwaswellreceivedbythosewhouseditincontrastto theadaptedelectronicwhichwasveryunpopular. 3.33 Theportfolioofevidenceandassessmentoffersnoadvantagein employabilityoverexistingtrainingsystems.Employerswillrelyontheir interviewingprocessandonsupervisorsappraisalstodecidewhetheran individualissuitableforapositionintheirparticularfirm. 3.34 Employerswillbemoreinclinedtoofferparalegalsaninterviewiftheyknow theyhavecompletedtheWBLschemebutwouldmostlikelyonlyuse supervisorsappraisalstoinformtheinterview.

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3.35 IntermsofhowIAOsdifferedbeforeandaftertheyimplementedWBLthere areacoupleofareastobehighlighted.Someorganisationswereclearthat theydonotnormallyexpectlargeamountsofdocumentevidencetobe collatedaspartofastandardtrainingcontractinordertodemonstrate competence.Theportfoliosfarexceedtheamountofdocumentation normallyexpectedofacandidate.Otherorganisationsdoexpectextensive documentationfromtheirstandardtraineessotheportfoliotendedtobe morefamiliartothemintermsofevidencerequirements.Insomecasesthe organisationsinternalsystemsrequiregreaterevidencethanthatrequiredby theportfolios. Assessment Assessmentofcompetenceisperhapsoneofthemostresearchedareasofwork basedlearning.TheSRAinitsendeavourtoimplementregulatoryobjectives relatingtolicensuresoughttoexploreappropriateassessmentmethods.However, itisalsooneofthemostchallengingaspectsofworkbasedlearningforthe professionsasitssuccessispredicatedonaconceptualisationofprofessionalism,a modelofskills,competencesandcapabilitieswhicharticulateit,asetofprocesses andobjectiveswhichevidenceitandasetofdescriptorstoassessit.Inthispilot scheme,everycarewastakentoensurethelearningoutcomeswereevidencedand met.However,theschemealsohighlightedtheneedforaconfident conceptualisationofprofessionalismintegratingskills,attitudesandattributes,a robustmodeloftheseandchallenging,matureandcreativewaystodemonstrate them. IntheWBLpilotscheme,theportfolioprovidedthedemonstrationofachievement ofthelearningoutcomessupportedbyarangeofevidenceincludinglegal documents;reflectionsheets;supervisor/reviewerfeedback;useoffeedback; formativeassessmentlevels;appraisals;exposuretoareasoflawand contentious/noncontentiousexperience.Theassessmentofcompetencetoenter theprofessionwasbasedonthisevidencebaseddemonstrationofachievementof thelearningoutcomes.Howeverretentionbylegalfirmsofthesenewlyqualified solicitorsappearedtobebasedonsomethingthattheportfoliosdidnotseemto deliverontheirown[Resourcepapers2and7]. Inadditiontothosechallengestoassessmentprotocolsmentionedthereareothers whichrangefromcriteriatoobjectivity.Inworkbasedlearning,althoughdesigned tomeetseveralofthosechallenges,someproblemsstillremain.Forexample:
(i) atwhatstagecanitbedecidedthatacandidatedoesnothavethepotentialto achievethelevelsrequiredtogainanawardortoachieveprofessionalqualifications andwhatcriteriaareusedtoreachthatdecision?Workbasedlearningisprogressive. Learningoutcomesareachievedthroughaprocessofincrementallearninggivingrise tothenotionthateveryonewillachievetheoutcomeseventually.Insome organisationsifacandidatereachesacertainstageoveralongperiodoftimeitis consideredunethicalnottoallowthemtoproceed.Toaddressthis,workbased learninghasaseriesofleveldescriptorswhichclearlyoutlinewhatacandidateis

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expectedtoachieveateachlevel[Resourcepaper6].Ateachlevelthecandidateis notonlyexpectedtomeettheleveldescriptorsbuttodemonstratepotentialforthe nextlevel.Withoutdemonstratingthepotential,thecandidatecannotproceed. Certainactionsaretaken,forexample,increasedsupportforthecandidate,andif thisdoesnotinfluencetheoutcomethenthecandidatecannotprogresstowardsthe particularawardtheyareaimingat.Howeversystemsareusuallyinplacetosupply creditsoranexitawardsothatthereisrecognitionofthelearninguptothatpoint [Resourcepapers2,4,5] howcanlearningoutcomesensurethatprofessionalattributesandattitudescanbe defined,developedandobjectivelyassessed?Portfoliosonthewholeareadequate forskillsassessmenthowevertheassessmentofattributesandattitudesrequire otherformsofengagementfromthecandidateandfromthesupervisorsuchasthe skilleduseofreflectionandlearningconversationsbetweencandidateand supervisor/reviewerandoralpresentationordialogicengagementinsummative assessment[Resourcepapers2,3,10] whatdistinguishessummativeassessmentfromformativeassessment?Issummative assessmenttheaccumulationofformativeassessmentorissomethingmorerequired? [Resourcepapers2,5,8].Formativeassessmentisameanstoassistalearnerto progressthroughclearlydefinedtargetsofattainment.Summativeassessment requiresanexpertviewonwhetherthelearningjourneyhasresultedintheacquiring andintegrationofskillsandattitudeswhichthecandidatecanengagewithcritically. Differentpracticesofassessmentexistacrossdifferentdomainsbutthereisgeneral agreementthattodeliver,facilitateandassesslearningoutcomesfocused approachesrequirestrainingforthoseengagedinit.

(ii)

(iii)

Acurrenttrendinthedevelopmentofassessmentprotocolsconsidered appropriateforworkplaceenvironmentsandwhichremoveassessmentfromthe noviceexpertdyadisthe360degreeassessmentwhichhasvaryingdegreesof success.Thisgiveseveryonewhoworkswiththetrainee/candidatetheopportunity tobepartoftheassessmentprocessthroughfeedbackincludingthecandidate havingtheopportunitytofeedbackoneveryoneelse.Suchassessmentsclaimto captureamoreaccuratepictureoftheattributesandattitudesofanindividual,the softskillsandofcoursetheskillsofthesupervisor 3.36 TheWBLschemedemonstratedthevalueoflearningoutcomesand formativelyassessedincrementallearningasanappropriatelearning frameworkfortheprofessionatthevocationalstage.Progresscouldbe trackedontheportfoliosparticularlyinstream2. Howthisprogresswasdefinedandassessedwasnotalwaysexplicit. Guidelinesonhowincrementallearningisassessedwerenotsufficientand insomecasesnonexistent. Thelinkbetweenevidenceandprogressionwasnotclearacrossallsetups therewasnoclearrationaleforthedifferentlevelsassignedtoattainment intheportfolios. Itwasunclearhowmuchsupervisionordirectionhadbeeninvestedto producetheseresults.

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3.37 Theportfolioonitsownisnotareliablevehicleforsummativeassessmentas itdoesnotadequatelydemonstratethedevelopmentofsoftskills, professionalism,potentialandreduceddependencyontheinputofthe supervisor/reviewer. 3.38 Theevidencerequirements,inhowtheywereused,emphasisedskills (learninghowtodo)ratherthanattitude,initiativeandpotential. 3.38 VarianceinassessmentacrosssetsupswasprimarilyduetohowtheWBL frameworkwasusedandlevelofindividualassessmentskills. 3.39 Thereweredifferencesinhowsupervisorsassessed.Someorganisations seemedtoletacandidateseverydayworkaccountforthataspectoftheir trainingandusethemeetingswithasupervisortogaugeareasinwhichthe candidatecouldimprovethemselvesprofessionally.Otherorganisations showedamarkedfocusontheportfolioasameansofphysicallyevidencing professionalskillsandtheseshowagreaterdegreeofscrutinyofthe portfolios.Forexample,atoneorganisationthesupervisorsmadedetailed, handwrittencommentsintheportfoliosthemselveswhilstatanotherthe WBLsupervisoradmittedtonotpayingmuchattentiontotheportfolioatall. 3.40 Thereweredifferencesbetweentheminimumstandardachievedbyafew candidatesfromstream2andstream1withtheminimumbeinghigherin stream1.Howeverinhighperformersinbothgroupstherewasnomarked differenceinlevelsofachievementandcompetence. 3.41 ThereweredifferencesbetweentheWBLlearningandassessmentsystem andsomeofthosenormallyusedbyIAOsbutdifferencesvarieddependingon thefirm.Weightandvarietyofevidencewashigherinsomecases,numberof outcomesloweranduseofreflectionevidentbutnotintheformofseparate reflectionsheets. 3.42 Interviewswithnonparticipantsintheschemedemonstratedastrong consensusonthekeyissueswhichhaveemergedinthisevaluationexercise, particularlyonchallengestoassessmentandwhattheattributesofanewly qualifiedsolicitorshouldbe. SeeFindingsAnnexe1.i.section6.3formoreextensiveevaluator observationsonlearningoutcomes,portfoliosandassessments.

BarrierstoEntry TheSRAdidnotholdbackinitsagendaforchange.TheSRAmadeitamajoraimof thispilottotestaframeworkthatcouldwidenaccesstotheprofessionforarange ofLPCgraduateswhocouldnotgettrainingcontractsbutwhohadsecuredjobsas paralegals.Equalopportunitieslegislation,thechangingnatureofsocietyand diversityenrichedglobalmarketshavemadeitanimperativeforBritishbusinesses

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SRAFinalReport andinstitutionstomoreaccuratelyrepresentthepeoplewhousetheirservices. TheSRAalsoneededtorespondtothecriticismlevelledagainstitthatthelegal professionoperatesexclusivepracticesparticularlyinthelargertomediumsized firms.Researchwouldsupportthatthecriticismshavesomebasisinfact: Theprovisionoflegalservicesatthehighestlevelsisstilldominatedbywhite,male lawyersfromthehighestsocioeconomicgroups(Nicolson,2005,Sullivan2010). Theliteraturedoesnotrevealdirectdiscriminationinaccesstojobsorgaininga trainingcontract.Whatisrevealedismorethehierarchyandlackofdifferentiation withintheprofessionthatcausesthelackofdiversityinlegalpersonnel(Rolfeand Anderson,2003). Sommerladetal(2010)foundthatthelegalprofessionvividlyexemplifiedthe culturalpracticeswhichindirectlydiscriminateagainstthenonnormative professionalandconstrainindividualchoices. ahigherproportionofblackandotherethnicminoritiesstudylawcomparedto whitestudents6.3%ofblackstudentsvs3.1%ofwhitestudents(EqualityChallenge Unit,2010) [Resourcepaper11]. Itwasanambitiousmovetotrytoachievetwomajoraimsinonepilotboth requiringshiftsinattitudesandpracticesofsuchsignificance,particularlythe addressingofbarrierstoentry,thattheycouldbeseenasparadigmshifts. However,thetwoareasarerelated.Alackofobjectivemeasuresmakesitdifficult forthelegalprofessiontodefendtheconcernsdirectedatitregardingbarriersto entryforLPCgraduatesonthegroundsofdifference. Thepilotschemesucceededinraisingawarenesswithintheprofessionofwidening accessbutalsoraisedanumberofissuesfortheSRAtoaddress,notleastthe regulationofstandardsacrossanexpandedrangeofsetupsifaccessiswidened throughtheadoptionoftheparalegalrouteofentryintotheprofession,the potentialfortheemergenceofatwotiersystemandmarketforceswhichwillbe usedtocontinueexclusiononthegroundsofsocio/educationalfactors,anissue alreadywellrecognisedintheliterature. ThetwinpillarssupportingcontemporarylifelonglearningtheoryinBritainand alsotosomeextentintheUSA,EuropeandAustralasia(Field&Leicester,2000)are thedevelopmentofvocationalskillsforeconomiccompetitiveness,andthefostering ofsocialinclusionandcohesion.Clearanddirectlinksaremadebetweeninclusion andeconomicprosperityinthe'visionofasocietywherehighskills,highrewards andaccesstoeducationandtrainingareopentoeveryone'(DfEE,2001,p.6). However,althoughthispolicydoes,tosomedegree,representabreakwiththe rampantneoliberalismofthe1980sand1990sinBritain(Hyland,2002) underpinnedby'thirdway'values,whichemphasise'economicefficiencyandsocial cohesion'(Giddens,2000,p.78)theconceptofeconomiccapitalalwaystakespride ofplaceandthereisarealdangerthatthesocialcapitalobjectivesofcontemporary

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Britishvocationaleducationandtraining(VET)maybeneglectedintheobsession witheconomiccompetitiveness.Sinceworkbasedlearning(WBL)isnowacentral elementinallcurrentVETpolicyinitiatives,itissuggestedthatattentiontothe systematicmanagementandsupportoflearningonWBLprogrammescangosome waytowardsachievingtheimportantsocialobjectivesoflifelonglearning. Hyland,T.JournalofInServiceEducation,Mar2003,Vol.29Issue1,p49. Inrecognitionofthecomplexitiesinvolvedandthemajorstepswhichwere achieved,theevaluationteamhasincludedasectionofthisreport[Annexe1.ii] relatingsolelytothisaspectoftheschemeandthedilemmaswhichhavearisen. Whileeconomicfactorsmaybecitedbymembersoftheprofessionasreasonswhy thesocio/educationalbarriercannotbeaddressedatthetrainingstageandwhy otherbarrierscanundertheblanketruleofemployingonthebasisofhighlevelof academicachievementormeritocracy,therearewayswhichcanstilladdressthe socio/educationalbarrierthroughasystemof
(i) (ii) accreditinglearningofpreviousexperienceforparalegalswhichwouldtopuptheir degreeattainment; awardingcreditsforeachpartofthevocationalstageforeverytraineewhichwould betransferableacrossprofessionaldomainsforthoseexitingthelegalprofessionand alsotransferabletopostgraduateuniversitycoursesforthoseexitingthetraining [Annexe1.ii,Resourcepapers2,4,5,11].

3.43 Theschemebroughtethicalissuesfortheprofessionintosharperfocus increasingawarenessofethicsinrecruitmentandtrainingpracticesandthe responsibilitiesoftheprofessiontothepublic. 3.44 Theschemeitselfcontributedtotheemergenceofatwostreamsystem (stream1:traditionaltraineesontrainingcontractsandstream2:non traditionalparalegals)raisingconcernsaboutatwotiersystem. 3.45 Theschemedidnotsucceedinfullyaddressingwithallemployersinother organisationstheimplicationsofthisschemeasaroutetoqualificationfor theiremployeestobecomesolicitors. 3.46 The recruitment of stream 2 candidates would have benefited from more time to brief employers and potential candidates more fully about all the anticipated implications for both employers and candidates. A number of applicationswerelastminuteandhadnotbeensufficientlythoughtthrough bycandidatesandemployers. 3.47 Althoughtherewasanattempttoencourageawidediversityofstream2type participantsintotheWBLpilotschemethecommonfactorforthemall,which dominatedthepilot,wasthattheobstacletoentryintotheprofessionwas duetosocio/educationalbackground.

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SRAFinalReport 3.48 Therewassuccessinaddressingthissocio/educationalbarriertoentrythis wascontextuallylimitedtostream2candidateswhohadsuccessfully completedthefirsttwostagesoftheprocesstoqualifyasasolicitorand couldproducesupportiveemployers. 3.49 Otherbarrierstoentrywerenotaddressedotherthanthosethatmayhave beenpartofthesocio/educationalbarriersuchasageandtoalesserextent ethnicity.Genderwascitedbyonlyonecandidateasapossibilitybutforthis candidatethesocio/educationalfactorwasstronger. 3.50 Thereweresignificantdifferencesinrecruitmentintotheschemebetween stream1andstream2candidatesaswellasinfacilitiesandsupportwhile ontheschemewhichneedreviewingasthesepracticescouldinthemselves beconsideredunfair. 3.51 Externalassessmentorganisationsparticularlyforstream2candidatesmade significantcontributionstothesuccessfulapplicationoftheWBLframework andtocandidatespositiveexperiences. 3.52 Thereisalackofclarityandtransparencyonrecruitmentprocessesfora trainingcontractandonwhatbasis,howandbywhomdecisionsaremade whichrequiressomeaction. 3.53 Theschemeusedtherecognitionofpreviouslearning,oneoftheaspectsof aWBLframework,inaparticularwayi.e.recruitmentofparalegals. Recognitionofpreviouslearninghasamoresignificantroletoplaywithina WBLframework. 3.54 Theseductiveargumentofmarketforceswilldecidewasprevalentamong thelargerfirmsinparticular:marketforceswilldecidewhatafirmneedsto surviveinthechangingglobalclimatethereforelegalfirmswillhaveto choosethebestregardlessofethnicity,genderandsocialbackground. Academicexcellenceinsuchasmarketisnotnegotiable. Professionalissues Additionalprofessionalissueswerebroughtintofocusthroughparticipatinginthe pilotmainlyaroundthewiderissuesofchangeinfluencedbyboththepredictability andunpredictabilityofthefutureinaperiodofrapidsocialandeconomic movement.Therewasasensefromtheprofessionoftheprioritybeing restructuring,streamliningandspecialisingtomeetthechangesinthemarketand thendecisionscouldbemadeabouttherecruitmentandtraining.Evidence indicatedthattheprofessionbelieveditcouldintegratealllevelsofdifferencebut thathighandconsistentacademicachievementwasnotnegotiable.Inaddition,in thecurrenteconomicclimateanynewschemeintroducedbytheSRAwouldbe welcomedorresistedonthebasisofcostandtheavailabilityoftrainingplacements.

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Professionalbodiesarecurrentlyfocussingontheirroleofprovidingtheconditions fortheseobjectivesofprofessionalstandardsandwideningaccesstobeachieved whilemembersoftheprofessionarepayingattentiontocostsandrecruitingthe highestachieverstomaintaincompetitiveedge.However,theprofessional participantsinthisschemeweregenuinelyinterestedintherangeofissueswhich theWBLpilotschemeraiseddirectlyorindirectly. 3.55 Theschemeraisedquestionsaboutthefunctionofthetwoyearvocational stageinrelationtotheacademicphase(lawdegree/GDL)andtheLPC. 3.56 Theschemebroughtthefunctionandefficacyoftheprofessionalskills courseintosharperfocus. 3.57 Theschemeraisedissuesofcostsparticularlyintermsoftime.Foremployers ofstream2thecostsintimeandhumanresourcesarosefromthe implicationsfortheorganisationofhelpingthecandidatetoqualify,helping themgetexposuretotheareasoflawanddothejobstheywereemployed foraswellaswithevidencinglearning.Foremployersofstream1itwas primarilyinmeetingtheburdensomerequirementsoftheportfolioinits currentformat.

3.58 Therewerenoguidelinesonhowlonganemployerwouldhavetohave responsibilityforsupportingandkeepingacandidateontheschemewho didnotcompleteinthetwoyears.TherewasananxietythattheWBL frameworkwasbasedonthepremisethateveryoneshouldpassgiventime. 3.59 Theroleofrecognitionofpreviouslearning.Recognitionofpreviouslearning wasdismissedasbeingofnoparticularvalueforlegalfirms.Therewould onlybeveryparticularcircumstancesinwhichanindividualcouldhavetime tocountandthatwouldbeiftheyhadexperienceinadesirableskillalthough therewasnoformalwaytoassessthis.Legalfirmswerealsoreluctantto reducethetwoyearsexceptinsuchcircumstancesbecausetheybelievedit took2yearstoacculturatesomeonenotonlyintotheprofessionbutintothe firm.Howeverrecognitionofpreviouslearningisacorefeatureofworkbased learningparticularlywithinacreditframeandcouldmeetsomeofthe concernsthatwereexpressedrelatingtotransferabilityandtimeto specialise.[Resourcepapers4,5]. 3.60 Whiletherewasageneralconsensusontherelevanceoftheareascoveredby thelearningofoutcomes,theareasoflawdrewoutsomeissuesoftheir relevanceinallsetupsandlengthoftimethattraineesmightneedtospend ineacharea.Someprofessionalssupportedthereductionoftimeinareasin thefirstyearandlongertimespentintheareathatwouldbecomethe specialistareaforthecandidateonqualificationinthesecondyearalthough thisviewwasnotunanimous. Professionalsdidnotwishthetimeinseatstobeprescribedinanynew framework.

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4. Keyrecommendations
(i) Findingsforarationalefortherecommendations(Annexe1.i.) (ii) ResourcePapersonhowtoaddressthem(Annexe2) (iii) Somerecommendationsarerepeatedindifferentsectionsdueto context TheWBLframeworkhasdemonstratedalevelofsuccessinprovidingthelegal professionwithalearninganddevelopmentapproachtothevocationalstageof qualificationassuringqualityinassessmentwhichcanbemonitoredandcan contributetoenhancingstandardsacrossallsetups.Theevaluationexercisewas notundertakenfortheevaluationteamtoredesigntheframeworkorproposea bespokeoneforthelegalprofession.Itwasundertakentoevaluatethepilotand makerecommendationsforfurtherdevelopmentbasedonthatresearch.The evaluationexercisehashighlightedanumberofareasforreview.Theevaluators recommendationsareintendedtoprovidethelegalprofessionwitharationalefor possiblemodificationsandwaysinwhichtheymightbesuccessfullyachieved.A seriesofresourcepapershasbeenincludedinAnnexe2tosupportfurther developmentoftheframeworkwhichtheevaluatorsconcludeisbasicallysound. Thefocusofthemodificationsisonthefollowingareas Thefollowingrecommendationsmayrequiretheprofessiontolookatthe threestagesoftrainingasanintegratedprogression.Anychangesmade tothevocationalstagewillimpactonwhatiscoveredintheLPCandon theroleofthePSC. asetofbaselinecompetencesappropriateacrossallsetups competencesthatincorporateinterpersonalskillsandprofessional attributessuchaspotential,initiative,integrityandconfidence learningoutcomesandvehicleofdelivery trainingofprofessionals formativeandsummativeassessment roleofEAOs asystemthatisequitableandwidensparticipation asystemthathasflexibilitytorespondtolifestagesandevents asystemthateasestransferabilityoflearningachieved anexitstrategythatmakestheworkachievedtransferableinto differentdomains acosteffectivesystemthatmakesgoodbusinesssense

Summaryofkeyrecommendations
Conceptualisetheskillsandattributesforqualifyingasasolicitor DevelopprogressivestepsofachievementlinkingtheLPC,thevocational stageandDay1competences

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Rationalisethelearningoutcomestoreflecttheconceptualisation Consideracreditsystemtoassessincrementallearningandtoopenthedoor touniversityaccreditationforexitstrategiesandtransferstoother domains/professions Retaintheportfolioasalearningjournal,evidenceoflearningandformative assessmentcomplementedbylearningconversationsandaddaformaloral presentation/dialoguecomponentforsummativeassessmenttoincludean externalassessor/observerexperiencedinWBL TrainkeyprofessionalsincoachingandassessingwithinaWBLframeworkto complementtheskillsapplicationfocusofthelearningoutcomes Continuetheboldmovesinwideningparticipationthroughexploringan accreditedlearningschemeforpriorlearning Addressbarrierstoentryatsecondaryschoollevelwhenchoicesof university,coursesandfuturecareersarestillintheformativestage

Qualityassurance
4.1 ChooseaWBLframeworkcreditsystemifstream2istobeintegratedintothe vocationalstageoftraining[Resourcepaper5].Thiswillgosomewaytomeet theconcernsraisedandhaveotherbenefitsforallparticipants.

4.2 AWBLcreditsystemwouldaddressissuesoftransferability;timetocount; timeout;giveprofessionalandmarketvaluetoallprofessionallearning; provideafairexiststrategyandopenthedoortouniversityaccreditation [Resourcepaper5]. 4.3 Ifitisdecidednottopursuethisrouteintotheprofessionforstream2then modificationstothelearningoutcomesmaybesufficientinadditionto changesinthecurrentWBLpilotsummativeassessmentprocessbutwould offerfewoftheadvantagesoutlinedin3.2. 4.4 CombinetheSRAmonitoringreport,thisevaluationreportandfurther consultationwiththeprofessiontomodifythepilotframeworkbasedona conceptualisationoftheskillsandattributesofagoodlawyerandhowthey canbeachieved[Resourcepapers13,58]. 4.5 Drawfromtheexperiencesofotherprofessionalbodieswithregulatory functionsinhowtheyhaveevolved,developedandappliedcompetency,skills andcapabilitymodelsandassessmentcriteria[Resourcepapers13].

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SRAFinalReport 4.6 Lookatbestpracticeinlegalfirmsandcombinethesewiththebestofthe WBLsystemtoproduceanappropriateframeworkforthevocationalstageof trainingwhichwillsetahighminimumstandardandatthesametimesupport thedevelopmentandachievementofaminimumplusstandardrelevantfor individualemployers(see3.10). 4.7 Setastandardwhichisnotonlyconcernedwithcompetencesandbeinggood enoughbutratheronewhichalsoindicatesthepotentialintheindividualto continuetodevelop[Resourcepapers13]. 4.8 Selectamodelintermsofskills,competencesandcapabilitiesfromResource papers13ortheextensiveliteratureavailablewhichbestdescribeswhatit isthatisrequiredtobeamemberofthelegalprofession. 4.9 Thereneedstobenotonlyarationalefordefiningabaselineofcompetences butarecognitionofcontext,andtherefore,flexibility,withinanybaseline referenceplustheevidencetosupportthemandtheobjectivemeansto assessthem[Resourcepapers2,5,6,8].

4.10 Basestandardisationonaminimumprofessionalstandardpluswhicha modifiedWBLframeworkcandelivere.g.minimumprofessionalstandard= genericcompetencesandtheplus=theflexibilityofspecialisationsfor differentenvironmentsandfordevelopingaprofessionalattitude.Candidates wouldhavetodemonstratethattheycanachievethispluswhichwouldalso indicatewhetherthecandidatehasthepotentialforongoingprofessional learning[Resourcepapers2,5and6]. 4.11 Separatethegenericskillsrequiredfortheprofessionfromtheaspirationsof theemployerrecognisingthatemployerswantabovetheminimumstandard; trainsupervisors,trainers,reviewersonfacilitatingandencouraging performancethatisabovetheminimumstandardandininterpretinglearning beyondskillsapplication. 4.12 RevisitDay1competencesinthelightofchangesmadetothevocational stageandrefocusthemifnecessary. 4.13 Tosupportanobjectiveassessmentframeworkandcompliancetoand enhancementofstandardsacrossallsetups,introduceanoral/vivaaspectto summativeassessmentandtheinvolvementofanexternalassessorreporting directlytotheSRA. 4.14 Tosupportanobjectiveassessmentframeworkandcompliancetoand enhancementofstandardsacrossallsetups,introducetraininginWBL learningandassessment.Coachingmodelsmaybeappropriate[Resource paper10].

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4.15 Usealicensingsystemfororganisationstohavetraineeswhichwouldrequire themtohavetrainedsupervisorsandassessorsinaworkbasedlearningand assessmentframework.

4.16 Developamonitoringstrategywhichtakesintoconsiderationthefinancial andhumanresourceimplicationsofmonitoringthatgoesbeyondrandom checkingofstandardstothatneededforfullscalecomplianceacrossallset ups.ThiscouldbeassistedbyboththeuseofEAOs[Resourcepaper8]and electronicarchivingtoensurecompliancecanbeeffectivelymonitored.

Learningoutcomes

4.17 Reducethelearningoutcomestoavoidoverlapandrecognisethatatthe vocationalstagecandidatesbringmanyskillswiththemwhichmaybe inhibitedbyatooprescriptiveapproach[Resourcepapers2,5].

4.18 Adaptsomeofthecurrentoutcomesasdescriptorsforassessment, particularlyincrementallearning,andotherwaysofevidencinglearning [Resourcepapers2,5,6,7]. 4.19 Giveconsiderationtowhattheprofessionregardsasthekeyskillsand attributesincludingsoftskillswhichdefineamemberofitsprofessionand whether/howthecurrentlearningoutcomessystemcancapturethe attributesandthesoftskills[Resourcepapers13]. 4.20 Makemoreeffectiveuseofthenotionofreflectioninworkbasedlearningas avehiclefordevelopingselfawareness;interpersonalskills;integrityand professionalattitudeandconsiderationtowardsworkandothers[Resource paper7]. 4.21 Consultwiththeprofessionfurtheronrequiredareasoflaw;onwhatcanbe definedasbelongingtoaparticularareaoflawandtheparticularissuesof i.theparalegalcontextii.contentiouswork. 4.22 Chooseamodeloftrainingforsupervisors/reviewerswhichincorporates learning conversationswhicharedevelopmentalandreflectiveto complementtheskillsfocusofthelearningoutcomes.Thiswouldgive candidatesanevidencebaseandmeansofreflectingonthesoftskills, professionalattributesandgettingthe mostoutofthelearningexperience [Resourcepapers13,6,7,8,10]. 4.23 InvolvetheEAOsinfurtherconsultationsonthelearningoutcomesbasedon theirexperienceofdeliveryto,andreviewandassessmentof,thecandidates whoparticipatedinthescheme. Portfolio

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SRAFinalReport 4.24 Keeptheportfoliosystembut (i) reducethelearningoutcomes (ii) makethemmorechallengingandreflective (iii) usetheportfolioasalearningguide,alearningrecordandjournal,a toolforformativeassessmentandforverifiedevidenceoflearning achievementforsummativeassessment[Resourcepapers1,2,3,5,6,7]. 4.25 Makebetteruseoftechnology.Introduceeportfoliosandmakefulleruseofa systemtailoredtotheprofessiontofacilitateassessmentandcentrally archivewrittenworkandreportswhichwouldalsoassistinthemonitoringof standardsacrossallsetupsandbeaccessibleandeasytouseforprospective employers. 4.26 Designahandbookforprofessionalsandtraineeswhichincludesarationale fortheattainmentofprofessionalstandards;thedevelopmentof professionalismintermsofbehaviourandcapabilities;leveldescriptors; ethicsinpractice;formative/incrementalgoalsandassessment;summative assessmentprotocolsandcriteria,andmonitoringstrategies. 4.27 Developcurrentdiscussionstakingplaceonwhatisgoodenoughevidenceof contentiousexperiencewhichmaynotevidenceadvocacyasitiscurrently understood. 4.28 Theportfoliosystemneedstobecomplementedbylearningconversations withsupervisors/reviewerswhichneedtobewrittenupinsuchawaythat indicatesanintegrationofskillsandattitude. Assessment 4.29 Trainkeyprofessionalsinbothincrementalandsummativeassessmentand employcoachingmodelstoinformthistraining[Resourcepapers110]. 4.30 Employasystemofincrementaldevelopmentandformativeassessmentwith (i) morewrittenworkrelatingtoprofessionalskillsapplicationandthe integrationofadevelopingprofessionalismwhichcanbesecond marked (ii) regularmeetingsbetweencandidatesandsupervisorsbeingmoreinthe formoflearningconversationswhichcanattendtothesoftskillsand attributesofbeingprofessional[Resourcepapers2,3,5,7]. 4.31 UseResourcepaper6onacademicleveldescriptorswhichcaneasilybe adaptedtotheprofessionsasdescriptorsforincrementallearningand assessment. 4.32 ComplementtheexistingWBLsummativeassessmentsystemwithanoral presentation/discussion/interviewwiththeadditionofanexternal

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assessor/observerwithlegal,educationalandworkbasedlearning experience.ThiswouldassisttheSRAinitsmonitoringresponsibilities,ensure compliance,attendtoethicalpracticeandaddresssomeoftheconcernsover beingexplicitinhowsoftskillscanbeassessedwhichisinpartbybeingina learningconversationwhetherformativeorsummative.Theexternalcan counterbalanceanysubjectivityandreduceconcernsofdecisionsbeingmade whichcouldbeperceivedasdiscriminatory. 4.33 Considerinanyevolvedframeworkthevalueofanexternalwithexperience inWBLlearningandassessment,educationandtraininginlawinsome capacity.Thiswouldpromotethefirmororganisationasalearningone committedtoitsowndevelopmentaswellastothatofitscandidates.For example,usesofanexternalcouldbe: (i) partoftheinternalassessmentprocessasastandardpracticeacrossall setupsforsummativeassessment(therewouldbesomeresistanceto this); (ii) assecondmarkersforanywrittenwork; (iii) monitors(legalfirmswerenotadversetothisrole); (iv) assessmenttrainers. 4.34 Ifadecisionismadetoemployacreditsystemwithaccreditationforprevious learning,anexternalassessmentorganisationwouldbeinapositiontoassess andawardcreditsappliedforbyparalegals,forexample,wishingtotopup their2.2degreeawardtoincreasetheirchancesofafulltrainingcontract. 4.35 IfacreditsystemcanhaveuniversityaccreditationthroughtheEAOswhichis quitefeasiblethenitbecomestransferableintootherdomainsandoffersa fairexitstrategy.

Professionalissues 4.36 Consultwiththeprofessionoverthelengthoftimeanddiscreteareas coveredbyeachphaseofthetrainingroutetoqualifyingasasolicitorwitha viewto: (i) integrating/blendingallthreephases (ii) blendingphases2and3toreduceoveralltrainingtime (iii) introducingincrementaldevelopmentstagesthroughout AsareviewofthethreestageswillbeamajortasknoResourcepaperwas commissionedbutitisstronglyadvisedthattheSRAengageexpertsinthe fieldofeducationandprofessionalqualificationtoassist. 4.37 ScrutinisethePSCsfunction,contentanddeliverytoassessthe appropriatenessofitscontent,itsvalueformoney,theselectionofproviders,

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SRAFinalReport howthePSCcanbemorerelevanttowhatisrequiredineachsetupand whetheritcanorshouldbesubsumedintoanynewframework. 4.38 IfthePSCistoberetainedmoremonitoringisrequiredtoensureitoffers relevantaspectsofprofessionalismwhichcancomplementanewframework andhelpaddressgapsinaportfoliosystemofassessment:suchasethical attitudes;profilesandbrands;compromise;acculturationandprofessional identity;individualaimsandgroupaims;initiative;roleofsupervision;people skills;activelisteningskillsandrecognitionofandoptimisationofstrengths (finder,minder,grinder). 4.39 Consultwithsmalltomediumsizecompaniestoassessthefinancial implicationsforthemoftrainingsolicitorsonamoreburdensomeand regulatedsystem,theimpactoptingoutofhavingtraineesmayhaveontheir practicesandontheprofessionasawholeandwhatparticularsupportthey mayneedtomeetchangestothecurrentsystem. 4.40 Consultcloselywiththeprofessiononthevariousrolesanexternal assessmentorganisationcanhaveinadditiontotheonesallocatedtoitinthis pilotscheme. 4.41 Involveinfutureconsultations2yearqualifiedassociatesolicitorsastheyhold animportantpieceofthejigsaw,currentlymissing,whichcouldmakea significantcontributiontothedesignanddevelopmentofthevocationalstage oftraining. 4.42 Haveclearguidelinesaboutatwhatstageinthevocationalprocessa sufficientassessmentcandeterminewhetheracandidateissuitableornotfor theprofessionoflaw.ThiscanbeincorporatedintoaWBLframework [Resourcepapers2and5).Atransferablecreditsystemwouldbeofvaluein suchascenario. 4.43 Guidelinesareneededonhowlonganemployerwouldhavetohave responsibilityforsupportingandkeepingacandidateonatrainingsystem whodidnotcompleteinthetwoyears. Barrierstoentry 4.44 Giveconsiderableattentiontotheaimofaddressingbarrierstoentrythrough aroutetoqualificationforparalegals.TheWBLpilotschemesattemptmade itfairerforcertainindividualsbutinitscurrentformbringsintoquestion whatcouldbeperceivedbysomeasdiscriminatorypractices[SeeAnnexe1.i andii.andResourcepaper11]. 4.45 ClarifytheparametersoftheSRAsroleinremovingbarrierstoentryand whetheritcanenforceanyguidelinesitmightseektodevelopon recruitment.

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4.46 Explorewhatbarrierstoentrycurrentlyexistintheprofessionandatwhat stageinthequalifyingprocessthesearemostmanifest[Resourcepaper11]. 4.47 Addressbarrierstoentrytotheprofessionatearliereducationalstages,for example,byclarifyingtopreuniversitygroupswhattherequirementsareto enterthelegalprofession;alternativeroutestoworkinginalegalsettingand thevalueoflegaleducationinotherprofessions.Thiskindofinformationcan influencewhatuniversitiestoapplyforandwhatcoursestotake. 4.48 Addresstheissueoftheprofessionscurrentlevelofacademicachievement asacorerequirementforatrainingcontractformanylegalpracticesandhow thatacademiclevelisassessed.Forexample,exploretheroleofaccreditation ofpreviouslearning[Resourcepapers4and5]andthedisadvantagesaswell astheadvantagesofanelectronictrainingcontractapplicationdevicewhich doesnotallowanapplicanttoproceedwithanapplicationiftheylista2.2 degreelevel. 4.49 Considerwhatacreditsystemcoupledwithuniversityaccreditedprevious learningcouldofferasawaytoaddresssomeofthesocio/educational barrierstoentry.Forexampleinsteadofthecutoffbeinga2.1foratraining contract,itcouldbe2.2plus40creditsinfamilylaw[Resourcepapers4,5and Annexe1.ii]. 4.50 Givecloserscrutinytothepracticesaroundtheprocessingofapplicationsfor trainingcontractsandtheroleofhumanresourcesdepartmentswithaview tosupportingtheminhowselectionprotocolscanbeenhanced. 4.51ResearchandconsultwithemployersandformercandidatesonthisWBL pilotswideningparticipationstrategy;itstiming;itspurpose;policiesand changestotheinfrastructureoftheprofessiontopreventtheemergenceofa twotiersystem. 4.52 Ifthisroutetoqualificationforparalegalsistobemaintained,addressthe issuesofdifferenceintheconditionsinwhichthequalificationwasobtained bystream1andstream2andwhetherandhowahigherlevelofconsistency canbeachieved[Resourcepapers4,5,8,9,10andAnnexe1.ii.]. 4.53 Ifthisroutetoqualificationforparalegalsistobemaintained,usingthe findingsfromthisevaluationexercise,critiquehowthepilotschemes selectionsystemofstream2candidateswascarriedoutandhowitcanbe refined[Resourcepaper11andAnnexe1.ii.]. 4.54 Ifthisroutetoqualificationforparalegalsistobemaintainedconsult extensivelywithemployersofstream2typecandidatesonthefull implicationsofwhatbeingasupportiveemployerentails;onthe consequencesofstaffqualifying;onstaffdevelopmentandwhetherother optionscouldbemoreappropriatefortheindividualandfortheorganisation [Resourcepapers4and5].

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Annexe1.i
Findings
Providingtheconditionsforopendiscussion TherearemanyaspectsoftheWBLPilotSchemewhichtheevaluationteamandthe participantsfoundtocommend.TheSRApolicyexecutiveencouragedandpositively promotedcollaborationandfranknessfromitsparticipants.Itachievedthisthroughits wideconsultationandbriefingswhichtookplacebeforethecommencementofthe schemeandthroughitsworkshops,monitoringvisitsandthesymposiumwhichwasheld inOctober2010attheendingofthepilotforCohort1. LevelofengagementwiththePilot Thefollowingfindingsareareflectionoftheconsiderableengagementtheparticipants hadwiththispilot.Thedataemergesoutofintenselevelsofdiscussion,passioneven, aboutprofessionalstandards,fairnessandtheneedtoaddressandmeettheimpactofa changingpolitical,economicandsocialenvironment.Therewasaconsensusamong participantsoftheneedforanSRAinitiativetoaddressstandardsandfairness. Changingnatureofthedataovertime Thenatureofthedatafromparticipantschangedoverthecourseoftwoyearsfrom resistanceandscepticismtoawillingnesstodebatetheissuesandmostrecentlyto activelycontributetoimprovingthevocationaltraininglearningexperienceatan organisationallevelorataprofessionwidelevel Reporting Findingswerereportedontwiceduringthecourseoftheevaluationbutnotpositionedin anoverallevaluation,norwereconfidentrecommendationsmadeastheexercisehadyet tobecompletedandsummativeassessmentshadstilltotakeplace.Informationwas drawnfromtheinterimreportsbutthefulltextswerenotbeincluded.Theycanbemade availablefromtheSRA

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1. Consultation,DesignandImplementation(CDI)

[ForbackgroundontheConsultation,DesignandImplementationoftheWBLPilot SchemeSeeAppendix1.] Onthewhole,theevaluationteamfoundthattheConsultation,Designand Implementationphaseofthispilotschemewasthorough.TheWBLpilotemerged asanActionLearningcycle.EachstageoftheprocessoftheCDIthrewupissuesto review,giveconsiderationtoandincorporate,ornot,sothattheschemecouldbe homogenousyettailoredtotheneedsoftheindividualcandidatesandthedifferent setsupsinwhichtheyworked.ConsiderableeffortwasexpendedbytheSRAto a. b. c. d. e. f. consultonitsaimsandobjectives putinqualityassuranceprotocolsthatwouldalsoofferquality enhancement findthemostappropriatelearningandassessmentframe recruit,assessandbriefassessmentorganisations ensureallparticipantorganisationscouldsupportcandidatesandall candidateswouldbesupportedtoachievetheoutcomes assureallsystemswereethical

Evaluatorsrecommend i. ii. moreconsultationwithemployersofstream2 morerefinedrecruitmentsystemforstream2

2. SRAmonitoringvisitsandtheMUevaluationexercise

BoththeSRAmonitoroftheschemeandmembersoftheMiddlesexUniversity evaluationteammadeindependentvisitstoorcommunicatedwithparticipating employersonaregularbasistofulfiltheirrespectiveremits.TheSRAmonitoring visitsalsoappearedtofunctionasresearchanddevelopmentencounterssothat theSRAcouldgatherinformation,consultandactaccordingly.Externalevaluation andSRAmonitoringwerebuiltintotheframeworkofthepilotbuttheresearchand developmentaspectwaslessexplicit.Themonitoring/consultationandevaluation happenedconcurrentlyrequiringofallparticipantsalevelofengagementnot normallyassociatedwithtrainingsolicitors. a. Candidatesandprofessionalsmadeallowancesandweregenerouswiththeir timestatingthatthiswasinrecognitionthatitwasapilotandonewhichhad implicationsfortheprofessionandindividualswishingtoenterit. Therewerefrequentoverlapsbetweenthequestionsfromtheevaluatorand fromtheSRAwhichraisedissuesconcerningwhatimpactrepeataspectsof datagatheringmayhaveontheviewsofparticipants. Inthecaseofthispilotscheme,theeffectwaspositiveleadingtomore informedanddistilledresponses.

b.

c.

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SRAFinalReport d. Themorediscussions,interviewsandconsultations,theclearerthe participantsbecameabouttheirunderstandingoftheschemeandtheirviews aboutitsvalue orotherwise. e. Extensivefeedbackfromtherangeofprofessionalsinvolvedinthescheme indicatedthattheencounterswithboththeSRAmonitoringandthe evaluationteambecameaformofactionlearningforeveryone. f. Twofirmsattheendoftheschememadelittleefforttopermitan examinationofthefinalassessmentswithindicationsthatthepilothadbeen timeconsumingand,asitwasnowover,theycoulddetachandmoveon. Evaluatorsrecommend i. theSRAindividuallythanksalltheparticipantsparticularlythecandidatesfor theleveloftimeandthoughttheyputintoassistingintheevaluation ii. theSRAdesignsamonitoringstrategythatcanbedeliveredinpartby externalswithaspecificsummativeassessmentrolesimilartotheacademic practicesthatwillkeepfirmsandorganisationsattachedtothestandards andcriteriaofprofessionalqualification

3. Handbookandcommunicationmanagement

Fromthefirstevaluationreport,whencandidateswereintheirfirstyearoftraining, itbecameclearthatforallparticipants,professionalsandcandidates,thehandbook requiredsomerevisions.Feedbackwasextensiveastowhatcouldbeimproved.It wasregardedbyparticipantsasaproceduralhandbookwhichwasdesignedmore asaninformationbookletforanyonewantingtoparticipateintheschemerather thanamanualorresourcetoeffectivelyengagewiththerequirementsofthe schemeasatrainingsystemtoqualifysolicitors.Itdidnotgiveenoughinformation onwhatwerefelttobekeyissues.Themajorityofexternallyassessedcandidates saidtheywouldhavefoundaresourcehandbookmoreusefulwithexamplesand templates.CandidatesstateditwasnotmadeclearbytheSRAthattheresource aspectwasexpectedtobesuppliedbytheassessmentorganisations.[SeeFirst InterimReportsfordata.] Feedbackmainlycentredonquestionsregardingthepracticalprocesses: whatshouldrespondingtoalearningoutcomelooklike? howmanypiecesofevidencearerequiredforeachoutcome? howexactlycanyouevidenceX,Y,Z? canthesamepieceofevidencebeusedforeverything? whatdoesreflectionmean? whyaretheresomanyoutcomes? whatisthedifferencebetweenthelevelsofattainment? whyaretherenoexamplesinthehandbook? whatisthehandbookfor? isitamanualorarationaleforhavingthescheme?

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Responsestotheproblemscamefromfoursources: 1. TheSRAmaderegularvisitstotheorganisationsinvolvedinthepilottoclarify manyoftheissueswiththeinternalandexternalassessmentorganisations: reviewers;supervisors;assessors;trainingpartners;headsofdepartments; theSRAencouragedamailboxforcandidatesthoughthiswasnotintroduced tillthepilotwaswellunderway;workshops; 2. NLS(EAO)providedregularsupplementarymaterialfortheircandidateswho weremostlyparalegalsandrecognisedthataportionoftheirreviewerstime withthecandidatewouldbetakenupwithprocess; 3. OXILP(EAO)suppliedguidanceandinformationthroughitsreviewersandits electronicsystemforportfolios,PebblePad; 4. Internalassessmentorganisations(IAOs)andLawNetfirmsreliedupontheir existingtrainingcontractrequirementstosupportthecandidateswithsome firmsalmostrunningthetwosystemsinparallelorcomplementarytothefirst year. Theseresponsesweresocomprehensivethatwhencandidatesrespondedtothe samequestionsregardingthehandbooksintheirsecondyear,theimportanceof thehandbookasasourceofguidancehadbecomesignificantlydiminishedbut therewasstilltherecommendationfromparticipantsthatiftheschemeweretobe rolledouttheSRAwouldneedtodecideonthepurposeofthehandbook. Otherquestionsregardingprocessandcommunicationmanagementaroseduring implementation

whoispayingfortheprofessionalskillscourseforparalegals? whatistheprofessionalskillscourseforasitisnotveryusefulandrepeats LPCandsomeofwhatiscoveredonthetrainingcontract? whatmakesatrainingcontractdifferentfromtheLPC? howcanwemeettheadvocacylearningoutcomes? howcanweensuresufficientexposuretothreeareasoflaw? cantheprofessionalskillscoursemakeupsomeofthedeficit?

ClarificationeventuallycamefromtheSRAontheprofessionalskillsfeesandsome flexibilityonadvocacyoutcomes.

Evaluatorsrecommend i. areviewoftheprofessionalsskillscourse,itscontentandfunctionand whetheritcanbesubsumedintoaWBLframeworkortailoredtomore directlycomplementit ahandbookforprofessionalsandtraineeswhichincludesminimumand minimumplusstandards;thedevelopmentofprofessionalismintermsof behaviourandcapabilities;leveldescriptors;ethicsinpractice; formative/incrementalgoals;summativeassessmentprotocolsandcriteria, andmonitoringstrategies.[Resourcepapers2,6,8,9]

ii.

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4. Fulfillingaimsandobjectivessummary
1.

Over90%ofrespondentsconsideredtheWBLpilotschemeasuccessinproviding theprofessionwith: 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 aframeworkofcompetencemeasureswhichcannowbemodified; avehicleforevidencingthosecompetenceswhichcannowbe reviewed; thebasisofobjectivemeasuresandbenchmarkstandardsintraining acrossallsetsupsintheprofession; assessmentcriteriathatisevidencebased; aqualityassurancesystemthatcanbemonitoredandcontributeto enhancingstandards; themeansforcandidatestoselfmanagetheirlearning; assistanceandmotivationtosupervisorstoprovidethebest opportunitiesandfeedbacktofacilitatelearning; abasisformovingforwardnotonlyonobjectivemeasuresand standardsbutonthediscreteareasofandtherelationshipbetween thethreestagesoftrainingacademic,skillsacquisitionandskills applicationandacculturationintotheprofession.

2.

Thepilotwasabletoaddressaspectsofsocio/educationalbarriersthrough facilitatingaroutetoqualificationforparalegals.Althoughitwasnotdirectlyable toaddressotherbarrierstoentrytotheprofession,theprocesshascontributed significantlytohighlightingwhattheymaybeandtheneedfortheprofessionto addressthem. 2.1 Mostcandidateswereconvincedthatsuchaschemewouldhelpaddressthe specificperceivedbarriertoentryintotheprofessionofsocio/educational backgroundbutonlyrelatingdirectlytoparalegalsandthoseinlegalrelated employment. ProfessionalswerenotconvincedthatbyitselftheWBLschemecould addressbarrierstoentrybutratherbarrierstoentryneededtobeaddressed earlierintheprocessparticularlyatthetrainingcontractapplicationstage. Duetotheeconomicclimate,professionalsinlawfirmsbelievedthatthelevel ofdegreeandtypeofuniversitywouldstillneedtobeoneofthecriteriaof initialselectionforprocessingtointerviewstage.Professionalswerenot convincedthathavingaWBLportfoliowouldofferanyparticularadvantage totheindividualinseekingaNQSjobinalegalfirm.Itcouldassisttosecure aninterview.

2.2

2.3

3.

Professionalsinlegalfirmsallagreedthatthisrouteforparalegalstoqualifyas solicitorswasafairersystem.Howevertheywerenownotconvincedthatitwas desirableorfeasibleonalargescaleduetoanumberoffactors:

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3.1

3.2

3.3

3.4 3.5

3.6

3.7

shiftingeconomicclimateandpotentialprofessionalisationofotherlegal rolesinfluencedamodificationinviewsfromsupportiveinprincipleto perhapsnotfeasible; allprofessionalsdidbelieveitwasfairtohavethisroutebutwere concernedthatreducedavailabilityoftrainingcontractswouldmakeentry intotheprofessionevenmorecompetitiveandselectioncriteriawouldbe evenmorerefinedmakingachangetothedegreelevelrequirementunlikely; concernsoverwhetherbeingemployedasaparalegalcouldgivefull exposuretotheareasoflawwithouttheparalegalbecomingafulltime trainee; theprocessofreplacingaparalegalwouldalsoincurmorecostsfor the employer; duringthecourseoftheschemeconcernsarose,whichwerenotevidentin thefirstyear,thatgivingaccesstoparalegalstoentertheprofessionthrough theWBLschememayhavethepotentialtobecomea twotiersystem becauseparalegalswouldneverbeabletohavethesameexperienceas traineesunlesstheywereemployedsolelyastrainees; theimpactoftheAlternativeBusinessStructuresaswellastheemergenceof aprofessionalbodyforparalegalswasmentionedinthiscontextbutnot elaboratedupon; thepossibilityoffirmsbecomingmorespecialisedandtraditionalparalegal workgoingabroadmeantthatfirmswouldbelookingforindividualstoenter theprofessionwhohadthehighestknowledgeandskillslevelstobringin andmaintainbusiness.Itwasbelievedbysomethatthisapproachwasa meritocracyapproach,decidedbythemarket,thatwouldremovebarriersto entrywhichwerebasedonotherfactorssuchasage,ethnicityandgender.

4.

Themajorityofotheremployerswhoseemployeesaccountedforthemajorityof paralegalsontheschemeallagreedthatthisrouteforparalegalstoqualifyas solicitorswasafairersystem.Howevertheywerenotconvinceditwasdesirablein allcases.Howevertheirreasonsdifferedfromthelegalfirmsinanumberof respects: 4.1 iftheparalegalsweregoodatdoingtheirjobtheywouldnotwanttolose thembutrecognisedtheyalsodidnotwanttostandinthewayof advancement; 4.2 extracostincurredtoreplacethem; 4.3 concernsoverensuringthattheirparalegalshadexposuretothedifferent areasoflawinvolvingthemindiscussionswithandreassurancesfromthe EAOs; 4.4 extracostincurredintermsoftimetohelptheirparalegalstoqualify; 4.5 extracostincurrediftheparalegalswantedtostayonasqualifiedsolicitors; 4.6 wantingtosecurestaffdevelopmentfortheiremployeesandreconsidering whetherthisisthemostappropriateway.

5.

Candidateswhowereemployedasparalegalswereveryenthusiasticaboutthe schemebutalsohadreservations:

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SRAFinalReport 5.1 thepilotaddressedbarrierstoentryonthegroundsofsocio/educational discrimination; 5.2 itwasafairersystembecauseitrecognisedthatwithoutatrainingcontract thosewhohadsuccessfullycompletedthefirsttwostagesoftrainingcould neverqualify; 5.3 theyunderstoodwhytheirpreviousexperiencewasnttakeninto considerationbutwouldliketoseeitcountiftheschemeisrolledout; 5.4 theWBLframeworkhelpedthembemoreproactiveinseekingopportunities thatwouldenhancetheirlearning; 5.5 theWBLframeworkhelpedthemtoengageatamoreprofessionallevelof thinking; 5.6 anumberhadongoingconcernsaboutwhethertheiremployerwouldbe supportiveenoughandnotbeingclearabouttheparametersofsupportive enough.Thiswasofgreaterconcernforthosewhoworkedinthesame organisationwithWBLcandidatesemployedonatrainingcontractbasis; 5.7 forthosewithtraineesonstandardtrainingcontractsinthesame organisation,differencesarose/wereaccentuatedbetweenhowbothwere treatede.g.fortraineesoncontract,theprofessionalskillscoursewaspaid forbytheemployerandtheyhadmorefreedomtomovearoundseats; 5.8 concernaboutgettingexposuretoalltheareasoflawrequired,contentious andnoncontentiouswork,andtheywerenotconfidentthatasecondment couldworkforthemortheiremployers; 5.9 hadlittleconcernthatWBLmaybeasecondrate/tierroutehadmore concernaboutpaymentforprofessionalskillscourseandexposureto advocacy. 6. Candidateswhowereemployedastraineeswerelessenthusiasticinthefirstyear oftheschemebutonthewholeweremoreenthusiastictowardstheend: 6.1 atfirsttheyfelttheywerebeingtreateddifferently,havingtodomorework, meethigherlevelsofevidencethancolleaguesonstandardtraining contracts; 6.2 duringthesecondyearconfidencehadincreased,theyfelttheyhadachieved moreandcouldevidenceit; 6.3 unlikeparalegalsandthoseemployedinotherlegalroles,theybelievethey werehelpedbytheirorganisationsdrawingontheorganisationsexisting trainingpracticetosupportthemaswellastheWBLsystem; 6.4 didnothaveconcernsaboutexposuretoareasoflawbuthadconcerns aboutgettingexperienceofadvocacy; 6.5 hadconcernsthattheprofessionmayconsidertheirWBLtrainingtobe inferiortothestandardtrainingcontractbecausetheprofessiondidntreally knowaboutit.

5. LearningOutcomes
1. LearningOutcomeswereregardedbyalargemajorityofrespondentsasgood practiceinprinciple.Learningoutcomes:

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1.1 areamoveintherightdirectiontoachieveobjectivemeasuresand standardsacrossallsetups; 1.2 assistinqualityassurance; 1.3 enhancelearningifdeliveredwell; 1.4 guidethecandidateandencourage,eventually,selfmanagedlearning; 1.5 guidethesupervisor/reviewerinhowbesttosupportthecandidate; 1.6 formasoundbasisforassessmentinskillsapplicationandcompetences [ResourcePapers2,5,8]; 1.7 encourageaprofessional(solicitors)attitudebytheirrequirementto evidenceallwork,beproactive,disciplined,businessawareandmanagetime appropriately[Resourcepaper2]. 2. WhilealargemajorityofrespondentsregardedtheLearningOutcomesasgood practiceinprinciple,therewerereservationsandqualificationstothese statements: 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 intheircurrentformtheyareadministrativelyburdensomeandtime consumingforeveryone; althoughdesignedtobegeneric,notallmayberelevantforallsetsupsor shouldbegiventhesameemphasis; therearetoomany; severaloverlap; anumberarechallengingtoevidenceparticularly58involvingpeopleskills; concernsaboutassessinglevelsofincrementallearning; concernsaboutwhetheronecouldandthevalueofusingthesamepieceof evidenceforseveraloutcomes; uncertaintyaboutreflectionsheetsandhowbesttousethem; notconvincedthatontheirownthelearningoutcomesmeasureanything morethanskillsapplicationandtrackthedevelopmentofthatprocess.

Evaluatorsrecommend i. Resourcepapers58 ii. theSRAmaintainalearningoutcomesstrategyinanynewtrainingframework

6. Portfolio
Aportfoliowasusedbyallparticipantsinthepilotscheme.Overall,therewasafeeling thattheportfolioitself(hardcopyandeportfolios)wasanappropriatevehicleto demonstratethelearningoutcomesbutthattheoutcomesthemselvesneeded distillation.Theconsensusdrawnfromthedatawasthattheportfoliowasausefultool forprovidingapictureofacandidatesreadinesstobeaDay1solicitorintermsof certainspecificskillsandtheirapplicationundersupervisionbutthatitwasinsufficientto giveacompletepictureofwhetherornotthatcandidatewouldbeagoodsolicitor.This insufficiency,accordingtotheevaluators,wasinpartaccountedforbyhowtheportfolio

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SRAFinalReport wasused,whatwasusedtocomplementit,thevariousinterpretationsofthefunctionof reflectionsheetsandthelinkbetweenevidenceandprogression. 1. TypesofPortfolio 1.1 Stream2usedhardcopyportfolios. 1.2 Themajorityofstream2weresatisfiedwithhardcopybutwouldconsideran esystemifitwereeasytooperate. 1.3 Stream1usedamixtureacrossthecandidates:hardcopy;(esystem1) PebblePadadaptedfortheirrequirements;(esystem2)anotheresystem tailoredfortheirrequirements. 1.4 Thoseinstream1usingPebblePadwereverydissatisfiedwithitbutwouldbe happytouseamoreuserfriendlyandtailoredesystem.Inonecaseitwas clearacandidatestruggledand,perhapsunderperformed,duetodifficulties withPebblePad. 1.5 Theissueofportabilityisapressingoneandthesheersizeoftheportfolio makesitunwieldy.Evaluationteammembershadtovisitorganisationsto viewhardcopyportfoliosastheirsizemadepostingcomplicatedand expensive. 1.6 Theportfoliobyitsverynaturewillcontaindocumentsreferringtoclientsand thelegalissuesfacingthemwhichisobviouslyofconcern.Someorganisations haveattemptedtoovercomethisproblembyutilisingasystemofredaction. 1.7 Thishasleftsomecandidateswithconcernsthataheavilyredactedportfolio islessmeaningfulandleftsomeorganisationswithconcernsthatredacting aloneisinsufficienttoprotectconfidentiality. 1.8 SomeorganisationsvoicedconcernsaboutMiddlesexexaminingtheir portfoliosduetoconfidentialityissues.Thishighlightsaproblemifcandidates wishtousetheirportfolioforfutureemployersasevidenceoftheirskills. 1.9 Thetrendhereseemedtobethatthelargerorganisationsaremore concernedaboutconfidentialitythanthesmallones. Evaluatorsrecommendfortypeofportfolio i. ifissuesofconfidentialitycanberesolved,whichwouldbeeasieronanelectroniccopy,

ii.

anonlineordigitalmethodofstoringtheportfoliodocuments intermsofportability,supervisorsandassessorsappraisalscouldbesufficientevidence (andthenumberofcreditsifacreditsystemisadopted)storedelectronicallyinanon linedataroomforpotentialemployerstoaccesswithapassword

2.

Issuesregardingtheportfoliofrominterviewswithcandidates,professionalsand thekeyquestionnaire: 2.1 2.1.1 Allparticipantsfoundtheportfolioanappropriatevehicleforthelearningand assessmentframeworkthatcoulddeliverontheaimsandobjectivesofthe SRA; 2.1.2 founditburdensomeduetorepetitiveordifficulttoevidenceoutcomes; Alltheparticipants

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2.1.3 agreedthatitemsofevidencetosupportthelearningoutcomeswere overused; 2.1.4 therewasagreementbyprofessionalsandcandidatesonthevalueof reflectionsheetsalthoughtheywereallawaretherewasroomfor manufacturingreflectionespeciallyifithelpedtosupport/evidencea learningoutcomeandthatthemostappropriateuseofreflectionsheets remainedlimitedandvague.

2.2 Candidates 2.2.1 Candidateswerenotconvinceditwouldhavetheportabilityanticipateddue to: (i) issuesofconfidentiality; (ii) candidatesnotbeingconvinceditwouldmeanverymuchifhighly redacted; (iii) candidatesnotbeingconvincedthatemployerswouldwant/havethe timetolookatitineitherhardcopyorelectronically. 2.2.2 Candidatesfoundthatbytheendtheyhadcreatedalearningreferencefor themselvesbutoncequalifiedtheywereuncertainhowoftentheywould needtorefertoit. 2.3 Professionals/Employers 2.3.1 Themajorityoffirmshadapositiveattitudetotheportfoliosystemandits potentialtohavearoleinassessmentinprincipleasitwas,forseveral,not toofarremovedfromlearningandassessmentsystemstheywerealready using. 2.3.2Somefirmswereunimpressedandresentfuloftheimpositionontheir professionalsandtraineestimebecauseofhowitwasdesigned.Some expressedstrongresistancetosuchchangesbutaspartofarangeofissues onchange.Negativitydidnotconsistentlyrelatetothetypeoffirm interviewed;smallandmediumsizedmixedpracticefirmswerecriticalaswell aslargeCitypractices. 2.3.3 Severalraisedquestionsaboutwhetheritcouldbe,onitsown,anappropriate assessmenttoolthatcouldconfidentlysaytheindividualhadreachedDay1 competences. 2.3.4 Severalwerenotconvinceditwouldhavetheportabilityanticipateddueto: (i) issuesofconfidentiality; (ii) employersnotbeingconvincedtheywouldlookatthewholething; (iii) employersindicatingtheymightlookataselectionandthesupervisors appraisalreports; (iv) employersgivingmoreobjectiveweighttotheappraisalreports; (v). employersbelievingthatitwouldmorelikelyinfluencethemtoofferan interview; (vi) employersbelievingthatitsusecouldbemoreinprovidingthebasisof somediscussiontopicsinwhichtoengageapotentialemployeeat aninterview.

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SRAFinalReport 2.3.5Therewasarangeofresponsestotheportfoliosasbothalearningand assessmenttool.Onefirmdidnotexaminetheportfoliosoftheircandidates. Eveninorganisationsthatbelievedtheportfoliosystemwasausefultool therewereconcernsthatalthoughcandidatesmaybeabletoshow progressioninrelationtothelearningoutcomes,thedevelopmentofthe personalityandcharacterofatraineecouldnotbecapturedwhichisavital omission. 3. 3.1 PositiveAspects 3.1.1 Theportfoliowasausefulguideastowhatwasrequired. 3.1.2 Itwasapotentiallyefficientmeanstodemonstrateevidencethatthe learningoutcomeswerebeingachieved. 3.1.3 Itwasausefulmeansforincrementaldevelopmentandformative assessment. 3.2 Progression 3.2.1 Considerablelearningprogresswasdemonstratedinthemajorityofthe portfoliosfromyearonetoyeartwo.Inthehighperformersanincrease inconfidencewasevident. 3.2.2 Theappraisalsshowedacandidatespersonalandprofessional developmentinrelationtothelearningoutcomesbutevenalthough mostprofessionalssaidtheyfoundtheirownongoingcommentsinthe portfolioindispensableintheirengagementwiththecandidates,the sameappraisalwasusedmultipletimes.InEAOsupervised organisationsthiswaslesspronounced. 3.2.3 CandidatessupervisedbyIAOsshowedarangeinthisareaof progressionwithsomecandidatesbeingencouragedtodemonstrate explicitlyincrementalprogressionwhileotherswereencouragedto focusmoreuponthefinalresult. 3.3 Use/ManagementofPortfolio 3.3.1 Legalfirmswhohadsimilarmeansofassessmenttotheportfolio alreadyinplaceseemedtohavehadfewerproblemswithportfolios exceptforclarificationinexactlywhattheSRArequired. 3.3.2 InIAOswheretheportfolioseemedtobeasecondarytoolornotused asintenselyasothers,thiswascompensatedbythefirmseitherrunning theWBLschemeinparallelwiththeirownorasacomplementtoit. 3.3.3 Instream1withlowvariablesinthesample,highvariableswere evidentinhowtheemployers/assessors(IAOs)managedthecandidates learningthroughtheportfolioswhereasinstream2withhighvariables inthesampletheEAOmanagedaconsistent,lowvariableapproach. 3.3.4 Reflectionsheetswereusedprimarilytodemonstratewhatacandidate wouldhavedonedifferentlyandtomanagetheevidencerequirement forlearningoutcomesconcerningpeopleskillsandnotinthewaywhich Theevaluators:areviewoftheportfolios(thebestandtheborderline)acrossthe varioussetupsbroughtuptheseissues:

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wouldbegenerallyunderstoodwithinaWBLframework[SeeResource Paper7]. 3.3.5 Itwaschallengingtotellfromawiderangeofreflectionsheetswhether acandidatehaddevelopedbeyondtheabilitytoperformthetasktoan acceptablelevele.g.toshowinitiative,toquestionattitudesetc.Thisis anespeciallyimportantareaforsupervisorstobeawareof.Thereisthe needforthecandidatetoavoidboxtickingandbefacilitatedtodevelop moregenuineselfandotherawarenessandtounderstandwhatis requiredinbeingbothaprofessionalandprofessional[Resourcepaper 2]. 3.3.6 Inportfolioswherecandidateshadattemptedtowritemorereflectively therewasnoticeableselfconsciousness. 3.3.7 Themoredetailedportfoliostendedtobefoundatfirmswhicheither alreadyoperatedasimilarsystemofevidencingcompetenceand/orhad theresourcestoallowcandidatesaccesstoawiderangeofareasfrom whichtheycoulddrawevidencetodemonstratedifferentlearning outcomes. 3.3.8 Therewerenomajordifferencesinsummativeassessmentsacrossall set upsasthelearningoutcomesfocussedonskillsapplicationthrough tasks. Evaluatorsrecommendonuseandmanagementofportfolios i. keepportfoliosbutmorestreamlined.Althoughusedifferedacrossthesetups, positiveimpactwasevidentontrainingpracticesandattitudes ii. alevelofconsistencyintheuseofportfoliosisrequiredacrosssetupsto achieve abenchmarkhighstandardofoutcomes iii. trainingofsupervisorsandassessorsisessentialtoassistinthisconsistency iv. consultwithEAOsasconsistencyofapproachwasmostevidentinEAOs v. reflectionsheetsneedtobereviewedandcloserconsiderationgiventohow they areusuallyusedinaWBLframework[Resourcepaper7] 3.4 FeedbackinportfoliosfromSupervisors/Nominated Solicitors/Reviewers/Assessors 3.4.1 Thequalityoffeedbackwasgenerallyhighbutshoweddifferencesin focusbetweenstream1andstream2:instream1feedbacktendedto containlessteachingandmorechallenges.stream2feedbackcontained moreteachingandclarificationbutbyyear2inanumberofcasesthis hadevolvedintomorefacilitatedlearning. 3.4.2 Relatingtothepreviouspoint,stream1wasmorehomogenousand thereforeitwaseasiertodrawoutcommonalitiesbuttherewasasmall numberofindividualsinthisgroupwhoneededmoreteaching.stream 2posedagreaterchallengetodrawoutcommonalitiesduetoamuch higherlevelofvariables.Instream2therewereexamplesofhighly competenttooutstandingindividualswhorespondedtoafacilitative andchallengingstylethoughthesewerenotthemajority.

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SRAFinalReport 3.4.3 3.4.4 3.4.5 3.4.6 3.4.7 3.4.8 Itwasevidentfromtheportfoliosthatthemajorityofsupervisorsand reviewersdemonstratedanactiveengagementinacandidateslearning andprogressionbuttovaryingdegrees. Therewasevidenceofmoreteaching,reinforcementandrepetitionfrom reviewersinsomestream2portfoliosofcandidatesinenvironmentsless supportivetotrainingrequirements.Thisdoesnotmeanthatthemajority didnothavesupportiveemployersbutthatthedemandsoftheirjobs, theirfamilylivesandlimitationsonthekindofhelpavailablewerenot alwaysconducivetothetrainingtargetsrequiredofthem. Candidatesresponsestofeedbackvariedforavarietyofreasons pressureofwork,clarificationofwhatdifferentiatesthedifferentlevelsof attainments,exposuretoareasoflawneededandtypesofevidence required. Therewassomecorrelationbetweenthequalityandskillofthe reviewer/nominatedsolicitorintheirfeedbackandtheprogressofthe candidate. Thereappearedtobeatrendthatcandidateswhoperformedbetteroften enjoyedreviewandsupervisionfromhigherqualityandmoreattentive supervisors. Theportfolioseemedtobeausefultoolforasupervisor (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) tohaveabasisfordiscussionwiththecandidate; tohavelearningobjectivelyevidenced; toencouragecandidateselfmanagement; toberemindedofprovidingthesupport/requirementsoftraining tothecandidatewhilemanagingfeeearningbusyworkload; tobemorecarefulinanalysingworkaccordingtodescribed outcomes.

3.4.9 Theseobservationsregardingthesupervisors,drawnfromareviewofthe portfolios,weresupportedbyanumberofinterviewcommentssuchas: Whatwasmostdifficultwasgettingthesupervisorstoconcentrateon whatisamorerigidscheme.[They]havetostepoutsidetheirdaytoday workandgothroughthingswiththetrainee. Wethoughtwewereprettygoodtrainers.[Although]thequalityof workgivenisgood[already],thepilothasshownitcanbebetter. 3.4.10 Howeverthereviewoftheportfoliosdidnotalwaysdemonstratethis supervisorlearning. 3.4.11 EAOportfoliosdiddemonstratemoreeducationalandtrainingawareness intheirfeedbackandreviews. 3.4.12 Severalinterviewsindicatedthat,evenamongstthegoodportfolios,the supervisorisstilltheonlypersonsuitabletogaugethemissingkey elementsnecessarytogivethefullflavourofacandidate. Evaluatorsrecommendonfeedbackfromsupervisors,nominatedsolicitorsandreviewers

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i. theportfoliobecomplementedbylearningconversationsandothersupportive materialasonitsown/initscurrentformitisnotabletoensureDay1competences andemployability ii. trainingofsupervisorsandassessorswhichwouldaddresssomeoftheissuesaround standardisationofassessment iii.theportfoliocouldbecomeamoreeffectivetoolifthesupervisorsweregiven traininginassessingcandidatesusingtheportfolio[Resourcepaper3] iv. useEAOsexperienceintrainingandeducationandhowitcanbebestutilisedin anynewframework 3.5 Differences Thereweredifferences 3.5.1 3.5.2 inhowtheportfoliowasmanagedacrossallthesetupswhich accountsforsomeofthevariance; inhowtheportfoliowasusedorinhowthecandidatehadbeen instructedtousetheportfolio.Thevarianceonthisaspectwas noticeable; inindividualstyleofreporting,recordingandevidencing; inthestyleandengagementofsupervisors,reviewersandassessors; inenvironmentalfactorse.g.typeofsetup,lengthoftimeinand opportunityforexposuretoareasoflaw; intimeandsupportallocatedtoeachcandidate; inmotivesandpurposeforcandidates:stream2portfoliocompletion wasthemeanstoalongachievedgoalratherthanemployabilityand thesupportwasinthecontextofstaffdevelopment; stream1portfoliocompletionwascarriedoutwithinthesecurityofa trainingcontractwhichwasforbothcandidatesandemployersmore ofanexperimentwhichwasevidentinattitudes.Theendgoalwas employabilitywithintheprofessionpreferablyformostcandidates withinthetrainingfirm.Supportwaswithinthecontextoffirm recruitment; inportfoliopresentation:therewasevidencetosuggestthatthe betterassembledportfolioscorrelatedtothemoresuccessful candidates; betweentheminimumstandardachievedbyafewcandidatesfrom stream2andstream1withtheminimumbeinghigherinstream1; howeverinhighperformersinbothgroupstherewasnomarked differenceinlevelsofachievementandcompetence; intype/rateofprogression:stream2onthewholedemonstratedthe mostmarkedprogressionandsteepestlearningcurves; betweentheWBLsystemandthestandardformofassessmentused butthisvariedfromfirmtofirm; suchdifferenceswhenencounteredwereinweightandvarietyof evidence,useofreflectionsheetsanddepthofappraisals.

3.5.3 3.5.4 3.5.5 3.5.6 3.5.7

3.5.8

3.5.9

3.5.10 3.5.11 3.5.12 3.5.13 3.5.14

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SRAFinalReport 3.6Challenges 3.6.1 3.6.2 3.6.3 Onitsowntheportfoliowasnotconvincingasasummative assessmenttoolattheendofthetwoyears. Theportfolioasitwasuseddidnotaddresssoftskillsaswellasitdid practicalskills. Itwasnotevidentfromthecandidatescontributionstothe portfolioswhatlevelofsupervisionorassistancehadbeenneededto achievetheoutcomesandhowmuchsupportthecandidatewould stillneedonDay1. Oftenthereviewersorsupervisorsfeedbackwassummarisedfrom verbalcommunicationwhichhadmostlikelybeenmoreextensive.

3.6.4

3.7 Whattheportfoliomaynotbeabletodoasanassessmenttool 3.7.1 TherewasnounanimityontheeffectivenessoftheWBLportfolioas anassessmenttool.However,mostorganisationswere,tosome degree,positiveabouttheusefulnessoftheportfolioinshowing somecompetences.Thelimitationofthisendorsementrelatedto twocrucialfactors.Theseemergedbothwithinoverallnegative responsesandoverallpositiveonestotheoverallpilotscheme.They were: (i) (ii) theinabilityoftheportfolio,byitself,toshownecessaryskills, inparticularsoftskills,suchasinterpersonalcommunication; strongconfidenceonthepartoftrainingorganisationsinthe instincts,perceptivenessandgoodjudgementofprofessionals involvedintrainingaboutrelevantqualitiesoftrainees.Itwas oftenbelievedthatthesequalitiesweredifficult,ifnot impossible,todescribeordefine.

3.7.2

3.7.3

3.7.4

3.7.5 3.7.6

Therewasconcernforeveryoneaboutwhatstagesoftheportfolio shouldbemeasuredatwhatlevel.EAOsusedtwodifferentscales. IAOsbelievedtheyneededmoreguidanceonthisandonwhatcould bemeasuredbeyondbasiccompetences. Forthosewhohadnegativecommentsontheeffectivenessofthe portfolio,criticismfocusedonthewholeexercisehavingtheclear potentialtobecomeameaningless,mechanicaltickboxprocess. Therewasanindicationthatjustgettingonwithworkshowing initiative,willingness,selfmanagedlearning,attentiontodetail, professionalknowledgeorhowtogetitandbeingproactivewere clearenoughindicatorsofemployabilityintheprofession. Indicatorsfornotbeingkeptonwouldbecomplaining,dependency andexpectationofthingsbeingdoneforyou. Amorecomplexcriticismtookforminanoverallperceptionthatthe schemedidnotdeliverasystemmorebeneficialthantheoneused bytherespondingorganisation.Inrelationtothiscriticism,there

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was,however,amarginaldifferenceinfocusbetweenthenegative responsesoflargecommercialfirms,ontheonehand,andsmaller firms,ontheother. Largefirms Theexistingarrangementsweresuperiorastheyrequiredlearning outcomesatahigherlevelofcompetencythanwasrequiredofmost traineelawyersbylesscommercial,lesswellresourcedfirms. (ii) Referencetothesuperiorityorveryhighstandardsortopstandard requiredofthefirmstrainees,aswellasreferencetothevalueofthe firmsreputationswasfrequent. (iii) Theexistinginhousesystemsweresuperiorinproducinganexperience ofacculturationthatbetterfittedthesefirmscorporateidentitiesand supportedtheirreputations: [L]etsfaceit,wewouldntbehere,theCityfirmswouldntbehereifwe didntmaintainstandards.Ourreputationiscrucial (iv) Strongviewsonthelimitationsoftheportfolioandthesuperiorityof supervisorsjudgements: You'vejustgottotrustthelawyerthatthey'reworkingwithtoforma viewastowhetherornottheyareuptoitornot Theportfolioevidencemightbeusefulperhapsforasmallerfirmorhigh streetpractice,perhaps,butinourpracticewhereyouarereallyrelying onthespecialistpartnertojudgewhetherornotthey'vedonea fantasticjobincorporateorinrealestate,whentheyareworkingwith them,attachingalltheportfolioevidencewasnotausefulexercise. SmalltoMediumsizedfirms (i). Onlyreliabletestofsuchqualitieswasthepersonaljudgementof supervisorswhoworkedcloselywiththecandidate.Atypicalcomment was: Thebestassessorisasupervisorwhoworkswiththetraineeonadayto daybasis.Thefirmisveryhandsonabouttraining.Itbecomesclear quitequicklyifthereareproblems.Wegetthesamefeedbackfrommost supervisors,soitisreliable ii. Howcanaportfolioinculcateorassessinthecandidateafirm ethosoridentitywiththefirmandalsotheprofession? iii. Manyofthenegativecommentsofsmallandmediumsizedfirms withmixedpracticesorlitigationintensepracticestendedto emphasizetheinabilityofacollectionofdocumentstoshow employersthatacandidatehadacquiredtheinterpersonaland socialskillsnecessaryforpractice. (i)

3.8 Thepositiveinfluencesoftheportfolio

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SRAFinalReport 3.8.1 Mostlegalfirms,eventhoseexpressingnegativecomments,intendedto dooneofthefollowingwithanumberstatingtheyhadalreadystarted todoi.orii.: i. toadoptaWBLscheme; ii. adaptthebestoftheWBLschemetothebestoftheirown practices; iii. belessresistanttoanadaptedversionfromtheSRA. 3.8.2 Descriptionsoftheportfoliosystemforlearningoutcomes,formative assessmentandatrainingtoolwere:good,excellent,better,very helpful,verysatisfied,seesomepositiveeffects,requiredmore engagementfrombothcandidatesandsupervisorsinthelearning process. 3.8.3 Benefitsincludedforsome WBLisgoodbecauseithelpsatraineetoconcentratemoreon acquiringskills. Itwillproduceamuchmoreroundedindividual. theresponsibilityWBLseemedtobeputonthetrainee,isonething thatattracted[ourfirm]tothescheme. 3.8.4 Unanimousreservation: thatitcannotbeaneffectiveassessmenttoolifnotcombinedwith othermeasurestoensurethesoftskillsarematuringandthe developmentofaprofessionalattitudeisevident. EvaluatorsrecommendonPortfolioasanAssessmentTool[Resourcepapers 5,6,7,8] i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. distinguishtheportfoliosuseasaformativeassessmenttoolandasa summativeassessmenttool[Resourcepapers3and8] examinehowitcanbeusednotonlytomeasureskillsapplicationbuthow tomoreeffectivelymeasureprofessionalism[Resourcepapers13] drawupleveldescriptorsforyearoneandleveldescriptorsforDay1 [Resourcepaper6] addressthenumberoflearningoutcomesandtheirrelevance[Resource paper5] addressthetypeofoutcomes[Resourcepapers2,5] addresstheevidencerequirementsandwhatisactuallybeingevidenced, theirskillortheirattitudeorboth[Resourcepaper2] addressthereflectionsheetsandhowtheyareused[Resourcepaper7] includethetrainingofsupervisors,reviewersandassessorsinanynew framework includeinPSCmorerelevantaspectsofprofessionalismwhichcan complementanewframeworkandhelpaddressgapsinaportfoliosystem ofassessment:suchasethicalattitudes,profilesandbrands,compromise, acculturation,individualaimsandgroupaims,initiative,roleofsupervision, peopleskills,listeningskills,recognitionofandoptimisationofstrengths (finder, minder,grinder)

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7. Timecostsfororganisationsandcandidates
1.

Organisationswerenotableornotpreparedtogivethefinancialcostsofthe scheme. 2. Allorganisationswerewillingtomakeallowancesoncostsbecausethiswasa pilotscheme. 3. Therewasclearagreementthattheschemewasmoreburdensomeinterms oftime.Someorganisations,especiallythosewhichassessedinternally, viewedthisfactorasthedominanteffectofthepilot. 4. AfewstatedcategoricallythatifWBLisbroughtinwithoutconsiderable modificationitwillsignificantlyaffecttheirdecisionaboutwhethertohire traineesinthefuture. 5. Anumberoforganisationsstatedthattheywereawarethatwithmodification suchasreducedoutcomes,lessprescriptiveoutcomesandbetterguidance thetimeelementcouldbediminished. 6. AsmallnumberoflegalfirmssaidtheywouldconsiderusingEAOsifitwere economicallyfeasiblebuthadstrongreservationsthatanEAOcouldever reallyassessbeyondbasicskillsifitdidnotknowthecultureofthe organisationanditsspecialistareas. 7. Anumberoflegalfirmssaidtheywouldconsideranexternalassessment organisationinanotherrolesuchastrainingproviderormoderator. 8. Organisationswhichwerenotlegalfirmssaidtheyfeltverysupportedbythe EAOs. 9. Complaintsaboutthetimecostweremorefrequentwithcitycouncils,other organisationsandsmallfirms.Severalorganisationswhoarenotlegalfirms statedtheywouldhaveconsiderableconcernsaboutsupportingascheme againevenalthoughtheyconsideredittherightthingtodotoaddresswhat theyalso thoughtwereunfairpracticesinthelegalprofession. 10. Generallyverydifficultforallparticipantstoactuallyofferanyquantifiable timecosts. 11. Therewereseveralreportsofcandidateshavingtocompleterequirements afterworkhourswhichwasviewedasunfairandpossiblydiscriminatoryto thosenotonatrainingcontractandnotdesirableforthosewhowere.

8. Issueswhicharoseregardingthefutureofthescheme
1. Changesintheeconomicclimatewouldaffectavailabilityoftrainingplaces whichwouldinfluencedecisionsandattitudestowardstheintroductionofa newtrainingframeworkbothpositivelyandnegatively. Organisationswhichwerenotlegalfirmswillthinkmorecarefullyabout whetherqualifyingparalegalsorthoseemployedinlegalrelatedjobsis beneficialtotheorganisationaswellastotheindividual. Organisationswhichwerenotlegalfirmswillconsiderthetime,human resourceandfinancialimplicationsofhavingemployeesonsuchascheme. Legalfirmswerenotverysupportiveoftimetocount(recognitionofprevious learning)exceptinparticularcircumstanceswherethecandidatecamewith [seealsoNarrativeReportingAnnexe1.iii.)

2.

3. 4.

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SRAFinalReport highlytransferableanddesirableskills.6monthsshouldbethemaximumas 18monthswasconsideredtheappropriateminimumtimefora trainee/candidatetobecomeimmersedintheprofessionalcultureand identityofthefirm. Legalfirmswereevenmorereluctanttoconsidertimetocountforparalegals astheycouldnotbeconfidentinhowtheirpreviousexperiencecouldbe assessedasitmayhavebeeninanunrelatedcontextwhichwasnot transferableorrelevant. Therewasamixtureofresponsesabouthowtoproceedandwhat recommendationsandfeedbacklegalfirmswouldliketogivetotheSRA: whethertoadoptanSRAbackedWBLframeworkandmodifyittosuittheir ownsetupsortoadvocatethehighprofessionalstandardsoftheirexisting systemsfromwhichtheSRAcoulddrawtosetahighminimumstandard acrossthewholeprofessionwhichwasbelievedtobeverymuchneeded. Therewasconsiderableconcernexpressedbyallemployersthattherewere noguidelinesonhowlonganemployerwouldhavetohaveresponsibilityfor supportingandkeepingonacandidateontheschemewhodidnotcomplete inthetwoyears.TherewasananxietythattheWBLframeworkwasbasedon thepremisethateveryoneshouldpassgiventime.

5.

6.

7.

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Annexe1.ii.
Stream2:paralegals
[seealsoResourcepaper11]
Thepilotschemehadtwomajoraims: toreformthevocational/appliedstageoftrainingtoachieveobjectivemeasures andstandardisationintrainingandassessment; toexploreitscontributiontoaddressingbarrierstoentrytotheprofession. Throughtheinclusioninthepilotschemeofparalegalsemployedinvariousorganisations (stream2),itwasanticipatedthatthishadthepotentialtoaddressarangeofbarriers: ethnicity,gender,ageandsocioeconomic/educationalbarriers.Itwasaboldmoveand possiblythemostreformingpartofthedesignofthepilotschemeandforthatreason closerconsiderationcouldhavebeengiventowhethertwomajoraimscouldbeachieved withinthesamescheme. However,reformofatraditionalparadigmorpracticeisalwaysachallengeandthereisa casetobemadethatifanembeddedsystemistobedisturbedthentherearestrategic advantagestoaddressingasmanyissuesaspossibleinonedisturbance.

1. Issuesarising
1. 2. 3.

Whiledemonstratingthatthisreformalonewillnotaddressbarrierstoentry, attemptingitdiddemonstratethat: theWBLpilothadthepotentialtoaddresssocio/educationalbarriers; thepilothadaddressedaninequalityinthesystemforarangeofindividuals; barrierstoentryonsocio/educationalgroundscouldbeaddressediflegal firmsremovedthe2.1orfirstclassrequirementforapplicantsasacriterion fortheirapplicationstobelookedatletaloneofferedaninterview, particularlyoneapplicationswhereanapplicantcannotproceedassoonas theyenteralevelofdegreeawardlowerthat2.1; therewasnoevidenceinthisevaluationofthepilotschemethatitaddressed anyotherbarrierdirectly; thepilothadhighlightedtheneedforaddressingbarrierstoentryatanearlier stage[seerecommendationsandresourcepapers]; thevariablesamongthisgrouparemuchhigherthanvariablesamongthe traineesinlegalfirms(inworkplace;jobs;backgrounds;experience;skills; location); thepilotraisedseveralissueswhichneedtobeaddressedbeforethisrouteto qualificationcanbesuccessfullyintroduced; theportfoliosystemdemonstratedsignificantlearningwasachievedfora numberofstream2whichdependedverymuchonhowtheyrespondedto thereviewersfeedback;

4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

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SRAFinalReport 9. externalassessmentorganisationscouldhavevalueinalearningan assessmentframeworkacrosstheprofessionaswellasintheroleofassessors forstream2typecandidates.

2. Potentialtoaddresssocio/educationalbarriers

Allparticipants(paralegalandnonparalegalandallprofessionals)spokeofthe potentialanddesirabilitytoachievethisratherthantherealisationofitasaviable system. Forstream2candidatesthisbarriertoentrywasthemostsignificantforthemasit wasalivedratherthananobservedexperience.Thefollowingisageneralprofileof stream2tocontextualisetheirviews.

Stream2profile Individualsinemploymentinorganisationstocarryoutlegal/legalrelatedactivities wereinvitedtovolunteerforthepilotschemeif theyhadsuccessfullycompletedalawdegree/GDLandtheLPC; hademployerswillingtosupporttheminachievingtherequirementsofthe SRAincludingopportunitytogainexposuretotherequiredareasoflaw (contentiousandnoncontentious).

Themajorityofstream2candidatesstatedthattheyhadgoneintopaidlegalwork becausetheyhadnotsucceededingainingatrainingcontract.Allhadmadeseveral applicationattempts(from6toover100)togainatrainingcontract.Arangeof reasonsweregivenbyeachcandidateandthesewerecheckedagainstreasons giventothembypotentialsuppliersoftrainingcontracts.Whileindividualreasons varied,thelevelofdegreeanduniversityremainedconstantinallresponses 2.2degree 2.2degreefromminoruniversity 2.1fromminoruniversity Othersreasonsgiveninorderoffrequencythoughatamuchloweroccurrencethan degreelevel age nepotism location Itisimportanttonotethatdegreerankingwas,tothisstreamandtoother participantsinthescheme,notjustabouteducationalattainment. therewasanimpliedclassissue.

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therewasnoopportunitytoexplainthelowerlevelofeducationalattainment atayoungerageandwhattheirtruecapabilitieswerewhentheywere excludedfromhavinganinterview. intherareeventofaninterview,therewasnowaytoexplainabouttherole ofenvironmentalfactorswithoutitsoundinglikealameexcuse. Environmentalfactorscitedashavinganinfluenceondegreeattainment: Therewasalsoafrustrationthat: thefollowingwouldnever,intheeyesofthelegalprofession,beenoughto makeupforthedegreeattainment gainingtheLPCoftenatnightclassesorparttimewhileworking holdingaresponsiblelegalrelatedjob accumulatedextensiveexperience commitmentstoCPD theywerepreventedfromenteringtheprofessionalthoughtheyhad succeededinthefirsttwostagesoftheroutetoqualification.Inmost professionstherewouldhavebeennoquestionaboutmovingontothethird stageaftersuccessfullycompletingtheprevioustwostages. workingtoearnmoneywhilestudying learningatnightclasses dependents caringroles firstpersoninfamilytogotouniversity deprivedcities/localities

Interviewswithstream2highlightedtheroleofHRindecidingwhoseapplications toputforwardasthisstreamhadexperiencedmultiplerejections.Thiswasalso commentedonbysomestream1candidates.Amongalargesectionofpotential applicantsintotheprofession,mythsonthewayHRselectapplicantsforinterview areprolific.Worryingly,thecommonalityinallthesemythsisthatitisHRthathas thepowerinlegalfirmsandorganisationstomakealltheimportantdecisionson recruitment.Thisissueraisedthefollowingconcernsforcandidateswithregardto mediumandlargerfirms whomakesthedecisionstoforwardanapplicationtothedecisionmaker? onwhatbasisisthatselectionmade? areHRqualifiedtomakesuchdecisions? whatistheirlegaltraining? whoregulatesHR? WBLPilotScheme Stream2sviewsonwhetheritcanaddresssocio/educationalbarriers

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SRAFinalReport onanindividual,casebycasebasistheWBLpilotschemewasseenbystream 2asbeingabletoaddresstheirparticularsituationsandsituationsof individualssimilartothem thedegreelevelcouldbeaddressedintheprofessionbynothavinga2.2as thecutoff tomaketheWBLroutetoentryworkinpracticeitwouldhavetoaddress manyissuessuchasdifferencesinworkenvironments,qualityofsupport, accesstoareasoflaw tomakeitworkinpracticetherewouldhavetobecloserconsistency betweenthosewhowerepaidtotrainandthosewhowerepaidtodoajob andsupportedtomeettraininglevels thereweregreaterimplicationsandconsequencesfortheemployersof stream2candidatesthanforemployersoftraineesemployedtobetrainees thereistheneedtoaddressbarrierstoentryearlierinthesystembutunsure whenandhow. althoughstream2understoodandacceptedwhyallcandidateshadtostart theschemeonanevenfooting,stream2believedthatitisunfaironthiskind ofcandidatenottoallowtimetocountforextensiveandoftenseniorlevel workexperienceinlegalrelatedmattersandthisinitselfisdiscriminatory

3. NoevidencethattheWBLpilotdirectlyaddressedanyother barrierstoentry
Thepilotschemewasnotseenasaddressingorbeingableaddressanyother barriertoentryexceptifbasedonthefollowingtwoassumptions Stream2candidatesandothercandidatesandprofessionalparticipantsinthe schemespeculatedonotherobstaclestoenteringtheprofession.However,from thepilotschemeitselftheywerenotevidenced. professionalsinlegalfirmswereclearthatgenderbarrierstoentrynolonger existedandthatethnicitywasalsodisappearingasabarrierbecause excellenceineducationalachievementregardlessofgender,ageandethnicity wasnowtheoverridingcriteriondrivenbymarketforces. experiencewasalsoconsideredashavingthepotentialtosupersede traditionalbarriersiftheexperiencewashighlyrelevanttotheorganisations profile. otherpositivefactorswereclientfacingskills,businessacumenandlanguages Allparticipantsinthepilotbelievedbarrierstoentryshouldbeaddressedmuch earlierinthesystembutveryfewideaswereofferedaboutatwhatstageandhow theycouldbeaddressed[SeeResourcepaperondiversityliterature]. thatstream2typecandidateshaveallbeenpreventedfromgettingtraining contractspredominantlyforeducationalreasons thatthosewhoarestream2typecandidatesarealsofromwiderethnic, genderandagegroupsthanthosegainingtrainingcontracts

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4. Feasibleroutetoqualificationforstream2typecandidates
Thesequestionshavebeengatheredfromarangeofallparticipants. Evaluatorscomments: ThefollowingprobingquestionsareintendedtoassistthenextiterationoftheWBL frameworktoi.helpaddresssomeconcernsandii.preventatwotier system/discriminatorysystememergingoutofwhataresoundethicalintentions 1 istheSRAsrecruitmenttothepilotofstream2candidatesonaselfselection plussupportiveemployersbasisasoundandfairapproachfortheprofession, thecandidateandtheemployer? arethedifferencesinrecruitingrequirementsforstream1andstream2in theformtheyareinthepilotjustified? beyondthepilot,cannothavingrecognitionofpreviousexperiencebe justified? howcandifferencesinsupportiveconditionsbetweenthe2streamsbe reduced? dodifferencesinsituation,intention,motiveandpersonal;cost/sacrifice betweenthetwostreamshaveanyinfluenceonwhatformaWBLframework shouldtake?Forexample,forstream1thepilotwasanexperimentwiththe securityofitbeingreallyanotherversionofatrainingcontract.Forstream2 itwastheonlymeanstoachievealongedforgoalafterconsiderable investmentinalegalcareer whatcanbedoneaboutmakingthesecuringofatrainingcontractafairer process? doestheexclusionofwillingapplicantsonthegroundsofnothaving supportiveemployerscontributetoafairersystem? howcanmonitoringofsupportiveemployersbeassuredandwhatdefines supportiveenoughinpractice? HowdoesaWBLframeworkaddresstheeducationalbarriertoentry? ShoulditbetheroleoftheSRAtochallengethecriteriaifthecriteriaare aboutevidencingexcellence? Whatotherwaysarethereofaddressingthisparticularbarriertoentry? HowdoesaWBLframeworkaddresspreviousexperience? Whatisthefunctionofrecognitionofpreviousexperience/learning? Howcanexposuretotheareasoflawbeensuredforcertainsetups? Howcancontentiousandnoncontentiousrequirementsbefulfilledinallset ups? Whendoestheresponsibilityoftrainingendfortheemployersofboth streams?Inotherwordswhatifsomeonefails? Whataretherealcosts? Doesthehighvariabilityofstream2posechallengestoassessmentand monitoring

2 3 4 5

6 7 8

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SRAFinalReport 9 howcanpotentialemployersofstream2bemademoreawareofthe implicationsofbeingasupportiveemployerandfacilitatingtheiremployees, particularlythosealreadyinimportantroles,toqualifyassolicitorswithout undulydisadvantagingthecandidateandtheemployer? howcantheinequalitiesoflearningexperiences,opportunitiesandsupport bothwithineachstreamandbetweenthetwostreamsbeattendedto? howcantransparencybeassuredaboutthetimeandfinancialcostsforthe employerandthecandidateinstream2withoutdisadvantagingthe candidate? howcanwhatifscenariostimeoutformaternityleave,familyissues,not abletogetexposuretoalltheareasoflawetcwhicharemoreprevalentin stream2beethicallymanaged? howcantheSRAusethisroutetoqualificationtoaddressotherbarriersto entryandisthiswaythemosteffectiveway? atwhatstageafterthecompletionofthe2yearsinthevocationaltraining stagecananemployerbringtoaclosetheirresponsibilityforthecandidate whodoesnotsucceedinqualifyinginthatperiod? areHRpracticessubjecttoSRAauditing?

10 11

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5. Useofexternalassessmentorganisations
Externalassessmentorganisationswereusedinthispilottoformativelyand summativelyassesscandidatesontheschemewhowerenotbeinginternally assessedbytheiremployers. NottinghamLawSchoolassessedparalegalsand/orindividualsemployedin legaljobsinavarietyoforganisationsandasmallnumberofcandidatesinlaw firmswhowouldhavebeenonthetraditionaltrainingcontract.These candidateswerefromavariousregionsinEnglandandWales. OxfordInstituteofLegalPracticeassessedcandidatesinLawNetfirms.These candidateswouldotherwisehavebeenonatraditionaltrainingcontract. TheirfirmsweremainlyintheSouth.

BothEAOsweregivenrecognitionbycandidateparticipantsandemployersof candidatesfortheirregularinput,feedbackandsupport.Employers,most particularlythosefromnonlegalfirms,consideredtheircandidatestobeinsafe hands.Theyhadconfidenceintheirformativeassessmentsbasedonwitnessingthe ongoingsupportandfeedbacktocandidatesthroughoutthetwoyearsofthe scheme. Wouldorganisationsusethemaftertheschemewascompletedandifthescheme wererolledout?

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LegalFirms ThemajoritysaidtheywouldnotcontinuetouseanEAOasanassessment organisationforthefollowingreasons notcosteffective knowinghowthesystemnowworkstheycandoitinhouse EAOscanassesstheskillsapplicationbutnotwhetherthecandidateis suitableforthefirmorhasreachedalevelofprofessionalismrequired. Aminoritysaidtheywouldforthefollowingreasons Costeffective Efficient Objective ButhadthereservationthatanEAOwouldnotbefamiliarwiththecultureof thesetupwhichcouldbeadisadvantageinassessment. Otherorganisations AmajorityofotherorganisationssaidtheywouldcontinuetouseEAOsiftheywere tosignupforsuchaschemeagain. Evaluatorsrecommend i. useexternalassessorsfromEAOsaspartofanoralpanelforthefinal assessmentofcandidatesasthiswouldmeettheaimofobjectivityandact asamonitoringofstandardswithEAOsreportingdirectlytotheSRA usethepilotsEAOstoadviseonamodifiedframework

ii.

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Annexe1.iii.
Narrativereporting
Thissectionofthereportaimstocapturesomeofthemoodandfeelingswhichcouldnot beconveyedinthefactualextrapolations.ThecontenthasbeenincludedintheFindings inAnnexe1.i..Thenarrativesaretakendirectlyfromintensiveinterviewswhichwere carriedoutduringandattheendofthefinalassessmentperiodandtheendingofthe WBLpilotscheme. 1. Sufficiency 1.1 oflearningoutcomesandissuesoflevel 1.2 todemonstrateskillsrequiredtoqualifyasasolicitor 1.3 ofWBLportfolioasameansofemployinganapplicantcandidatefrom outsidetheorganisation 1.4 ofcorrespondencebetweenevidenceofkeycriteriaandwhetherto employ. 2. The proper role of the SRA in relation to the vocational (training) stage and the desirabilityofachievingstandardisation. 3. Theproperobjectivesofthevocational(training)stageandtheextenttowhichit comprisesadistinctiveandnecessarystagewithinacoherenttrainingframework. 4. Theimpactoflikelyfuturedevelopmentswithinthelegalprofessionsonthe availabilityandnatureofprofessionaltrainingatthevocationalstage.

1. Sufficiency
1.1 Outcomesandissuesoflevel Outcomes SomeofthefirmswhichhadanoverallpositiveviewofWBLsaidthattheythought thatthiswasbecausetheoutcomessitwellwithourfirmandourareaofpractice. Therewasconcernandconfusion,however,abouttheextenttowhichlevelof achievementcouldorshouldbemeasured. Notsurprisingly,particularcontextmatteredtotheextenttowhichorganisations foundparticularoutcomesdifficulttoevidenceordidnotregardthemasrelevant. Mostofthecommentswereprovokedbytheadvocacyoutcomeandthenumber ofbusinessandcommercialawarenessoutcomes. Smalltomediumsizedlitigationfirmswerecomfortablewiththeadvocacy outcomeswhilesomebutnotalllargerfirmsandsomesmallerormediumsized practiceswereuninterestedinadvocacyskills,commenting,forinstance: Oneproblemiswithadvocacy.[TheSRA]mustlookatthisclosely.Notmany litigatorsgotocourt.Itisnotmainstreamanymore.Youinstructcounsel.Trainees cannotdoadvocacyinmagistratecourtincrimenow.

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Theoutcomesareactuallyverygood.Onlyonedifficultareaisadvocacyplussome traineesdonotneedadvocacyexperience;[they]neverwanttobeanadvocate. Mostfirmsseemeduntroubledbythefactthatmanyoftheoutcomesinvolve generalbusinessawareness.Somefirmswereatpainstostresstheimportanceof gettingtraineestousecommonsenseanddevelopbusinessinstincts.Indeed,this wasseenasthecentralmostimportantgoalofthetrainingstageasdistinctfrom previouspracticalandacademicstages(seebelow).Twoaspectsofbusiness awarenesswereidentified:thetraineesunderstandingandacceptanceofthefirm asabusinessorganisationandthetraineesabilitytounderstandthebusiness objectivesofclients.Somerespondentswereadamantabouttheneedtokeep theseoutcomesintheWBLscheme: Businessawareness?Itisanissue.Anabilitytodevelopandmarketisneeded.Itis important.Theymustkeepitinthelearningoutcomes.Youcanbefantastic academicallybutterriblewithclientorgettingbusiness.Youhavetobeanall rounder. Wedoneedbusinessawarenessandthisissomethingthatpeoplearewoefully unpreparedfor.[Trainees]havetohavecommercialawareness.Wehavetohave moneycominginandtraineeshavetounderstandthat. Issuesoflevel Afewparticipantswereconcernedtopointoutthattheydidnotunderstandthe extenttowhichtheSRAintendedevaluatorsofportfoliostoindicatelevelof performance: Adownsideishowwillweallknowwhatistherightlevel.So,the[organisations] levelmightbeabovethelevelelsewhere. Therewasconcernandconfusionabouttheextenttowhichlevelofachievement couldorshouldbemeasured.Somefirmswhichwereoverallnegativeaboutthe schemefeltillateasewithorlackofconfidenceaboutassessingoutcomes.For instance,onesaid, Therewastoomuchdetailintheinstructions.Thereisalotofpressureonhigh streetfirms.Theyarenotgoingtobereadthoroughlyorremembered.TheWBL outcomesarefullofabstractthoughts.Thisisdifficultforus. Quiteafewoftheorganisationsthatexpresseddiscomfortabouttheoutcomesin theschemesuggestedthatfirmsmightwanttoreceivefurthertrainingin assessment. Thesesuggestionscamefromfirmsthatwerepositiveaboutatleastsomeaspects ofthescheme:

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SRAFinalReport Wedonothaveeducationexpertise.Maybeweshouldhavesometrainingonit.Itis notsomethingthatwedonaturally. Othersintervieweeswerefirmlyoftheopinionthatlevelcouldnotbemeasured wellbytheportfolioandthatitonlymadesensefortheoutcomestodescribea baselinecompetency.Theissueoverlappedwiththeprofessionalparticipants considerationoftheextenttowhichtherecanbestandardisationofcompetence relatedoutcomes(seebelow). Candidateswerealsoconcernedaboutwhatlevelsactuallymeantandhowthese couldbesatisfactorilydemonstrated.Theyhadtheideathatitwasincrementalbut wereanxiousaboutwhethertheywerefillingthingsoutcorrectlytoshowtheyhad reachedthenextlevel.Manyinterpretedquantityastheindicatorratherthan quality,qualitybeingdefinedashowoneinterrogatestheworkandhasthe evidence.Inreviewingtheportfoliosmajorindicatorsofnotreachingahigherlevel werenotnecessarilyexplicitintheguidelines.Therewereindicatorssuchasnotyet demonstrating:insight,increasedawarenessofwiderissues,consistentattentionto detail,growingawarenessofbusinessconsiderationsfortheorganisationandthe client,initiative,requiringlesssupervisiontime.Inotherwordsnotgoingbeyond thebasicrequirements. 1.2 Skillsrequiredasasolicitor todemonstrateskillsrequiredtoqualifyasasolicitorifcombinedwithand complementedbyotherpossibletools Everyorganisationinterviewedthoughtthattheportfoliocouldnotstandaloneas evidenceofcompetencytopractice.Inmakingadecisiontohireapersonwhohad qualifiedelsewhereunderaportfoliobasedWBLscheme,organisationswouldbe unwillingtoaccepttheportfolioasevidenceofthecompetencesthatweremost importanttothem:arelevantresponsewas: [Itis]Impossibletoanswerfully.Itvarieswithcontext,dependsonwhatatrainee wantstodo.Withlitigationversusprivateorcommercial.Acommercialtrainee needstobeabletogiveprecisequickadvice,becomfortablewithbusinessclients andconfidentandconveyadegreeofsatisfaction.Withprivateclient[thetraineeis] dealingwithalotofelderly.Theyneedtobeslow,kind,confidential.SoWBLwould nottellyouthiswithoutaninterview.Sotheareaoflaw[theyseektocomeinto]is key. Nevertheless,manyintervieweesacceptedthataportfolio(especiallyifitcontained agoodlevelofcontemporaneousfeedbackbyprioremployers)wouldbeauseful toolifcombinedwithaninterview,apracticaltestorreferences.Allorganisations insistedthataninterviewwastheprinciplevehicleforinformingtheirjudgements, onceanexternalcandidatehadmettheircriteriainrelationtoacademic achievement,includingLPCresult.Someintervieweesstatedthattheportfolio couldbeausefulsourceofreferencewithinaninterview.Itwouldgive[firms] confidenceandwouldcertainlyaddtotheirconfidenceininterviewbyenabling

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themtoaskspecificquestionsaboutpriorworkortodrilldowninordertoassess therangeandqualityoftheapplicantspriorexperience.Theportfoliocouldinthis waybecomeausefulformofcurrency.

1.3 WBLportfolioandemployability WBLportfolioasameansofjudgingthedesirabilityofemployinganapplicantfrom outsidetheorganisation(potentiallyonewhohadbeenemployedelsewhereasa paralegal) IntervieweesweregenerallyscepticalabouttheuseofaWBLschemetoallow thosewhohavenotbeenabletoobtainatrainingcontract,butwhoareworkingas paralegals,toqualifyassolicitors. However,itwasacceptedbyseveralorganisationsthatapplicantswithnon traditionaltrainingcontractbackgroundsmightbemorelikelytobetakenonby themiftheycoulddemonstrateoutcomesthroughaportfolio.Severalfirms, especiallysmalltomediumsizedmixedpracticefirms,saidthattheywerenot unalterablyopposedtoofferingexistingparalegalstrainingplaces: After12monthssomeparalegalsprovethemselvesandwethenwouldtakethem onastrainees. However,theissueofqualificationbyparalegalswasfrequently(almostinvariably) relatedintheintervieweesmindsbothtotheissueoftheexacerbationofthepost LPCglutbythecurrenteconomicsituationandtohowtheyrespondtoand evaluateprioracademicqualifications. Firmswereconcernedaboutmanagingparalegalsexpectationsinaneconomically challengingperiodwhentheyaremakinglawyersredundant.Mostinterviewees hadstrongviewsaboutthenecessityofsettingsomeminimumlevelofacademic criteria: ifyouhave900whohavea2.1whywouldyoutakesomeonewitha2.2?.Youhave gottobelievethatthereissignificancetothedifferencebetweena2.1anda2.2.A lotoftheproblemisthatwehavegottoomanypeoplecomingthroughfromthe academicstage.ThatisnotanythingtodowiththeSRAitistodowiththeeconomic situationWeseea100peopleatfirstinterviewandinourexperience95%ofthe timethosethatareacademicallystrongercomeoutbetterattheendoftheday. 1.4 KeyCriteriaofWBLlearningoutcomesandemployability Correspondencebetweenevidenceofkeycriteria/competences/WBLlearning achievementofWBLlearningoutcomesandsubsequentdecisionwhetherornotto continueemploymentasasolicitor.

Therewasaconsistentresponsetoquestionsrelatingtohiringandredundancy decisionstodemonstrationofoutcomes.Economicfactorsandtheavailabilityofa positionforanewlyqualifiedsolicitorinanareaofpracticeinwhichs/hesoughtto

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SRAFinalReport qualifywerethedominantreasonsgivenbyemployerswhodidnotoffertrainees (orWBLcandidates)positionsassolicitors.Noneofthoseinterviewedwasable specificallytolinkadecisionnottokeeponatraineetothattraineesfailureto showevidenceofoneofthelearningoutcomes.Somefirmsspeculatedthatthere wasarelationship,buttheywereunwillingtosaythattherelationshipwasclearto them.

2.SRAroleinrelationtovocationaltrainingandstandardisation
TheproperroleoftheSRAinrelationtothevocational(training)stage,itsextent andnatureandthedesirabilityofachievingstandardisation Therewasbroad,butnotunanimous,acknowledgementthatsomegreater standardisationofthecriteriaforevaluationofthetrainingstageisdesirable: theSRAroleisneededtomaintaintheesteemorlustreofprofessioneven thoughwehaveapoorsystemofregulationcomparedwithseveralother professions. theSRAisextremelyprescriptiveatthemomentaboutLPCproviders,forexample, butnotatallprescriptiveabouttrainingproviders. Thesituationisfartoolaxatthemoment. Clearlytherehastobearoleaboutwhatneedstotakeplaceintraining.Thisis becauseofthevarietyoffirms.Thesystemofauditingcurrentlyinplaceisright.But theydoneedtobemoreprescriptive. Althoughsomethoughtthatstandardisationandgreaterprescriptionwasneeded becauseofthevarietyofcontexts,othersthoughtthatthatveryvarietywasa reasonforlessprescription:thusitwasstatedthat: Standardisationisdifficultbecausethecontextsofpracticevarywidely.Ithasto comedowntothejudgementofthesupervisor.TheissueisHowdoestheevidence supportsomethingyoualreadyknow? Itishardtotestsomeonedoingfamilylawagainstsomeonedoinglitigation. Contextsareverydifferent.Reallysupervisorsknowthat;theyarethebestpeopleto judge. Ifstandardisationispossiblecanalevelofstandardisedbedefined? Therewasagreementthatgreaterstandardisationwasdesirableandpossible,but onlytoalimitedextent.MostrespondentsthoughtthattheSRAcouldandshould onlyensurebaselinecompetency.Othersdidnotdisagreewiththisbutwere doubtfuloftheutilitytothemandtheircontextofabaselinecompetence(theSRA standardisthevery,veryminimumforus.).Nonefeltabletoexpressanything usefulabouthowabaselinestandardcouldbedefined.Theresultisthatthereis

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consensusabouttherationalityoftryingtodefineabaselineofcompetencebut alsoconsensusthatthereshouldberecognitionofcontext,andtherefore, flexibility,withinthebaselinereference.Moreover,therewassupportfortheidea thatfirmsandorganisationsshouldbepermittedtobuildintheirowncriteriaper theircontextcity,private,etc.needsto[be]flexibleaswellasachievingabasis standard. Isstandardisationonlypossiblethroughasystemofregulationinvolvingreference toexternalassessment? Therewasstrongresistancetoaschemewhichwouldrequirereferencetoan externalassessmentorganisation. Itwouldbeatragedyifwecouldnotinternallyassess,butIcanseethatsomefirms mighthaveproblemswiththis. Resistancewaslessstrongwheretheideaofanexternalauditingsystemwas mooted.However,onanymodelinvolvingexternalassessment,itwasgenerally consideredthatcostwouldbeasignificantissue. Whatarethepossiblemodelsforregulationandstandardisation? Nodetailedproposalsforalternativemodelsofregulationofthetrainingstage wereoffered.Somestronglybelievedthatthewayforwardneedstobeamore stringentlyenforcedlicensingandauditingsystembecause,aswassaid, thesituationisfartoolaxatthemoment,particularlywithregardtothelevelof difficultythereistobecomelicensedasatrainingestablishment,andit'sfartoo easytobecomealicensedtrainingestablishmentandIthinkitshouldbe,youshould onlybelicensedifyoucanactuallydemonstrate[thequalityofyourtraining]. Inconclusion,althoughtherewereafewintervieweeswhoconsistentlyrejected theideaofanychange,themajorityoffirmsgaveconditionalsupporttotheideaof asystembasedonlearningoutcomesbutprovidingareasofflexibility.A representativeresponse(focusingontheareaofflexibilitywithincontextas discussedabove)was: Ithinkpossibly.Ithinkthewaytheoutcomesweredraftedisthattheycouldbe appliedindifferentcontextsandIthinkitwouldbepossibleto,ineverydifferent context,assesstheoutcomesofwhetherinthatparticularcontexttheyhadbeen sufficientlydemonstratedornot.Andsotothatextenttherecouldbe standardisation.Butobviouslytherewouldbeahugedifferencebetweenthe differentcontexts.ButIdon'tthinkthatmeansthereisn'tastandardsortofIt's justthatit'sbeingassessedinadifferentcontext.Ifthecontexthadtobethesame acrossallthose,andclearlyitcouldn'tpossiblybestandardised.

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3.Vocational(training)stageincoherenttrainingframework
Theproperobjectivesofthevocational(training)stageandtheextenttowhichit comprisesadistinctiveandnecessarystagewithinacoherenttrainingframework Whatdoestrainingwithinemploymentachievethatisdistinctivefromwhatisor canbeachievedontheLPCand/orPSC? Unsurprisingly,therewasconsensusamongstintervieweesthataperiodofonthe jobtrainingisessentialtoachievedayonecompetency.Inaddition,almostall thoughtthatthe2yearperiodwasbothnecessaryandsufficient.Afewthought thatparticularcircumstancesmightwarrantashorterorlongerperiod. Thisisaboutwhatisnecessarytoshowyouhavelearnedwhatyouneedtolearn. Repeatedly,traininginemploymentwasdescribedasinvaluableanditwassaidthat newlawyersneededtobeabletoputskillsintopracticeinasupportive environment.Thiswassoforalltypesoforganisationsinterviewed.Mostreferred tothevalueofbeingatthecoalface;havingarealtimeexperience;liveexposure; andarealsenseofresponsibilityduetotheknowledgethattheworkbeingdone matteredsignificantlytotheclient,eitherbecauseofitsfinancialvalueorbecause oftherealrisktotheclientoffailure,orboth. Keycompetencesachievedbyaperiodoftrainingwithinemployment Differenttypesoforganisationstendedtodescribekeycompetencesachievedin trainingdifferentlyorgaveadifferentemphasis.Largerandmorecommercialfirms tendedtoemphasisespecialistknowledge.Onelargerfirmreferredtothenecessity oflearningthetradesecretsifyoulike.Smallertomediumsizedfirmsmoreoften drewattentiontointerpersonalskillsandtopersonality. Theothercrucialthingisthat[atraineehas]tohavealotofenergy,abitofa buzz[theyhavetobe]selfmotivated. Butlargerfirmsaswellassmalleronesspokeofpersonalskillsandbothspokeof theneedtogainspecificpracticalknowledge. Problemsolvingskills,commonsenseandknowingwhomtoask Manygaveexamplesofnewtraineesfailingtousecommonsenseorfailing,for instance,tothinkofjustgoingandaskingsomeoneinapositiontoknow.A mediumsizedlitigationfirmpointedout: It'sForexample,it's[notonly]knowinghowtosolveproblemsbutknowing[that] howtosolvethemisoftenknowingwhoyou'vegottogototosolvetheproblems, whereasintheclassroomtheywouldn'tknowwhotogoto.Theywouldn'tknow thattosolvethisproblemyouneedtospeaktothisparticularperson'theywouldn't

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beabletotellyouthatbecausetheydon'tpractice.Ortheywouldn'tbeabletotell youjustathousandandonethingsthatyoupickupinthejob. Amediumsizedregionalfirmdrewattentiontotheirpracticeofgivingnewtrainees afiletoread(withoutlettingthemknowthatthelawyersfilecorrespondenceisin reversechronologicalorder)andthennoticinghowquicklytraineesfigureitoutor askedalawyertoexplainthingsinthefile. Alargerfirmreferredtotheneedfortraineestolearnhowthingsreallywork, howtoandwhowillknow.Again,exampleswerefrequent: [Thepartnersaid]youmightthinkyouknowthelawbutwhatyoudon'tknowis theYellowBook'asitwasthen'theCity'sregulation,andhowit'sbeenapplied andwhattheysay,whatthisparticularregulationactuallymeansinpracticeand howthey'dapplyitandwhoyou'dneedtogoto'andsoit'sactuallyhowitworks, it'sknowinghowitworks,knowingthatcontacts,havingtheexperience,getting enoughexperienceofthedetail.It'syourtrade,it'sknowingthe'tradesecrets'ifyou like. Finally,therewascommentontheneedforatrainingstagetoprovideasupportive environmentforreallivepractice: Butifyoucandoitinasupportiveenvironmentwhereyou'vegotpeopleallaround you`whoaresupportingyouthroughthewholeprocessandyoudoitenoughtimes andthenonceyou'vebeenthroughthatprocessenoughtimesthenyouknowthat youcandothatwithoutIt'snottosaythatyoudon'tneedsupportive environmentsstillbecauseyouknow,[asalawyeryou]stillgotootherpeopleand ask,bouncethingsoffpeopleandaskquestionsandYoustillneedtodothat throughoutyourcareer. Confidenceandcommunicationwithclientsandcolleagues Intervieweeswereconsistentlykeentoemphasisehowmuchtheirjudgements aboutthefitnessofatraineetopracticeasasolicitorand,indeed,theirdecisions aboutkeepingparticulartraineesonasnewlyqualifiedsolicitorsdependedupon thetraineesabilityorlackofabilitytocommunicateclearlywithclientstypicalto theorganisationandontheabilitytofitinwithorgetalongwithcolleagues. Organisationsstressedthatthecontextinwhichtheypracticeandthenatureof theirclientbaserequiredparticular,ifnotunique,communicationskills.Ahigh streetcommerciallawyeremphasisedtheneedforatraineetobeableto communicatewithbusinessclientsbyunderstandingwhatitistheywerewanting toachieveandhowitimpactedontheirparticularbusiness.Onemediumsized regionalhighstreetpractice,commentinguponcommunicationwithbusiness clients,said: [The]keycriteriatodemonstratefitnesstopractice.Wedidoncehaveatraineewho wasexcellentonpaperbuthadnocommonsense.Thekeyistobeableto

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SRAFinalReport understandhowtoapplytheprinciplestotheproblemsyouarepresentedwith.You havetoanalysetheproblem.Youhavetogetonwithclientsbybeingableto communicatewiththeclientinawaythattheyunderstand. Acriminallitigationfirmdrewattentiontotheneedfortraineestobeableto communicateappropriatelywith,forinstance,clientwithwhomtheyhadprobably hadlittlecommonexperience: Yes.Imeanobviously,manypeoplethatcomeinastraineeswillhavenever associatedormetpeoplethathavehadtheirchildrentakenintocareorhadto spendtheirwholelivesinprisonorTheyjustwouldn'tknowhowtorelatetothem verymuch.It'squiteashockwhenyouhavetolearntheskillsSomeofthose peoplehavebeeninthecriminaljusticesystemforthirtyyearsandknowfarmore thanyou,soyouhavetorealisethatyou'vegottorelatetotheminacertainway becauseifyoutryandtreatthemliketheyknownothingandyouknoweverything, thenthey'lljustthinkyou'reatotalidiot. Whilecommentsmadebyintervieweesaboutcommunicationwithclientswere reallyverysimilaracrossthespectrumoftypesoffirms,itwasnoticeablethatsome firmsalsosoughttosetthemselvesapartfromoneanotherorstresstheperceived separatenessofdifferentpartsofthesectorforlegalservicesinrelationtothe natureofthecommunicationsskillsneedingtobeacquiredduringthetraining stage.Thus,notonlydidsomeCityfirmssaythatthosewhosetraininghadbeenat highstreetfirmswouldnothavehadthespecifictypeofclientfacingexperiences thatwoulddeveloptheseskills,buthighstreetfirmswereequallyconvincedthat thosecomingtothemfromtheCityfirmswouldnotunderstandhowtorelateto theirclients: Soiftheyhavehighstreetexperiencewe'resayingtothem'Forgetit,it'snot actuallyrelevanttowhatit'slikeifyoucamehere.'AndsoIthinkthatisthewrong, youknow,you'recomparingappleswithpears.(FromaCityfirm.)and Therearehugedifferences.I'veinterviewedsomenewlyqualifiedpeoplethathave decidednottocontinueintheCityandhavefoundthattheyhavenoexperience, theymighthaveworkedinabigcorporatelawfirmandtheremightbebrilliant workgoingontherebuttheydidn'tactuallyseeanyofit,theynevergottogoto court,neveractuallygottomeetaclientordoanyclientwork.(Fromalitigation departmentofahighstreetfirm.) Statementsaboutatraineesneedtohavetheabilitytogetalongwithandfitin withcolleagueseitheremphasisedclearcommunicationwithcolleaguesorsupport forcolleagues: Wearealwayslookingforhumanangleandareflexibleaboutacademic qualificationsifitisclearthepersoncanbeeffectivefittingintoasmallteamand canrelatetoclientsandcolleagues. Morestatementsaboutfittinginseemedtobemadebysmallerfirms.While eagertopointoutthattheywerelookingtotakeonnewlawyerswithdiverse

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backgroundsandexperiencethatsetthemapart,largerfirmsseemedmoreoften toreferdirectlyorindirectlytothefirmsidentityandreputationandtheextentto whichatraineeappearedtoembracethefirmsidentity. Realtimeandtimemanagement Organisationsalsostressedhowtheyassesshowtraineeslearntomanagetimeand arealcaseloadwithinafirm.Thiswasuniversallyseenasavitaloutcome. Similarly,therewasagreementthatitwasessentialinthetrainingstagefortrainees tolearntobecomeconsciousofoperatingwithinabusinessenvironment. Occasionallytherewassomeimpatienceexpressedabouttraineeslackof awarenessofthebusinessenvironmentoftheirtrainingorganisation: Theyhavetoknowthatwegetpaidfordoingthework.howyouaregettingpaid? Istheclientokwithcost?Howdoesapracticerun?Theyneedtoknowabout overheads,howtogetoverthem. PerceivedoverlapbetweenLPC,PSCandTC Severalintervieweeswereconvincedthatwhatislearnedfromactuallyworking withcolleaguesandclientscannotbetaught.Itwascommentedthat,whilesome skillscanusefullybeintroducedinasimulatedsituation,thisisnotsowithother skills,particularlythoseinvolvingtimemanagement,andcommunicationwith colleaguesandclients.Thisviewnotwithstanding,thereseemedtobeageneral consensusthattheLPChasbeenmademoreeffectiveinproducingtraineeswho aremorereadyfortrainingand,inparticular,morebusinessaware.Somewere doubtfuloftheuseofteachingcustomerrelationsontheLPC,however.While somethoughtthattherewasdeteriorationamongstincomingtraineesindrafting skillsorthatdraftingskillswerebadlytaught,somethoughtthatthattraineesare generallybetterinpresentationskills,albeitnotalwaysinrelationtoadvocacy. Therewasbroadlysupportfromintervieweesforsubsumingsomeaspectsofthe ProfessionalSkillsCourseintotheLPC.Ontheotherhand,somefeltthatthePSC shouldbekeptseparateandhappenduringtrainingbecauseitcanimprove presentationskillsand,perhaps,offersomeusefulsimulatedtraininginadvocacy thoughcandidateswerenotconvincedthePSChadanyrealrelevance. Afewlargerfirmssaidtheirtraineesbenefitedfromsomeongoingtrainingwhilst workingbuttheywouldprefertobeallowedtohaveatailormadeprogrammethat fitbetterwiththeircontextbyfocusingonparticulartasks. [s]oI'mnotsayingthatalltrainingshouldstop,buttheseminarsthatwehave,we runinhouse,areverypracticallybasedsotheywilltakethem,youknow,'Thisis howyoudraftashareandpurchaseagreementandthesearetheclausesyouneed towatchoutfor.Thisiswhyourprecedentsayswhatitsays'andsoitisdetailed drillingofwhattheyaregoingtobedoingonthejob.

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SRAFinalReport Ahandfuloforganisations(ofvarioustypes)wereirritatedbyhavingtopayorpay somuchforthePSCandfortheinterruptionandlogisticaldifficultyitcaused.Quite afewfirmssaidthattheydonotreallypaymuchattentiontoorhavemuch knowledgeofthecontentofthePSC.Atypicalcommentwas: TobehonestIdon'tgetalotoffeedbackreallyaboutwhat'staughtatProfessional SkillsCourse.Ineverdiditmyself.TheygototheCollegeofLaw,Iknowtheygooff andIknowwepayforit.ButtheyjustshowmethecertificatewhenIcometosign theforms,butIdon'tgetanyfeedbackaboutwhatthecontentisorhowitmay haveassistedthem;theyjustknowit'saboxthatthey'vegottotick,soIcouldn't commentabouthowusefulitis.(Fromatrainingpartneratamediumsizedfirm.)

4. FutureDevelopmentandImpactonVocationalStageTraining
Theimpactoflikelyfuturedevelopmentswithinthelegalprofessionsonthe availabilityandnatureofprofessionaltrainingatthevocationalstage. Economicconditions Therewasrepeatedreferencetothecurrenteconomicdownturn.Intervieweessaid thatthechangestheyanticipatedhadbeenunderwayforsometime.Thechanges hadpredatedthecurrentdownturn,butthedownturnwouldexacerbatetheir effects. Therewasunanimousagreementthatthenumberoftrainingcontractsavailable woulddecreasesignificantlyinthecomingfiveyears.Somefirmssaidtheyhad alreadybeenthinkinglongandhardabouttakingonanynewtrainees.Some smallerandmediumsizedfirmsthinkthattheonlyorganisationsthatwillbeableto offertraininginfuturewillbethelargerfirmsandtheysaythisisregrettable becausetheirviewisthatthelargerfirmsdonotofferbroadbasedtrainingthat preparesthosewhochoosetoleavetheCityforworkinahighstreetorgeneral mixedpracticefirm. Onelargecityfirmsaidthattheydonotnecessarilyexpectadecreaseinjobsinthe legalsectorbutthathiringarmiesofparalegalsoutsourcing(includingoutsourcing abroad),bundlingservicesandcommodifyingoftransactionsandformfillingwill becomecommon. Paralegals Smallerandmediumsizedfirmssaytheyhavealreadytakenmoreparalegals insteadoftrainees: Inhardtimeswewilllookattakingtraineescarefully.Wewilltakefewer.Paralegals willreplacetrainees.Therearesomeveryproficientlegalsecretarieswhocan reducecoststoo[T]henumberofsolicitorswillreduceconsiderably.Peoplearejust notgoingtobepayingsolicitors.

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Strategicsolicitorsandincreasedspecialisation Thereisaperceptionthattherewillbesignificantlyfewersolicitorswhodowork thatwouldberecognisedassolicitorswork.Itwassaidthatsolicitorswhodothe valueaddedworkwillhavetohavereallygoodacademics.Theywillalsoplaya morestrategicroleinrelationtothebusinessoftheirclients.AlargeCityfirm anticipatesthatUKlawyerswillincreasinglybepassedoverinfavourofforeign lawyers. AlternativeBusinessStructures(ABSs) SmallerfirmssaidtheydonotanticipatethechangesduetoABSsbeingfelt immediately,butthatchangeinthisdirectionwillcomeandthattheyfearthat ABSswillsignificantlycutdownonreferralsforhighstreetfirmsinallbutniche practices.FewlargefirmsmadecommentsonABSsandseemedunconcerned. SusanScottHunt Evaluatorssummaryandcomments i. importanceofbusinessawarenessascoretothevocationalstage ii. needtoredefinecriteriaforadvocacy iii. needforsupervisorandassessortraininginformedbyeducational knowledgeas wellaslegalknowledge evaluatorcomment:coachingmodelscouldalsobepartofthetrainingtosupport thedevelopmentofprofessionalism iv. understandingofincrementallearningandassessmentcriteriaforeachstage v. importanceofacculturationanddevelopmentofprofessionalidentitywhich impactsontrainingtimeandtimetocount vi portfoliocannotdothewholejob vii. portfoliocanbeagoodbasisforaninterviewbutnotforthejob evaluatorcomment:theabovecommentwouldsupportaninterview/oral componentoffinalassessment viii. lackofknowinghowtoarticulatewhysomeoneisnotkeptoninafirm evaluatorcomment:thisparallelstheneedtofindhowtoappropriatelyassessthe professionalism,thegrowingprofessionalidentityandthesoftskills ix. professionisawareitneedsmorestandardisationbutitmustalsocontain flexibility x. fearoftheSRAgoingforthelowestcommondenominatorinbasic competences xi. resistancetoexternalassessmentbylegalfirmsbutnottoaformofexternal audit xii. keycompetencesareseenasdifferentfordifferentfirms evaluatorcomment:havinganexternalassessorforfinalassessmentcouldensure standardisationbasedonhighstandardsandanauditingsystem xiii. somesupportforsubsumingPSCintoLPCorintoavocationaltraining framework xiv. economicdownturnwilladverselyimpactthenumberoftrainingcontracts

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SRAFinalReport availablewhichinturnwillbringaboutincreasinglyhighercriteriafora trainingcontractparticularlyingradeofdegreeaward mostprofessionalparticipantsnotworriedabouttheimpactofABSalthough thismayhaveanadverseeffectontheverysmallhighstreetsolicitorswhich werenotrepresentedinthepilot

xv.

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Annexe2Resourcepapers

TheseResourcepaperswerecommissionedordrawnupbytheMiddlesex Universityevaluationteamtosupporttherecommendationswhichwere theoutcomeofevaluationexercise

1.

Theworkbasedphaseofinitialprofessionaldevelopment: practicesandtrendsamongUKprofessions 2. Challengesinachievingprofessionalism(includingCompetencesand SkillsSchema) 3. Theroleofportfoliosinthedevelopmentofpersonalcapability 4. Theroleofaccreditationofpreviouslearning 5. LearningOutcomes 6. AssessmentDescriptorsLevel7andLevel8 7. Theuseofreflection 8. Assessment 9. Ethics 10. Coachingasamodelforsupervision 11. Diversityliterature:education,trainingandtheprofessions

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1. Theworkbasedphaseofinitialprofessional

development:practicesandtrendsamongUK professions
DrStanLester 27thOctober2010 ThisshortpapersummarisescurrentpracticesandrecenttrendsinUKprofessions relatingtothespecification(inoutcometerms)andassessmentofthepractising phaseofinitialprofessionaldevelopment. Trendsinpractisingrequirements ThemajorityofUKprofessionsincludeandassesssomeformofpractisingphase beforesigningtraineeprofessionalsoffasfullyqualified.Inmy2007study(Lester 2008,2009)22professionsoutof23includedsomeformofpractisingrequirement beforegrantingqualifiedstatus(intheremainingonethiswasseenasimplicitin thefactthatthequalifyingcoursetookplaceoverthreeyearsparttime).Ofthese, fourprovidedonlyageneralindicationofcoverageandaspecifiedtimescale, while18specifiedwhatthepractisingphaseorassessmentshouldcontain.Allbut twooftheselatterbodiesassessedthepractisingphaseonanongoingor summativebasisorboth,whileoneoftheremainingtwoassessedpracticeforits experiencedpractitionerrouteonly. Thewayinwhichprofessionspracticebasedlearningtakesplacevaries.Two mainstreammodelsandonewhichislesscommoncanbedistinguished,with variationswithineach.ThesearedescribedbelowasTypeA(integratedwithinthe course),TypeB(following,orparallelwith,thecourse),andTypeC(independentof anycourse).Thereisnoevidenceofanytrendsfromonemodeltoanother,orof onemodelbeingmoreeffectivethananother;whichmodelisuseddependsonthe professionsoperatingcontextandestablishedtraditionsoftraining.Some professionsusemorethanonemodel,forinstancehavingamainstreamTypeB routeplusaTypeCrouteforexperiencedpractitioners. TypeAintegratedroutesaretypifiedbyteaching,nursingandsomeotherhealth professions.Aminimumpractisingrequirementisincorporatedwithinthe academiccourse,sothattraineesgainandareassessedonarangeofskillsina supervisedrealworldpracticesetting.Thelevelofoverallcompetenceachievedat theendofthecoursemaybefairlybasicintermsofwhatisexpectedofafully proficientpractitioner,butgraduatesarenormallyenteringastructuredwork environmentandtheirinitialdevelopmenteffectivelycontinuesthrougha probationaryperiodmanagedbytheiremployer. TypeBsequentialorparallelroutesarepresentinawiderangeofprofessionsand aretypifiedbythetrainingcontractapproach,wheregraduatescompleteaperiod ofworkbasedtrainingwithanemployerasinlaw,accountancyandarchitecture.

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Variationsexistwhereaformaltrainingcontractisnotusedandinitialpractice baseddevelopmentcanbemoreindividualinnature,sometimeswiththetrainee abletomovebetweenjobswhilekeepingthesamementor.Ingeneraltheaimat theendofthisperiodisforthepractitionertobereadytoworklargely unsupervised,ifnotalwaysimmediatelyatafullyproficientlevel. TwotrendsareobservableinTypeBroutes.Oneconcernsamovefromloosely specifiedandassessedtrainingperiodstoamorerobustspecification(e.g. competencesorprofessionalstandards)andamoreformalassessmentprocess thatgivesgreaterandmoreauditableconfidencethatthenewpractitionerisable todowhatisintended.Thesecondmoretentativetrendistousethismorerobust processtomoveawayfromasettimeforthetrainingperiodtoarequirementto reachthespecifiedstandard,somethingthatismoreeasilyachievedwherethereis notatraditionofstandardlengthtrainingcontracts(todatenotableadoptersof thispracticeincludecivilengineeringandlandscapearchitecture,withsurveying movinginthisdirection). TypeCindependentassessmentstakethislatterapproachtoitslogicalconclusion, wheretheassessmentisseparatedfromanytrainingprocess:practitionersenter fortheassessmentwhentheyareready,regardlessoftheirtrainingrouteorlength ofexperience.Thiskindofassessmenttendstoberigorous(andcomparatively expensive),andittypicallyrequiresafullyproficientlevelofpracticetobe demonstrated.Severalprofessionsusethisapproachfortheirexperienced practitionerentryroutes;conservation(ofculturalheritage)andproject managementuseitforallwouldbefullyqualifiedpractitioners.TypeCassessment typicallyexpectsagreaterdepthandbreadthofexperiencethanisusualforsignoff underTypeBroutes,withconservationadvisingaminimumoffiveyearsandsome professionssettingtheirexperiencedpractitionerrequirementattenyears. Competencesandprofessionalstandards Thewaythatprofessionsspecifywhatwillbeassessedinthepractisingphase varies,butcangenerallyberelatedtothepurposeoftheassessmentandthemodel ofpracticebasedlearning.Simplistically,inTypeAroutesitiscommontospecify learningoutcomesorcompetencesthatdetailareasofknowledgeandskillthat thedevelopingpractitionerwillneedtocover.ForTypeCassessmentsthefocus movestoprofessionalstandardsthatdescribewhatapersonworkingtoa proficientstandardisabletodo;thesehavesometimesbeenreferredto, particularlyinoccupationalstandardsandNVQparlance,ascompetences.InType Aprogrammesthelimitedlevelofexposuretopracticecanmakeitdifficulttouse professionalstandardseasily,althoughitispossibletousethemwhilerecognising thatthelevelofcompetenceachievedwillbelimited(seelater).ForTypeC assessments,alearningoutcomesorcompetencybasedapproachcanbecome unwieldy,difficulttoassess,andcanresultinassessmentoffactorsthatare supposedtocontributetoeffectivepracticeratherthanassessmentofwhetheror notthepracticeitselfisacceptableandeffective.

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SRAFinalReport TypeBdevelopmentprogrammescommonlyusebothcompetencytypeand professionalstandardsspecifications,withatrendtowardsprofessionalstandards particularlyforsummativeassessment.Thecompetencyorlearningoutcomes approachwouldbeexpectedwheretheobjectiveistocheckthattrainee practitionershavecoveredthegroundspecifiedintheirprogrammetoanadequate level,whiletheprofessionalstandardsapproachisassociatedwithensuringa minimumstandardofpracticeonsignoff. Someothertentativeobservationscanbemadeaboutassessablestandardsin workbasedprofessionalprogrammes.Asarule,professionshavemovedaway fromontheonehandtryingtospecifyeverythingindetailandontheothervery generaldescriptionsofpracticeoroftherelevantskillsandknowledge,to describingtheessentialattributesneeded(forthecompetencyapproach)orthe coreofpractice(fortheprofessionalstandardsapproach).Whilecoreandoptions approachesareusedinsomeprofessionsitismorecommonfornewerstandardsto bewritteninagenericwaythatcanbeinterpretedintodifferentcontexts, sometimeswithguidanceoninterpretationintodifferentspecialismsoraspectsof activity.Occasionallyamoregenericspecificationacrosstheboardis supplementedbygreaterdetailincriticalareas,aswiththeskillsclusterapproach innursing.Finallyafewprofessionsthatusetheprofessionalstandardsapproach alsoincludeanassessablespecificationofjudgement,ethicsandkeyvaluesthat conveytheethosandlevelofthinkingexpectedintheprofession.Theseare normallyexpectedtobedemonstratedacrosstheareasofactivitydescribedinthe standards. Levelofpractice:NovicetoExpert TheNovicetoExpertmodel(morecorrectlytheDreyfusskillsacquisitionmodel)is introducedherebecauseitprovidesastraightforwardandassessablewayofsetting thelevelofproficiencyrequiredofatraineeornewpractitioner.Themodel consistsoffivestages,outlinedbelowanddescribedinmoredetailinDreyfus& Dreyfus(1986).Inprinciplethemodelcanbeappliedtoanylevelorsizeofskillor activity,soitispossibletobeanexpertattyingasheetbendoranoviceat designinganuclearpowerstation.Inprofessionaldevelopmentitiscommonly usedtodescribeprogresstowardsbecomingafullyproficientandindependent practitioner,andasascaleforsettingthepasslevelforassessments. InaTypeAdevelopmentcontextinitialsignoffwillprobablybesomewhere betweenadvancedbeginnerandcompetentlevel,consistentwiththeneedfora probationaryperiodbeforethepractitionerisconsideredcapableofindependent practice.InTypeCassessment,theassessmentwillgenerallyrequireachievement attheproficientlevel,i.e.capableoffullyindependentpracticetoaconsistently acceptablestandard.FullyassessedTypeBprogrammestypicallyexpecta competentlevelorthereabouts,suggestingthatwhilethepractitionerisbroadly proficienttopractisetheymaynotyetbeatthelevelwheretheycanbeexpected tooperateindependentlyofanyoversight.Thedistinctionmadebysome accountancybodiesbetweenqualifiedstatus(attheendofatwoorthreeyear trainingcontract)andgainingapractisingcertificate(generallyaminimumoftwo

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yearslater)canberegardedasatacitrecognitionofthisdistinctionbetween competentandproficientlevel.Averyroughruleofthumb(thatofcoursedepends onavarietyoffactors)isthatcompetentlevelcanbeachievedinaroundtwo yearsintheworkplace,proficientlevelinfive,whileexpertlevelislikelytotake tentofifteen. Table1.Novicetoexpert(adaptedfromtheDreyfusskillsacquisitionmodel) Proficiencylevel Description Novice Incompleteunderstanding,needssupervisiontocomplete tasks Advancedbeginner Workingunderstanding,cancompletesimpleraspects withoutsupervision Competent Goodworkingandbackgroundunderstanding,ableto completeworkindependentlythoughmaylackrefinement Proficient Deepunderstanding,canachievehighstandardroutinely Expert Authoritativeknowledgeanddeepholisticunderstanding, excellenceachievedwithease Assessmentmethods Themethodsofassessmentusedforthepractisingphaseofinitialprofessional developmentvary,butsomegeneralpracticesandtrendscanbeidentified.One obvioustrendisfromalackofassessmentorrelianceoninformalassessment(e.g. signoffbyasupervisoragainstasimplelistoftasks)tomoreformallyspecifiedand evidencedassessment,producinganincreaseinconsistencyandreliability(i.e. wouldbepractitionersareassessedtowhatisatleastanominallyconsistent standard).Anotherisanincreaseinthevalidityofassessmentpractices,ensuring thattheyrelatemorecloselytothedemandsofpracticeasopposedtoprovidinga broadlyrelevanthurdletoclear.Thisconcernwithincreasingvalidityand robustnessisongoing,connectedbothtoprofessionalaccountabilityandtofairness ofaccesstoprofessionalcareers. Afurthertrendinassessmentisthemovementtoassessingreallifepracticeand associatedreflectiononit,asopposedtoperformanceinsimulatedortest situationsofonekindoranother(thoughinsomeprofessionsthesearestill importanteitherbecausethetrainingsituationdoesntprovidesufficientexposure topractice,ortocheckmasteryofthebasicskillsbeforebeingallowedtoworkina livepracticesituation).Whilethiskindofassessmentiswidelyregardedashighly valid,itintroducesanequationinwhichensuringhighlevelsofbothvalidityand reliabilitytendtobeexpensive.SolutionsinTypeBprogrammestypicallyinvolve liveobservationandexaminationofworkoutputbylocalsupervisors,backedby eitheroccasionalonsitevisitsorexaminationofreportsandtangibleevidenceby externalassessors.Sitebasedmethodshavegreatervaliditywhereitisimportant toassessprocesses(e.g.toverifyinterpersonalskillsorensureworkisactually producedbythetrainee)orproductsofworkarenoteasilyremovedfromthe workplace,whilewrittenandevidencecollectionmethodsarereasonablyvalidfor workoutputsandprocessesthatareeasilycapturedandpresentedindocumentary

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SRAFinalReport orelectronicform,andforcapturingreflection.Documentationorelectronic presentationplacesagreaterburdenonthetrainee,whichcanimprovecost effectivenessbutalsotendstowardshigherratesofnoncompletion. InTypeCstandaloneassessmentstherehasbeenamoveawayfrompurely documentaryformsofassessmentongroundsofvalidity,withsitebasedvisitsand onetoonediscussionsorpanelinterviewsbeingcommonatleastasanadditionto documentaryevidence. Applyingtheprinciplestolaw ThepracticebaseddevelopmentphaseinlawisanarchetypalTypeBprocess,with thecurrentworkbasedlearningpilotsfittinginwiththetrenddescribedaboveto movefromlooserstandardsandassessmentarrangementstomoreexplicitly specifiedones.Debatesabouttheformofstandardsandassessmentprocesses needtobeseeninthiscontext.Inthepastitmightbearguedthattheemphasisof thetrainingcontractwasonaprocessofpreparationforpractice,whereasmore recentthinkinghasmovedtheemphasistothestandardofpracticedemonstrated byDay1(i.e.newlyqualified)solicitors.Ideallythisconcernwithoutputstandards mightbeoperationalisedthroughrequiringasetofprofessionalstandards(as opposedtolearningoutcomesorcompetences)tobemetatcompetentlevel,and theworkbaseddevelopmentphaseadjustedifnecessarytoenabletheir achievement.Inpracticethereisawidelyacceptedtraditionoftwoyeartraining contractsinlaw,suggestingthatinthemediumtermatleastDay1expectations willneedtobetailoredtowhatcanbeachievedwithinthisperiod.However,the questioncanstillbeaskedaboutwhatstandardintermsofproficiencytopractise isexpectedattheendoftheperiod,howthisneedstobeexpressedintermsof assessablestandards,andwhatthebestwayofassessingattainmentofthese standardsis.Followingonfromthis,furtherquestionscanbeaskedabouttheskills andknowledgeneededatearlierstagesoftheprocess,includinghowthelegal practicecourserelatestotheworkbasedphase. References Dreyfus,H&Dreyfus,S(1986)MindovermachineNewYork:FreePress Lester,S(2008)Routesandrequirementsforbecomingprofessionallyqualified Bristol:ProfessionalAssociationsResearchNetwork Lester,S(2009)Routestoqualifiedstatus:practicesandtrendsamongUK professionalbodies,StudiesinHigherEducation34(2),223236.

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2. Challengestoachievingprofessionalism
BeingaProfessionalandbeingProfessional:CompetencesandSkills DrKateMaguire September2010 Itisevidentfromthisreportthatthereisconcerninthelegalprofessionwith regardstohowlearningoutcomesevidencedinaportfoliocanbethemost appropriatemeansforassessingcompetencesandskillstoqualifyanindividualto enterthelegalprofessionasasolicitor.TheWBLpilotschemeitselfhasbeena catalystforthelegalprofessiontoscrutiniseitsexistingsystemsandtobegin comparingthemagainsttheWBLframework.Thatexercisehasraisedfurther questionsastowhatisbestpracticeinhowprofessionalstandardsaretobe achievedandwhethercurrentsystemsortheWBLframeworkusedinthepilotare whatisrequiredtomeetregulatoryobjectives. Anextensionofthispursuitofbestpracticeistheissueofstandardisationin trainingandqualificationacrossallsetupsinthelegalprofessionandtheroleofthe SRAasregulator.Theinclusionofstream2inthispilot,itcouldbeargued,drew someattentionawayfromtheobjectivemeasuresgoalbyaddingasetofvariables whichtheprofessionhadnotformerlyhadtodealwith.Viewsonstandardised outcomesthereforebecamediffusedwithimplicationsfortheprofessionofaroute fornontraditionaltraineestobequalifiedraisingconcernsaboutstandardsandthe feasibilityofstandardisation. Toextendthediscourseontrainingstandardsandstandardisation,itrequiresfirstly thefocustoreturntolegalfirmsandsecondlyclarificationontermsrelatingto incrementallearningandhowtheyareunderstoodandapplied.Theprofessions, academiaandseveralotherdomainscontinuetograpplewithanarticulationof whatisrequiredfromaspecificindividualtobeusefultothemselvesandtothe organisationsinwhichtheywork.Iftheconceptsareclearthenlearningoutcomes andassessmentstrategiescanbedesignedtooptimisetheindividualscontribution. Whilecertainactivitiescanbelearnedandappliedthereareareaswithinthe engagementwithworkthathavebeendescribedbyparticipantsinthispilot variouslyasintangibles,invisible,implicit,commonsense,justdoingit,youveeither gotitoryouhavent,itcantbelearnedoritwontbeauthentic. Thefollowingdoesnotpurporttosolvetheissuesandthetermsusedare,likeall otherterms,opentodifferentinterpretations.Itsaimistocontributetoa clarificationofthemanyimportantissueswhichtheintroductionoftheSRAWBL schemehasraisedandwhichrequiredueconsiderationifasuccessfulvocational trainingframeworkistobeintroducedandstandardisationachieved. Thereareconsiderablechallengestowritingaboutandassessingexplicitlywhatare oftenimplicitattitudestowork,toothersandtoliferatherthanskillsthatcanbe appliedinaspecificworksituation/profession.Itmayhelptolookatitinthese

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SRAFinalReport terms:whatmakesaprofessionalandwhatpromotesaprofessionalattitudei.e. beingprofessional. Beingaprofessionalpertainstoanindividualwhobecomesamemberofa professionthroughaseriesofqualifyingstagesbeforegoingthroughaprocessof formalacceptanceintotheprofession.Thisindividualusuallyundertakesacontract nottobringtheprofessionintodisreputeandthecommitmenttomeetthe requirementsofprofessionalmembershipbyregularlyupdatingtheirspecific knowledgeanditsapplicationandevidencingit.Individualswhoregularly demonstratethefulfilmentoftheserequirementscancontinuetousethebrandof approvedprofessionalisminthepublicdomain.Howeverthereiswiderecognition andevidencetosupportthenotionthatthisbrandofbeingaprofessionaldoesnot alwaysmeantheindividualisprofessionalinwhattheydo. Beingprofessionalisnotboundtotheprofessionofwhichoneisanapproved memberbutisratheranattitudetoeverythingoneundertakes:itcanbedefinedby notionssuchasloyalty,commitment,gettingthejobdonewellregardlessofhow longittakes,respectforselfandcolleagues,highselfawarenessandreflexivity(the abilitytoknowyourimpactonyourenvironmentanditsimpactonyou)initiative, curiosity,selfmotivation. Inthisevaluationallprofessionalparticipantshavestruggledtoarticulatethisbut havestatedtheyknowwhatiswhentheyencounteritorwhentheyencounterthe potentialforitinanindividualtrainee.Theydonotknowinexplicittermshowit canbeformallydeveloped,measuredandassessedbuthavestatedthatithastodo withtrustingtheexperienceofthoseintheprofession,facilitatingacculturationor socialisationintotheprofessionandthepotentialforselfmanagementandinsight inanindividualcandidate.Mostprofessionalsinthisexerciseagreedthatacore reasonforhavinga2yearvocationaltrainingstagewith18monthsastheshortest timerecommendedwasbecausethatwouldensure,orgosomewaytoaddress, theneedforacculturation/socialisationintothesetupaswellastheprofessionand thedevelopmentofaprofessionalidentity. Returningtocompetencesandskills,thesetwotermsareoftenused interchangeably.Furtherconfusionariseswhentheyarequalifiedasin incompetent,lowskilled,highlycompetent,highlyskilled. Forthepurposesofthisparticularpartoftheevaluationexercisewhichistodistil fromthefindingswhatmaybesuitableadditionstoassessmentprotocolstomeet theconcernsofthelegalprofession,competencescanrelatetothebasictask requirementswhicharegenerictoallprofessionsandskillstothatwhichare professionspecificoradaptedtoaspecificprofession.Manyskillssetsare transferableacrossprofessions.Beingprofessionalcanrelatetotheattitudesand attributeswhichareaddedvalueandfromwhicheveryonebenefits:theindividual, colleagues,clients,theorganisationsothattheorganisationaswellasthe individualbecomesacontinuallylearningonewhichisreadyfororanticipates marketchangesandclientsneeds.Developingselfmanagedlearning,insightand softskillscanbefacilitatedandassessedthoughskilleduseofreflectionbyboththe

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candidateandthesupervisors/reviewersandthequalityofthelearning conversationswhichtakeplacebetweenthem. Thefollowingisanexampleofthedifferentiationandabasicschemaofapplication. (+=achievingabovetheminimumini.competenceincontextspecificspecialismsii. inprofessionalismandiii.asanindicatorofpotentialtogoonachievingwith increasingselfmanagement) Basic Professional competence Skills Application writinga lettertoa client Context Progression Being professional Neat,tidy, spellchecked, respectful

notworkcontext specific

Level1

writinga lettertoa clientwhich accurately summarises theirrequest

Understood asagivenbut thisisnot alwaysthe case work/professional Year1 contextspecific 13months With Supervision

Level2

demonstrates aclear understanding oftheclients situation

Level3

proffers informed advice without prejudice

Theabove plushasread therequest carefully, discusseswith supervisor, anticipated nextstepand doessome researchon theirown initiative Year1 Usesfeedback 13months from With supervisor, Supervision distils research, checksifmore informationis neededfrom theclient Year2 Seeks With supervision, supervision, hasinformed time themselves dependenton enoughto hownewto havefruitful theseat engagement with supervisorre e.g.pointsof

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SRAFinalReport Level4 Level4does allthiswith minimum supervision Contextrelevant specialisms Secondhalf year2Day1 Minimum supervision becoming morelike learning conversations law Reflectson impactof advice, responsibility and accountability, clientfaces, client maintainedor lost,distils

+
Level5 Level5 contributes ideasto colleagues about successful resolution

learning+ Day1 Attitudehas Supervision alreadybegun becoming toimpacton morecollegial otherareasof lifeandhow theindividual carriesoutany taskwithin profession andoutside

ChallengetoStandardisationacrossallsetups Individualscanmeettheselevelsatdifferenttimesdependingontheirsetups, exposuretoareasoflaw,thequalityofsupporttheyreceive,howtheyengagewith feedback,theirpreviouslearningexperiences,thelevelofcompetences,skillsand professionalismtheybringwiththem. Usingthebeingprofessionalaspectoftheframe,ifstandardisationand complianceistobeachieved,therehastobeagreementontheachievement expectedbytheendofthe2yeartrainingperiodandthepotentialtoachieve duringthenewlyqualifiedperiod.Itwouldseemessentialthatthemeasuringof potentialiskeytograpplingwithconcernsaboutmeasuringtheimplicits,soft skills,acculturationandprofessionalattitudesandthebasisofthatwouldbethe existenceofandtheskilledassessmentofabeingprofessionalcategory.In addition,ifthebeingprofessionalcategoryisconsistentlynotmetinthefirstyear therewouldhavetobeaprocessofwithdrawingorbeingexitedfromvocational training.Thiscouldbepartofthetrainingcontractandthereasonfornotbeing progressedwouldhavetobeevidenced.Inthiscasetheroleofexternalassessors asmoderatorscanbeusefulasabalancetosubjectivity.Lookingattheabove schema,acutoffforlevelsofachievementandpotentialtoachievecouldbeLevel 3. DreyfussskillsacquisitionmodelinDrStanLestersprecedingpaperandProfessor JohnStephensonspaperonPortfoliosandCapabilitieswhichfollowsthis,offer

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waysofthinkingaboutprofessionaltrainingthatcancontributetothebesttraining practicemodelforthelegalprofession.AttheOctober2010WBLsymposium organisedbytheSRA,Idrewupthefollowingmodeltorepresentthevarious articulationsofthosewhowerepresentcombinedwithissueswhicharosefromthe evaluationoftheWBLpilot.Italsoencapsulatespossiblesolutions.

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3. Theroleofportfoliosinthedevelopmentofpersonal capability
ExtractsfromthebookCapableWorkplaceLearningbyLenCairnsandJohn StephensonpublishedbySensePublications2009. Extract1:CompetenceandCapability AsHeadoftheRoyalSocietyofArtsHigherEducationforCapabilityproject,John Stephensondevelopedaseriesofdiagrammaticrepresentationsbywhichhe attemptedtoshowthebasisofCapability.ThisculminatedinFigure1.3whichhas beenextensivelyusedbymanyauthorssinceStephensonsdevelopmentofit.

A way of looking at the world of actions Unfamiliar context

Z
Familiar problems Unfamiliar problems

Y
Familiar context

Figure 1.3. The Stephenson Y to Z Diagram Thebasicargumentforthisdiagramgoesasfollows:Inourdailyliveswefacea rangeofsituationsorcontextsfromfamiliartounfamiliar(ornovel)andwe approachanumberofproblemsortaskswhichalsorangefromthefamiliartothe unfamiliar.Thesetwodimensionsroughlyconstitutethelearningplaneof professionallife(problemsortasksinsituationsorcontexts). ThequadrantlabelledasYiswherewefacefamiliarproblemsinfamiliarcontexts. Thisisacommondailyorroutineexperience.PositionYcanapplytothework place,thehome,communityactivitiesorartisticpursuits.Goodperformancein positionYmayrequiretechnicalskillsandknowledgeofthehighestorder,oratthe simplestlevel.Wegivestudentsinformationaboutthecontext;themorecomplex thecontext,themoreinformationwegivethem.Wegivetheminformationabout thekindsofproblemstheywillmeet,anddetailsofthesolutionswhichhavebeen foundtobeeffective.Wemightevengivethempracticeintheimplementationof thesolutionsandevaluationoftheireffectiveness.Weseektodevelopthestudent capabilityinpositionYbypassingonotherpeoplesexperience,knowledgeand

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SRAFinalReport solutions.ThoughnodoubteffectiveinthecontextofpositionY,theresultant capabilityisessentiallyadependentcapability. InpositionZweareexpectedtotakemuchmoreresponsibilityforourownlearning andwemustbeadaptive,flexibleandabletorecogniseandthenapplysolutionsto thenovelproblemswefacewithoutcertaintyofoutcome.Weneedconfidencein ourselves,andinourjudgments,ifwearetotakeactionsinuncertaintyandtosee initialfailureasabasisoflearninghowtodobetter. PositionZ,representsanIndependentCapability,whereindividuals(orcollections ofpeople)canactindependentlyandwithconfidence,utilisingtheirskills,judgment andrisktaking.OperatinginpositionZinvolvescourage,intuitionandcreativity allqualitiesdifficulttomeasurethoughtheycanbeobservedanddescribed. WhereaspositionYfocusesontheeffectiveapplicationofknownsolutionsto knownproblems,withinpositionZthefocusiscruciallyontheformulationofthe problemitself. Theprocessofproblemformulationcanbeaniterativeoneinwhicheach successivefailureisregardedasabuildingblocktowardsareformulationofeither theproblemorthetentativesolution,orboth,leadingtoeventualprogress.A capablepersonrespondstoanyinitialsetbackasapotentialsourceofgreater understandingandanopportunitytorethinkboththeoriginalformulationandthe testedsolutionleadingeventuallytoabreakthrough.Thissuggestscapability componentssuchasdetermination,selfassurance,anorientationtolearningfrom onesownmistakes,creativity,persistence,andafacilityfornetworkingwith others.WithechoesofRuskinsCraftsmanandKeatssNegativeCapability,sucha personororganisationisnotdeterredbypotentialfailureoruncertainty whereasacompetentpersonistrainedtogetitrightfirsttimeinfamiliarand routine.TherearealsoechoesofKarlPoppersfalsificationtheoryasoutlinedinThe LogicofScientificDiscovery(1959). Acapablepersoncanseeapossiblefailureasalearningopportunitythegreater thesetbackthegreatertheopportunitytoprogress.Acapablepersonhasthe potentialtoturntragedyintotriumph.Anditisacontinuousprocess,witheach productiveformulationandresponseleadingtoyetanotheropportunityto progressfurther.Capabilityisaboutcontinuingdevelopment. Effectivenessintheintermediatepositions,betweenYandZ(subsequentlyreferred toaspositionsX1andX2),isalsoimportantinlifeandwork.Oneiseitherusing existingapproachestoproblemsolvinginanunfamiliarsituationwhilsttheotheris aboutdevelopingnovelorunfamiliarstrategiesandexpertiseinafamiliarcontext. Ineachofthesesituations,adaptabilityisthekeytosuccessfuloutcomes.Anditis fromsuchadaptabilitythatnewknowledgeandskillscanemerge. Itisarguedthatthecapableprofessionalisnotphasedbyunfamiliarsituationsand problemsandhasthecapacitytolearnfromtheexperienceofengagingwiththem. Theessentialroleoftheportfolioistoenabletheindividualtoreflectontheir

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professionalresponsestosuchsituations,recordtheirlearningforfuturereference, identifytheirfurtherdevelopmentalneedsandsharetheirexperiencewithothers. Extract2:TheValueoflearnermanagedportfolios MindfulnessandContinuingProfessionalDevelopmentp27 DevelopingMindfulnessisnotjustamatterofdefiningtheideaandseeingthatitis ausefulrubricforthoughtfulbehaviourandresponses.Mindfulnessimpliesamore refineddevelopmentofawarenessofonesownthinkingandoperations.A reflectiveandthoughtfulobservanceofwhatisactuallytakingplacein consciousnessandindevelopinganopennesstoideasandthinkingactivelyis somethingthatneedspurposefulorintentionallearning. Professionshave,inthelasttwentytothirtyyears,concentratedmoreon developingreflectivepractitioners(Schon,1983.1987),wherebythoughtful analysisofactionduringandafterpracticeisseenasanopenwaytobetter professionalbehaviourandimprovedlearningaboutpractice.Architects,Teachers andNurses,forexample,haveembracedthisapproachwithconsiderablepassion andvigourovertheyears. Thereareotherapproachestothegeneralareaofthinkingaboutthinking,as impliedbythetermMindfulness,whichhavebeendevelopedaswell.EdwardDe BonohasdevelopedconceptssuchastheSixThinkingHats(1985)andCoRT thinkingcurriculumforschoolingandcorporateworkwherestrategiesare developedandexploredinametacognitiveway(DeBono,1985,1992). Metacognitiveteachingapproachesandsuchideasasutilisingathinking curriculumareincreasinglyreferredtoineducationalcircles. Inthisultramodernage,educationhasrecentlyemergedasbeingmoreconcerned withbroadercurriculagoalsthanjustnarrowsubjectcontentknowledgeafter decadesofsuchsilosofknowledgeencapsulationasMathematics,Science, Language,Sportandsoon.Keyareasofcurriculumcontentaregraduallybeing supplantedwithbroaderlearningessentialgoalsornewbasicssuchasproblem solving,thinkingskillandwiderlifewidelearningsthanmerelymasteryof essentialmathematicaltechniquesandhistoricalfacts.Suchashiftisincongruence, wesuggest,withtheviewthatamindfullearner,withabroadermetacognitive awareness,isadevelopmentalnecessity.Thisismovementtowardsamorecapable learner. Thisthrustandchangehowever,isnottakingplacewithoutsomerebuffsfrom thosewhoseetraditionalapproachesbeingthrownoutandwholamentthe declineofknowledgeofsmalldetailsasthemarkofaneducatedperson.Once again,valuesboundariesarebouncedagainstanddirectlyaffectthemovementof thoughtanddevelopment.Itissignificant,weargue,thatchallengestoboundaries aremindfulendeavoursratherthanrashkneejerkresponsesbasedonwhim.A balancebetweenknownappropriatepracticedvaluesandappropriatechallenge

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SRAFinalReport tosomeexistingvaluesforbettermenthasalways,throughouthistory,beena delicateandcontroversialaspectofprogressanddevelopment. BeingMindfulisaboutknowinglyunderstandingonesownthoughtandlearning processesandbeingopentochangesandprocessesoflearning.Itunderpins Capability. Extract3:TheMiddlesexUniversitysDProfProgrammewheremanagingones learningportfolioisakeyfeature. Research(Stephenson,etal,2006)intoDProfstudentsretrospectiveaccounts revealedthatthekeyprocesswasthepivotalpositionofthecandidateasthe principalagentofcontrolofaprogrammesituatedwithincriticalanddemanding academicandprofessionalcontexts.Itwasdowntothemasindividuals,notthe university,tomaketherunning,toexposetheirstatusandprofessionalismto criticalcommentinbothacademicandprofessionalcommunities,buildandgain approvalfortheirprogrammeanddemonstratetheirachievements.Anditison theseelementsofcandidatecontrolandjustificationtoselfandothersthatthe benefitsarebuilt. Thesameresearchrevealedthatkeyprocessesappeartoincludethefollowing: a) Candidates,whosemainachievements,experienceandexpertiselieby definitionwithintheworldofwork,havetojustifytheirprofessionalprowess andintentionsinthechallenginganddifferentenvironmentofacademeand, atthesametime,justifytheirintendedacademiccredentialsintheir professionalfield.Theyhavetosecurepersonalcredibilityinbothcamps. Topeoplewhosestatusandidentityareboundupwiththeirprofessional expertiseandstatus,theprocessofjustifyingtheirpastandcurrent professionalworthismuchmorearisktoprofessionalandselfesteemthanis demonstratingmasteryofuniversityprovidedknowledge,techniquesand skills.Asaconsequencepositiveresponsesleadtostrongpersonaland professionallegitimationinbothcontextswhichinturnleadstoenhancement incredibility,beliefintheirpowertoperformandcommitmenttocontinuing development.Theprocessofjustificationalsoinvolvescriticalselfreflection ofpastandplannedactivitiesandrequirespositiveengagementwiththefield. Theprogrammestructurecontributessignificantlybyrequiringthecandidate tojudgetheirownprofessionalperformanceasawhole,includingpast, currentandplannedactivitiesagainstgenericcriteriaconsistentwiththe highestlevelofacademicachievementtherebyfacilitatingthecapacityfor intellectualintegration,synthesisandjudgementofgoodpractice. Byrequiringintegrationofthedifferentstrandsofpreviousexperience, currentworkactivity,widerprofessionalcontextandintendedpostprogram professionalconsequencesandintentions,theprogramencouragesthe

b)

c)

d)

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developmentofdeeperunderstandingoflinksbetweencomponentsand stakeholdersandanawarenessofthewiderpicture. Analysisofcandidatespersonalreflectionsontheexperienceasawholesuggests thepersonalbenefitsperceivedbysuccessfulparticipantstobe: Greaterpersonalandprofessionalcredibility: Asanindividual:Itsnicetoknowthatyouare,youreconsidered,thesortof expert,inthisparticularterritoryoftheprofession Andforthewiderprofessionalgroup:Ialsofeltthatthe[professional community]deserveditandthatitwasprobablygoingtoenhancesomesortof standingintermsofthevariousnegotiationswecontinuetohave. Enhancedpersonalandprofessionalcapabilityandbeliefintheirpowerto perform; InowknowIcanmakeadifferenceinwhatIamdoing. Strengthenedcommitmenttocontinuingdevelopment. Onceyoufinishtheprogram,itsmeanttobeonlythestartofthenextphaseor thenextseriesofprojects. OntheevidenceoftheMiddlesexUniversity(MU)DProfcandidatesexperience, candidatesthemselvesforgeproductiverelationshipsbetweentheprofessional contextandtheuniversitywithinageneralframeworkestablishedbytheuniversity toassurethelevelofthefinalacademicaward.Thepivotalroleoflearnercontrolof theprogrammeisgenerallyunderplayedinacademicdiscussionsofdifferentkinds ofprofessionaldoctorate.ThegreatestbenefitforcandidatesontheMiddlesex DProfprogrammederivesfromtheexerciseofthecandidatessenseofagency withincriticalenvironmentsandcomesasmuchfromthestructurethatsupports andteststheexerciseandoutcomesofthatagency.Payoffscomefromgreaterself confidence,intellectualdevelopmentandcommitmenttofurtherdevelopmentof thecandidatesthemselvesaswellassignificantnewprofessionalimpacton practice.Themajorityofsuccessfulcandidatesalsorefertoinvolvementofwork colleaguesintheirdoctoralprojectand,significantly,inplanstobuildonits outcomesforfurtheradvancementoftheworkplace.TheMUDProfoffersamajor contributiontothedevelopmentofcapableorganizationsaswellascapable individuals.

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4. TheRoleofAccreditationofPreviousLearning
DrKateMaguire AcentralpartofaWBLapproachistheaccreditationofworkexperience/learning. TheSRAselectedthisapproachbecauseitoffersatrainingframeworkthatiswork basedandhasanassessmentprotocolbasedonlearningoutcomesthatcanbe objectivelymeasuredandwithinwhichalltraineescanbeguidedandassessed fairlyandrelativelyequally.Itisalsoanapproachwithinwhichrecognitionof previousworkexperience(usuallyreferredtoasAPEL)hasanimportantroleto play.However,inthispilotschemeAPELwasnotusedinthewayitisnormallyina WBLframewhichraisedquestionsaboutrecruitmenttothisscheme(andtoany futurescheme)andhighlightedtheethicalconsiderationswhichcouldarise. Recruitment forthoseinStream1theirbasisforentryintothescheme/trainingcontract was:successfulcompletionofPhases1and2oftheroutetoqualification; selectionbasedonthatbasisplustheirCVandasuccessfulinterview.There wasnorequirementforrecognitionofpreviouslearningotherwise. forStream2itwas:successfulcompletionofPhases1and2;volunteeringfor theschemewithasupportiveemployerplusaperceptionthatthelegal experience(previouslearning)wouldsomehowoffsetanynotgoodenough aspectsofPhases1and2.Therewasnootherroleforrecognitionofprevious learninginthewaythattimetocountmightwork.

ArationalefornothavingtimetocountisthattheSRAschemewantedtoensure thateveryonestartedonanevenplayingfield.Thiswasnotquitethecase. Onthejob forStream1,workduringthevocationaltrainingwasgearedtotraining requirementsandthelineofresponsibilityinthatworkwasrelativelydistant fromthecandidate.Theyweremovedaroundorworkwasgiventothem whichmatchedeachleveloftheirtrainingrequirements.Theyhadregular contactwiththesupervisorsofeachseataswellasanominatedsolicitor forStream2,althoughtheirworksituationwasclosertothatforwhichWBLis mostoftenusedintheworkplace(employmentandexperience),intermsof itsusefortrainingpurposes,theirworkwasnotalwaysgearedtoormadeto begearedtotrainingrequirementsandthemajorpartofthework/job responsibilitywasoftenthecandidates.Thesecandidatesusedtheir everydayworktotrytodemonstratetheoutcomes.Inareasinwhichthey wereexperiencedthisdidnotposeaproblem.Whendealingwithareasin whichtheywerenotexperiencedthelearningcurvebecamesteepduetothe lackofintenseexposureandtheopportunitytoworkregularlyandclosely withareaoflaw/seatsupervisors.Inadditiontheystillheld,insomecases, considerableresponsibilitiesfortheirownspecialist/employmentareas

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ConsultationPoint1: Forstream2,butcouldalsobeusedforstream1,acasecanbemadefor accreditingpreviousexperiencethroughrequiringthecandidatetowriteupand criticallyreflectontheirlearningfromanareainwhichtheyarehighlyexperienced. Thiswouldgainthemcreditsandallowthemtospendmoretimeintheother areasoflaw.Thiswouldmovesomewaytowardsamoreequitablesystem,thatisif theSRAcontinuestosupportatwostreamsystem. ConsultationPoint2:(seeAccreditationSystembelow) TheSRAcouldexplorewhetheranaccreditationsystemcould bemorefeasiblethanatransferableportfolio(seebelow) bepartofarecruitmentsystemwhichwouldcontributetothemergenceof thetwostreamse.g.firmscouldconsider i. levelofdegreeas2.1or1st ii. 2.2withXaccreditationpoints attendtoissuesregardingtheassessmentofskillsandcompetences resolvewhatifscenarioslikematernityleave,bereavementetc contributetomanagingthehighlevelofvariabilityinstream2

Accreditationsystem:
Thecreditsmentionedprovideahypotheticalexample 1. eachseat/areaoflawcouldhaveacreditsetagainstitandasummative assessmentmadeattheendofeachseatwithcreditsawardede.g.40 2. thetwoyearsvocationaltrainingwouldhaveatotalofe.g.180credits(a mastersequivalenceinuniversities) 3. ifacandidatesworkisinterruptedorthecandidatemovesduringtheir trainingthecreditforaparticularseatistransferable. 4. therewouldbeasellbydateonthise.g.thecredithastobeusedwithin threeyears 5. candidates(e.g.paralegals)couldapplyforseatcreditforanyprevious learningthroughthepresentationofwrittenworkandevidence demonstratingsubjectknowledge,skillsapplication,criticalengagement, reflectionandprofessionalism 6. thiscreditapplicationwouldbeassessedbyanexternalassessment organisationandfullcredit(40)awardedorpartialcredit(20).Partialcredit wouldmeanthecandidatestillneedstodevelopfurtherinthatareabutcan spendlesstimeintheareaoflaw 7. thiswouldallowsuchacandidateeithermoretimeforlearninginothers seatsorreducetheoveralltimeofthecontractby3monthsor6months 8. therecouldbealimitonthecreditforpreviouslearningofoneseatonly

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SRAFinalReport 9. inthelongtermthiscreditsystemcouldbedevelopedtobeaccreditedbya universitysothatothercareerpathwayscouldbepursuedintheeventofan individualnotwishingtoornotabletocontinueintheiraimtobecomea solicitor

AcreditmodelisoutlinedinResourcepaper5

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5. LearningOutcomes
DrKateMaguire DuncanMcLuckie personallearninganddevelopmentplanconsideredexcellentpracticeby candidatesandprofessionalsandisawelltestedaspectofWBL learningoutcomescanbereducedandsomesubsumedunderthe requirementtoevidence(seebelow) keyareasforexamplecouldbeApplicationofLegalExpertise;Client Relations;Businessawarenessandtheothersareascouldthenbecomeareas thathavetobedemonstratedthroughthewrittenpiecesofwork requirementtoevidencecanbethoughawrittenpieceofworkandexamples toevidencethelearning writtenworkgivesanopportunityformoredialogueandlessteaching writtenpiecesofworkwouldfacilitatelearningconversationswith supervisorswhichcurrentlycomeunderappraisals incrementaldevelopmentcanbemeasuredbymeetingleveldescriptors(see assessmentdescriptorsinResourcepaper6 selfmanagedlearningshouldcontinuetobeencouraged therecanbeayear1andyear2levelofrequirement thesystemcouldworkonacreditsystem acreditsystemeasestransferabilityofachievement,interruptionoftraining andexitparticularlyifcreditsaretransferableintootherdomainsorbackinto educationforexampleforaMasters

Thetablesbelowofferexamplesofwaysofusinglearningoutcomesinvocational learninganddevelopment.Theyarenotdesignsforanewframeworkbuttoinform thinkingarounddesigningamodifiedWBLframework. Table1:suggestionsifcurrentLearningOutcomesaretobemodifiedratherthan useddifferently[seealsotableinInterimReport2(Phase3)] 1.ApplicationofLegal Expertise 1.1 and1.2 couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcome.Ina numberofportfoliosthesame documentisusedtoevidence both. areallindividualmoduleson theLPCcourseandare requirementsforpassingit. Experienceintheseareasis vitalduringatrainingperiod andtheyshouldremainpresent

1.3.11.3.4

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SRAFinalReport 2.Communication 2.1and2.2 intheWBLLearningOutcomes. couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcome.Using clearconciseanunambiguous languagetocommunicatewith clientswouldsurelyincludeuse ofasuitablestyleappropriate tosuchadocument? islackinginclarity.Itgivesno indicationastothestandard requiredandnordoesitclarify whatadaptationswouldbe requiredtoshowsensitivity towardsdiversity.Itcouldbe absorbedintolearningoutcome 3.2 couldbeabsorbedintolearning outcome1.3.3(Interviewing andAdvising)aseliciting relevantinformationthrough effectivequestioningisavital partofthismoduleontheLPC anyway. couldbeabsorbedintolearning outcome1.2(Applyinglegal knowledge). couldalsobeabsorbedinto learningoutcome1.3.3 (InterviewingandAdvising)ifit referstoclients.Ifnot,thenit requiresgreaterclarityasto whotheothersmightbethat thecandidatemustlisten effectivelyto. couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcomeeither with1.2(ApplyingLegal Knowledge)orwith2.3. couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcome possiblybyjoining3.2.

2.3

2.4

2.5

2.6

3.ClientRelations

3.2

3.3and3.4

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3.5

4.BusinessAwareness 5.WorkloadManagement

5.1

5.5

6.WorkingwithOthers

6.1

6.4

7.SelfAwarenessand Development 8.ProfessionalConduct

7.3and7.4 8.1and8.2

shouldberewordedtonot includemanagementjargon (managingexpectations). Keepingaclientinformed regardingamattersoutcome shouldperhapsnotrequirea wholelearningoutcome. allusefullearningoutcomes. managingtasksconcurrentlyto meetdeadlines,objectivesand prioritiesetc;isagoodlearning outcome.Ifacandidate performsthistaskadequately thenthereshouldbenoneed forlearningoutcomes5.2or 5.3. needsgreaterclarity.Inthe portfoliosexaminedby Middlesexthereisconfusionas towhatconstitutesa resourcethatistobeused effectively. couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcomewith theBusinessAwareness section. shouldbescrapped.Treating colleaguesandotherswith respectshouldbebothobvious andaninternalmatterforan organisationtodealwith,not theSRAoranexternal supervisor. couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcome couldbeamalgamatedintoa singlelearningoutcome.

Thefollowinginvolveincreasinglevelsofmodification.

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SRAFinalReport Table2ExampleofarefocusofLearningOutcomesandassessmentdescriptors KeyArea Skillstobedemonstrated inwrittenwork Descriptors(seeMastersand DoctoralLeveldescriptorsin ResourcePaper6) Knowledgeandapplicationof legalexpertisethrough developinglegalskills; demonstratingaprofessional andcollaborativeattitude;self managementetc Leadership;communication skills;trustworthiness; understandingacrossdomains

ApplicationofLegal SubjectAreaKnowledge Expertise (eglegalresearch) Communication WorkloadManagement WorkingwithOthers SelfAwarenessand Development ClientRelations SubjectareaKnowledge (eginterpretingclients needs;howtosavethem money;engenderingand maintainingtrust) Communication WorkloadManagement WorkingwithOthers SelfAwarenessand Development Businessawareness SubjectareaBusiness (eglearningthebusiness strategyofthe firm/organisation;billing system;contributingto businessdevelopment Communication WorkloadManagement WorkingwithOthers SelfAwarenessand Development Professionalism Reflectiononyourrolein theorganisation;ethical considerations;yourown learningstyle;yourvalues andhowtheseare integratedintoyourwork; individualandgroupgoal awareness,professional identity Areaintowhich Year2levelexpertiseof youwanttoqualify theareatoinclude awarenessofandits relationshiptootherkey aspectsincolumns1and 2anddemonstratingthe

Representingtheinterestsof thecompany;workingasan effectivepartofateam; winningandmaintaining business

Expertise,professional attitude

Proficientspecialist practitioner

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attributesincolumn3 Table3aDemonstratingProfessionalLearningandcreditaccumulation Learning Outcomes Learningand Development plan 1.Application ofLegal Expertise Writtenwork Year1 PlanforYear1 WrittenWork Evidence Year2 PlanforYear Approved 2 Criticalwriting up Level2credits 20 3itemsof workplus demonstration ofskillsand descriptors 10 3itemsof workplus demonstration ofskillsand descriptors 10 3itemsof workplus demonstration ofskillsand descriptors 10 Demonstration ofdescriptors Areaoflaw

Criticalwriting up Level1credits 10

2.Client relations

Criticalwriting up Level1credits 10

Criticalwriting up Level2credits 20

3.Business awareness

Criticalwriting up Level1credits 10

Criticalwriting up Level2credits 20

4. Criticalwriting Professionalism up Level1credits 10 5.Specialist area

Table3bSupport Support

40

Criticalwriting up Level2credits 20 Critical Writingup Level3credits 30 110

Demonstration ofintegration ofskillsand descriptors 30 180

manual:couldcontainallthesubheadingsoflearning outcomes,currentlyintheportfolio,asguidesto demonstratinglearninginthewrittenpieces. eportfolio trainedsupervisors/reviewers regularlearningconversationswithsupervisors

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SRAFinalReport Table4Assessment Formativeassessment Summativeassessment criticalwritingup/writtenpiecesofwork feedbackandresubmissionsifnecessary learningconversations/appraisalsendofeveryseat accumulationofcredits portfolioofwritingupsandevidence oralpresentationanddiscussionincludingexternalor dialogicinterviewtoincludeanexternal

6. Masters(Level7)andDoctorate(Level8)Assessment Descriptors
ThesearethenationalcriteriaattainmentlevelsfortheawardsofMastersand Doctorateswhichcanbeadaptedforroutestoprofessionalqualification.Level7 wouldbeappropriateforthevocationalstageoftrainingandLevel8for23years qualified

Key term Assessment criteria Level 8 Evidencethatthecandidatehas depthandrangeofknowledge inacomplexareaandis currentlyworkingattheleading edgeofpracticeunderpinnedby theoreticalunderstanding. Demonstrateseffectiveand criticalselection,combination anduseofresearchand developmentmethods;can developnewapproachesinnew situationsandcontributetothe developmentofpracticebased researchmethodology Level 7 A. Knowledge and understanding A1 Knowledge Identificationand appropriateuseofsources ofknowledgeandevidence iswideranging,criticaland ofteninnovative
A2

A3

Research+ Selectionandjustification developme ofapproachesto ntcapability task/problemisself directedandinvolves recognition,articulation andcriticalevaluationofa rangeofoptionsfrom whichajustifiedselection, baseduponareasoned methodology,ismade Ethical Ethicalunderstandingspans under arangeofcontexts,where standing applicableprescribedcodes andtheirrationaleare criticallyunderstoodand sensitivelyapplied

Demonstratesawarenessof ethicaldilemmasandconflicting valueswhichmayarisein professionalpracticeandwork situations;abletoformulate solutionsindialoguewith

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superiors,peers,clients, mentorsandothers B.Cognitiveskills B1 Analysis+ Analysisandsynthesisof synthesis informationandideas demonstratecritical awarenessandresultinthe creationofknowledgeof significancetoothers B2 Self Selfappraisal/reflectionon appraisal/ practiceleadstosignificant reflection insightswhicharelikelyto onpractice makealastingimpactupon personalandprofessional understanding Demonstratesabilitytoanalyse andsynthesisecomplexand possiblyconflictingideasand informationinordertoredefine knowledgeanddevelopnew approaches Providesevidenceofworkwith 'criticalcommunities'through whomanewormodified paradigmisbeingestablished. Habituallyreflectsonownand otherspracticesothatself appraisalandreflectiveinquiry areintertwined,thereby improvingthecandidate'sown andothersaction. Isautonomousinmanagement ofownlearning;makes professionaluseofothersin supportofselfdirectedlearning andisfullyawareofpolitical implicationsofthestudy Canindependently evaluate/argueacomplex positionconcerningalternative approaches;canaccurately assess/reportonownand otherswork;cancritiqueand justifyevaluationsas constitutingbasesfor improvementinpractice. Cantakeintoaccountcomplex, unpredictable,specialisedwork contextsrequiringinnovative approaches,whichinvolve exploringcurrentlimitsof knowledgeand,inparticular, interdisciplinaryapproachesand understanding.Isableto translateanddisseminate theoreticalknowledgeinto workableframeworksand/or modelsforpractice.

B3

Planning/ manageme ntof learning

Actionplanningleadingto effectiveandappropriate actioniscomplexandis likelytoimpactuponthe workofothers Isabletoindependently evaluate/argueaposition concerningalternative approaches;canjustify evaluationsasconstituting basesforimprovementin practice.

B4

Evaluation

C.Practicalskills C1 Awareness of operational context+ application oflearning

Applicationoflearning involvesindicating workableframeworks and/ormodelsforpractice whichtranscendspecific contexts

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C2

Useof resources

C3

Commun ication/ presentatio nskills

Effectiveuseofresourcesis widerangingandislikelyto impactupontheworkof others Effectivecommunication bothinwritingandorallyis inanappropriateformatto appealtoaparticulartarget audienceandisclear, conciseandpersuasive

C4

Respons ibility+ leadership

Effectiveuseofresourcesis wideranging,complexandis likelytoimpactuponthework ofothers Canengageinfullprofessional andacademiccommunication withothersintheirfieldand placeofwork;cangive papers/presentationsto'critical communities'fordevelopmental purposes Workingandlearning Autonomywithinboundsof autonomouslyandwith professionalpracticewithhigh othersspansarangeof levelofresponsibilityforself contexts,oftenina andothers.Abilitytoprovide leadershiprole,andislikely leadershipasappropriate tochallengeordevelopthe practicesand/orbeliefsof others

7. Theuseofreflection
Thisfollowingisadaptedfromareviewoflearningoftheprofessionalstudies doctoralhandbookoftheIWBL.Itprovidesideasfortakingmoreadvantageofthe reflectionelementintheWBLframeworktoaddressthedevelopmentofa professionalattitudewhichcanbemoreclearlyandobjectivelyevidenced.Seealso Resourcepapers2and3

Reflectionanessentialelementinprofessionalstudies
Muchofthethinkingcurrentlyaroundprofessionaldevelopmentisinfluencedby Schons(1987)reflectivepractitionerparadigm.Itsimplementationinavarietyof contextshasledtoreflectivepracticebecominganeducationalorthodoxy(Clegget al,2002).Professionalstudies,achievingworkplacesuccessandgainingacademic honoursareaboutmeetingandexceedingexpectationsoftenincreativeand innovativeways. Reflectingonworkpractices,workcultureandorganisationalobjectivesmakes senseofexistingrelationships,tasksandresourcessituatedinoneselfandothers andencouragesthedevelopmentofpathwaysfornewonesthroughnetworking withvariouscommunitiesofknowledgeandpractice.Itisashiftfromgoalseeking toknowledgeseekingandfromrepetitiontoinnovation.Thekeyoutcomeof reflectionisacriticalchangeintheindividual.Itisbothselfdevelopmentaland developmentalfortheworkcommunityinwhichtheindividualoperates.This

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notionofchangeisnotabouttheneutralityofsomeideaoftruth,ratheritisthe kindofchangethatshapesyouforthebetterinsomemoralsenseandhasa positiveimpactonyourworksituations. Beingamemberofaprofessionalcommunityandthinkingreflectivelyrequiresan engagementwiththoseyouworkwithandwiththewayyouseetheworld.It concernswhatyouareandmightbe;whatisandwhatoughttobeandwhatis speculatedandturningthatintoactionbasedonevidence. Trainingofanykindwhichinvolvesyouinbeingpartofaprofessionorcommunity ofpracticerequiresyounotonlytoacquireandapplythespecificskillsofthat professionbuttoactivelyreflectonwhatyoudo,whyyoudoitandhowyoumight changethecircumstancesofyourenvironmentthatleadtotheachievementof youraimsinamannerthatsupportsyourmembershipofthegroupandisin keepingwiththeethicalprinciplestowhichyousubscribe. Sowhatisreflection? Firstlyitisaboutyourengagementwithaproblem,acircumstanceoracritical instancewhereyouactedorrefrainedfromactingandwhatyoulearnedabout yourself.Secondly,itisaboutgoingbeyondsimplefeedbackonwhathappenedit isaboutwhyithappened,whatmighthavehappenedandwhatwouldhavebeena betterwayforthefocusedepisodetohaveturnedout. Forexample,inconsideringifyoucouldhavebehaveddifferentlyduringoraftera meetingwithyoursupervisor,youmightfirstconsiderwhyitisthemeetingsare beingheld.Arethesemeetingsaboutcommunicationorpower;isthepurpose benigntowardsyouorexploitative;whyiswhatisbeingsaid,beingsaidandwhyis whatisnotbeingsaid,notbeingsaid?;whatinformsyourquestionsandwhat informsyouranswers?;haveyougraspedthesituationcorrectly?;whatcanyoudo toimprovetheencounters?Reflectionontheseissueswhichisinformedbysucha dialoguewithselfwhichdoesnotstartfromapositionofblamingordeficitinself orintheother,canleadtoaformofpraxiswhichiswhentheory/thinkingare combinedwithpractice.Youactonknowledgeandexperienceratherthanon subjectivitywhichisoftenreactive.Reflectinginthiswayandthenactingbecomes anattitude,awayofbeingthatmakesyounotonlyabettercolleaguebutenhances allthepersonalandprofessionalrolesinyourlife. Whataretheconsequencesofreflection?Theconsequencesarecentraltothe natureofwhatworkbasedlearningis.Itisaboutbecomingagoodpractitioner,

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SRAFinalReport aboutchoosingthebestoptionnottheeasiestanditisaboutrespectinghumanity. Thisisalargeclaimbutprofessionalstudiesisnotaboutdoingsomesimple exercisesinwaysyouhaverehearsedmanytimesbeforeatcollegeoratthe workplace.Itisnotaboutdoingataskintriedandtestedwaystoachievearesult anditisnotaboutbeingsuperficialandsafe.Workbasedlearning,through reflection,isaboutmakingadifference,takingarisk,treatingpeoplewithrespect anditisaboutachievingworkplacegoalsandaspirations.Itisalsoabout transformationyourtransformationleadingtopositivechangesandbenefitsfor yourcommunityofpractice. Work,subjectivityandreflexivity Beingeffectiveintheworksituationisacentralconcernforindividuals, corporationscommunitiesandcountries.Individualshavetotakemore responsibilityandbemoreproactiveaboutthekindofenvironmenttheywantto liveandworkinandtheircontributiontothat. Work Workcanbedefinedinmanyways.AusefuldefinitiontoemployisBilletts: workisindividualsengagementinthegoaldirectedactivitiesthatusuallyemanate fromsocialandculturalpurposes,althoughthesepracticeshaveparticular meaningsfortheindividualwhoengageswiththemandareoftenshapedby circumstancesoftheirmanifestation. 2006;4 Fromthisitfollowsthatworkdoneinthehome,community,workplaceand educationalinstitutionsarenotconceptuallydiscrete.Whatisimportantishowthe individualnegotiateswiththesettingthatconstituteswork.Workisthereforean importantculturallydrivenpracticeinwhichtheworkactstoachievegoalswhich areimplicitintheidentityoftheindividual.Workitselfortheconsequencesofwork revealtheidentityoftheagentundertakingthepractice. Subjectivity Weallrespondtosituationsdifferently.Weperceive,think,feelandactfromwithin ourownexperienceandinwaysthatwillshapehowwewillattendtothefuture. Wehavedifferentdispositions,weseethingsindifferentwaysandwhatwecreate byouractionsconstituteswhoweare.Inmanycases,weshareunderstandingsof themultipleconstituentsoftheworldandthebehavioursofthecreaturesthat inhabititbutwecanreactquitedifferentlyfromeachothertosituations,eventhe

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samesituation,dependingonourexperiences.Forexample,weallseethe atrocitiesofwarinthemediabutactualexperienceofwarwillchangethewayin whichwerespondtotherepresentationonthenews.Henceindividuals subjectivitiescompriseasetofconceptions,procedures,beliefs,valuesand dispositionsthatarebothconsciousandnonconsciousandarelinkedtooursense ofwhoweare. Ourunderstandingsandapproachestolifearedeeplyshapedbyourparticular contextsourculturalbackgrounds,oursocialconditionings, oureconomicrealities,ourpersonalhistories,andsoon.Thisisafairly commonplacetruthintodaysworldwhereweareincreasinglyexposedtoa pluralityofhumanwaysofbeingintheworld. Veling,2005;23 Theimpactofourvaluesandbeliefsonourbehaviourcannotbeunderestimated. Valuesaretheidealsyouholdwhichgivemeaningtoyourlifeandunderpinyour beliefs.However,valuesexistonlyinrelationtoothervaluessowetendto prioritisethem.Inthisway,someonewhovalueshonestymaynotalwaystellthe truth.Theirhigherpriorityvalueofbeinglikedwillmeanthattheymaynotgive honestfeedbackforfearofalienatingtherecipient.Whenyouvaluesomethingyou aremotivatedtoachieveit.Thereforeifyouunderstandyourvaluesyou understandwhatmotivatesyou. Identities Thesocialexperienceoftheworkplaceincludesthesubtle,yetubiquitous,social suggestionsthatareencounteredintheconductofdailylife.Theseinteractions influenceourwayofseeingourselvesaswellasothersanddevelopourownsense ofidentity.Wehaveanidentityaschildandstudent,employeeorparentat different,butoftenatoverlapping,pointsinourlives.Theyofteninfluencewhatwe doandhowwefeelandinteractintheworkplace. Therelationshipofthesocialandtheindividualiscompelling(seeArcher,2007). Theroleofpersonalagencyandintentionalityisheldtobecentralinthe relationshipbetweenthinkingandacting.Intheworkplace,changesinone'sown wayofknowingbecomeevidentasyoulearnhowtodothings,noticewhatis critical,reflectonwhereyouhavechangedyourownrelationshiptothe situatednessofyourownworkandonhowthepersonal,thesocialandthe professionalinfluenceeachother.

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SRAFinalReport Anexamplemaybethedevelopmentofyourprofessionalidentityasyoumoved frombeinganewgraduatehavinglearnedasingledisciplinetobecomingan employedprofessionalusingavarietyoflearningfromotherdisciplinessuchas businessadministration.Youmightunderstandyourlifedifferently;youmayseek newopportunitiesornewnetworksallofwhichaffectyourpersonalepistemologies andontogeneticdevelopmentintheworkplace.Inordertoownthesechanges,you needtoreflectandunderstandreflexivity;whoyouare;whatyourgoalsareand howyoumightachievethem.Thechangesthatcomefromyoureverydaylife,from therepetitionandfromthenovel,directyourintentionalityandagency.Thisagency, andtheactionthatflowsfromit,isbasedonyourpersonalsubjectivitiesyour perceptions,feelingsandbeliefs.Inthiswayworkplacepracticesaretransformed bypersonalagencynegotiatedwiththesocialnormthatisprevalent. Moreover,yourassumptionsaboutknowledge,thatis,yourepistemologicalbeliefs, itsnature,howitiscreatedanditstrutharealsorelatedtoyourpersonalagency andwhatyoubelieve.Yourepistemologicalbeliefsthereforeinfluencehowyou dealwithrealityandthesolutionoftheproblemswhicharepresentedtoyou.For example,youmightholdthatknowledgeissimple,thatitisdeliveredbyauthorities sothatitiscertain.Thatviewmayprovideyouwithasecuritywhichmeetsyour ontologicalposition.Ontheotherhand,youmightholdthatknowledgeisasocial constructwhichprovidesyouwithchallengesandriskthatsuitadifferent ontologicalframe. Reflexivity AccordingtoArcher,reflexivity istheregularexercisingofthementalability,sharedinallnormal people,toconsiderthemselvesinrelationstotheir(social)contextandviceversa. 2006:40 Expressly,thiscanmeansilentlythinkingthingsthroughormullingthem overinoneshead.Itis,accordingtoArcher,synonymouswithaninternal conversation.Itisthementalactivitiesthatrevealthemselvesasselfobservation, selfmonitoring,selfcriticism,selfevaluationandselfcommitmentinrelationto others.Itincludesselfsearchingquestions,theanswerstowhichdetermineour actionwithinthecontextwefindourselves.Yetreflexivityisnotavagueself awarenessbutaquestioningexploration;itdeterminesourconsciousagency.

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Indeed,itistheprocessinwhichweallengageintheworkplacewhenpracticesare innovativeorfailorbecomeboringlyrepetitiousandwhereothersworkwithwhom weengage.Ourengagementimpactsthemandtheirengagementwithusimpacts us. Suchreflectionsraisequestionslike:wheredoyoufit,whatisyourfunction,whatis youridentity,howdoothersrespondtoyou.Theseareallquestionsrelatingto subjectivity,identityandreflexivityinthecontextofwork. Thechallengeisthatwetendtobeactionoriented,respondingratherthanthinking aboutouractionsorouragencyinthepast.Thisseekingaplaceforyourself,an understandingofwhoyouareandwhatthismeanstofutureactionsisacentral aspectofprofessionalstudieslearning.Areviewofyourpreviouslearningisaplace wherethepracticeofreflexivityandreflection(alessdirectionalformofreflexivity) canbeundertakenandwheretheinternalconversationismovedintothepublic domain.Itisaplacewhereyoureflectonyourpastreflexivityandratherthanlose ittomemoryorintothebehaviouralrepertoirewhichisyoursubjectivity,yourecall itandyourecorditasitintegratesintotheintendedprojectyouaretoundertake.

Activity(examplesofreflectiontasksrelatingtoprofessionaltraining anddevelopmentsituations)
haveyouidentifiedalltheworkrolesyouhaveundertakeninthepast? howhasyoursenseofidentity(bothpersonalandprofessional)changed duringyourvocationaltrainingjourney? howhaveyourtop10valueschangedoradaptedduring thistime? evidencehowyoursubjectivityhaschangedduringthisfirstyear aretheresomeissueswhichyourespondtodifferentlyasaconsequence? youweregivenadifficulttaskandweresurprisedathowwellyoufaced thechallengesassociatedwithcompletingit thepeopleyouneededtospeaktowerenotrespondingtoyourcalls

Reflectivedialogueasalearningconversation
Reflectioncanbeanindividualexperience,inpartnershipwithtrustedcritical friends,oritcanbeundertakeninlearningcommunities(seeAngelidesandGibbs, 2004andNyhan,2005).Itisthroughthesharingofexperiencesandthe contributionofothersthattherichnessofunderstandingofonesownactioncan bestbeappreciated.Withoutanunderstandingofhowyouractionsareperceived byotherscanrealchangeoccur?

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SRAFinalReport Reflectivedialoguereflectionwithanotherinalearningconversation,canhelpget youstartedbyprovidingamoreaccessibleroutetodevelopingreflectivepractice. Bychoosinganappropriatepeerorcolleaguewithwhomyoucanhaveanopen andtrustingconversationoraskingyoursupervisorforadeeperengagementin yourworkyoucanreceivefeedbackinthemomentsuchasrequestsfor clarificationorachallengetosomeofyourassumptions.Suchconversationsare usedbyorganisationstoimprovethequalityofthedecisionmakingoftheir executives(Kline1998).


Archer,M,2007,Makingourwaythroughtheworld,Cambridge;CambridgeUniversity Press. Billett,S,Fenwick,T,Sommerville,M(eds),2006,Work,subjectivityandlearning, Amsterdam:Springer.

Clegg,S,Tan,JandSaeidi,S,2002,Reflectingoracting?Reflectivepracticeand continuingprofessionaldevelopmentinhighereducation,Reflectivepractice,3,1, 131146.


Gibbs,PandAngelides,P,2004,Accreditationofknowledgeasbeingintheworld,Journal ofeducationandwork,vol.17,3. Schon,D,1987,Educatingthereflectivepractitioner,SanFrancisco: JosseyBass. VelingT,A,2005Practicaltheologyonearthasitisinheaven,NewYork:OrbisBooks.

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8. Assessment
Formativeandsummativeassessmentcannotbedivorcedfromlearningoutcomes, thefunctionoftheportfolio,supervisorsreportsandtherequirementsofthe profession. Skilledassessmentisinfluencedbyseveralfactorsincluding theskills,experienceandinsightofthesupervisor/assessor thetrainingofsupervisorsandassessorsinworkbasedlearning/vocational stageswhichinvolveincrementallearninggoalsandfacilitated professionalisation theguidance,opportunities,qualityofsupportgiventothecandidate adequateexposuretotheareasoflaw theinclusion/exclusionfromthecultureoftheorganisationbyselforothers thecandidatesindividualresponsetothesefactors theskillsandeducationthecandidatebringswiththem thequalityofworkpresentedandtheevidencetosupportit Itisevidentfromthepilotschemethatwhiletheexistinglearningoutcomesand portfoliosystemareusefulasaguidetolearningandforformativeassessment thereisalackofconfidencethattheyaresufficientintheirpresentformtoassess whetheracandidatehasreachedalevelofprofessionalstandardtoenterthe profession.Thereisconfidencethatsupervisorsarebetterpositionedtoofferthis. Therationaleofferedisthatexistinglearningoutcomesmeasurebasiccompetences butwhenitcomestoprofessionalskillsapplicationandprofessionalattitudesthe levelandqualityvarydependingonthefactorslistedabove. Thefollowingdiscussionpointsaresummarisedfromquestionswhichhave emergedoutofthedataandthefindings.Withsomeadjustment,itisacceptedbya numberoftheprofessionalswhoparticipatedinthepilotthattheWBLframework isworkable.Thechallengeisknowingwhattheadjustmentshouldbe. Thetwomainconcernsareassessingtheprofessionalismnotjusttheskillsand developingtheskillsofthesupervisorandassessorsothattheexperienceofthe supervisortoknowthepotentialofthecandidate,tohaveasenseoftheimplicits canbeenhancedandarticulatedinanonsubjectiveway. learningoutcomesreducedandreframed learningdescriptorsrelatingtoprofessionalskillstoberevisitedandbe relevanttoindividualsetupsintheprofession learningdescriptorsrelatingtoprofessionalattitudetobeintroduced. reflectionsheetsusedtogreateradvantagesothattheynotonlysupply evidenceoflearningbutpromotethenotionofbeingprofessional introductionoflearningconversationswithsupervisorsusingcoachingmodels complementingtheportfoliowithanoralengagementwiththecandidatein someformofdialogue:oralpresentationanddiscussionoraninterviewusing thelearningportfolioasabasisfordiscussionmoderatedbyanexternal

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SRAFinalReport expertassessmenttrainingforprofessionals,supervisorsaswellasforthose whowillbeinassessingroles DrKateMaguire

9. Ethicsanddilemmas
Professionalethicsdonotjustpertaintoprofessionalpracticebuttohowa professiontrains,qualifiesandregularlyupskillsitsmembersifitistomeetquality assurancerequirementsandminimiserisktothepublic.Thelegalprofessionhas longbeenchallengedoverisexclusivityanditsfailuretoestablishobjective measuresoftrainingandassessmentacrosstheboard. TheSRAsattempttoaddresstheseissuesdoesnotonlygosomewaytomeeting theethicalissuesembeddedintheabovebutmakesgoodbusinesssense. Acodeofethicsiswhatnottodo,acodeofpracticeiswhatwedodo.Itisinthe latterwheredilemmastendtoemerge.Thefollowingquestionsmayhelptoclarify theboundariesofresponsibilityandaccountability.Itisimportanttostressthatthe trainee/candidatealsohasresponsibilitiesandisaccountableiftheydonotusethe opportunitiesextendedtothemtoachievethetargets. Onthematterofabasic/minimumstandardofcompetencesandminimumplus standardsbeingdrawnuptoadvancetheaimofstandardisation,minimumplus standardscanbeviewedasaspirational.Whetheracandidategoesbeyondthe basicrequirementscanbeconsideredanethicalissueifopportunityandsupport havebeenextendedtoachievethis.Thisdistinctionshouldhaveimplications/be oneofthemarkersforemployability. 1. WhatconsiderationwilltheSRAgivetotheethicalissueswhichhavearisen fromtheroutetoqualificationforstream2? 2. Whataretheparametersofitsroletoensureminimumrisktothepublic? 3. Ifmarketforcesareplayinganincreasingrole,willtraditionalbarrierstoentry notbesuccessfullyaddressedbyfirmsneedingtoemploythebrightest? 4. IsitwithintheremitoftheSRAtoensureentryintotheprofessionofthose withloweracademicachievement? 5. WhatcantheSRAdotomonitorafairdistributionoftrainingcontractsand doesthisfallwithinitsremit? 6. Whatcanacandidateonatrainingschemedoiftheyseeunethicalpracticein theirorganisation? 7. Isthereanethicalcodeofpracticefortrainers? 8. Istherearobustcomplaintsprocedurefortrainees? 9. HowcantheSRAensurethatanyschemeitsupportswilldelivertothe standard thatisrequired? 10. WhataretheSRAsethicalobligationsinmakingsureprofessionalstandards areupheldandhowwillitachievethat?

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11 Isiteth 1. hicaltohave enocleare endingtoat trainingcon ntractforan norganisati ion orlega alpractice? DrKateMa aguire

10.W Whatisc coachin ng?

Using WBL Master and Do U rs octorate programm to fac p mes cilitate le earning th hrough co oaching
Pa aulineArms sbyandAnn netteFillery yTravis In nstituteforW WorkBased dLearning MiddlesexUn M niversity hefollowing gisadapted dfromongo oingworkatMiddlesex xUniversity yafteritslaunch Th of faninternationalcentr reforcoach hingresearc chandtrain ningsupportedbyleaders in nthefield:D DavidLane,MichaelCa avanaghand dDavidClut tterbuck Co oachingis alearningre elationshipwhichhelp pspeopleto otakecharg geoftheiro own a de evelopment,toreleasetheirpote entialandt toachiever resultsthat ttheyvalue e Co onnorandP Pakora(200 07)

Co oachingisin nformedby yanddevelo opsoutofk knowledgea andresearc chinseveral do omains.

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SRAFinalReport Co oachingisR Reflectionw withanothe er to ochallengeassumptions,beliefs,perspective esandways sofconstru uingandact ting up ponexperie ence
(W Weil&McGill(1989)

Th herecanbe eseveralsty ylesappropriatetodiff ferentstage esofthecoa aching en ncounteran nditsaimsa andpurposeforeachindividualorgroup

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Clutterbu uck&Meg gginson (2005)
Whatarethe W eattributes srequiredinaskilledc coach?

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Interpersonalskills:empathy,encouragement,genuineness,authenticity, approachability,compassion,intelligence Communicationskills:tact,listening/silence,questions,playfulexchange Instrumentalsupport:creativity,dealingwithparadox,selfknowledge, positiveregard,toleranceforinterventionmade,stimulationtothink,feeland explorenewideas&behaviours,workingonresistancetochange Dingman2004

BoudandCostley(2007)foundfiveclustersofcompetences: Knowledgeofworkanditscontextworkingcultures;theirrestriction andopportunities Learningconsultancyskillsacknowledgingcandidatesknowledge base,identificationoflearningopportunities,constructionofproject withintheworkcontext Transdisciplinaryawarenessabilitytoidentityandcommunicateknowledge whichembracesarangeofdisciplines Enquiryapproachesknowledgeofflexibleandcollaborativemethods ofenquiryleadingtoresearchanddevelopmentopportunities Reflexivityandreviewingskillsareflectiveandevaluativeapproach whichincorporatesbothselfawarenessandmanagementwithformalised assessmentprotocolsandprocedures. Tosupportprojectworknowistofindwaysofassistingstudentstodevelopthe expertiseneededinanygivensituationThereislittleappropriatedidacticrolein transmittingknowledge. BoudandCostley(2007 Furtherinformation: DrAnnetteFilleryTravis DrPaulineArmsby a.fillerytravis@mdx.ac.uk p.armsby@westminster.ac.uk

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11.Equalityinthelegalprofession
ProfessorCarolCostley Theprovisionoflegalservicesatthehighestlevelsisstilldominatedbywhite,male lawyersfromthehighestsocioeconomicgroups(Nicolson,2005,Sullivan2010). TheLegalServicesBoardhasaremittopromotebetteraccesstotheprofession,to developaworkforceforachangingmarketandthusproduceagroupoflegal professionalsthatdrawonthewidestgroupoftalentandareabletoreflectthe needsoftheirdiverseclientgroup.Theaccess,retentionandprogressionoflegal professionalshavethereforebeenunderscrutinyinrecentyears. Theliteraturedoesnotrevealdirectdiscriminationinaccesstojobsorgaininga trainingcontract.Whatisrevealedismorethehierarchyandlackofdifferentiation withintheprofessionthatcausesthelackofdiversityinlegalpersonnel(Rolfeand Anderson,2003).Womenandethnicminoritiesarefurtherdisadvantagedbythe cultureofthelegalprofessionwhichhasatraditionofnetworkingamongstmale groupsandfamilytiestotheprofessionleadingtowomenandethnicminoritiesnot alwaysbeingabletofitinwithsocialexpectations.Sommerladetal(2010)found thatthelegalprofessionvividlyexemplifiedtheculturalpracticeswhichindirectly discriminateagainstthenonnormativeprofessionalandconstrainindividual choices.Eachstepofthecareerpathcandependonthepreviousstepandleads toanaccumulationofreasonsforthelackofequality. Cumulativeissuessuchas: socioeconomicbackground, Twiceasmanyparentsinprofessionaloccupationsexpecttheirchildrentogo touniversitycomparedtoparentsfromlowersocioeconomicgroups(Panel onFairAccesstoJustice2009).Childrenfrommiddleclassfamiliesbecome accustomedtotalkingtootherprofessionalpeoplesociallywhichraises confidenceandpreparesthemforaprofessionalcareer(BarCouncil2007); notattainingtherightAlevels, Somelawfirmswerefoundtohavedevelopedlinkswithselectiveand independentschools(RolfeandAnderson); notgainingworkexperienceinlawfirmswhilstatschool, Studentswithlinkstothelegalprofessionaretwiceaslikelytohavehadwork experienceasthosewithoutconnections(FrancisandSommerland2008) somelawfirmswereinvolvedin'theindependentschoolscareers association'.Toaddressthis,ascheme'LimitlessLondon'established bytraineesolicitorsprovidescareerguidanceinstateschools;

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gainingahighereducation In20000125%ofhighereducationentrantswerefromlessadvantaged socioeconomicbackgroundsrisingto29.1%in200607.Givenoverhalfof thiseligibleagegrouparefromlessadvantagedbackgroundtheimprovement isverysmall. attendingapre92university, Thosefromlessadvantagedbackgroundsthatreceiveahighereducationare morelikelytoattendthenewuniversities.TheRussellgroupofuniversities arefavouredbylawfirms;2,500studentsfromprivateschoolsentered Oxbridgein200607withonly250fromlowersocioeconomicgroups(Higher EducationStatisticsAgency).Ethnicminoritylawgraduatesaremorelikelyto attendanewuniversityandthisisthecasewhetherornottheyhavetheright Alevelsandtherightgrades.Thereasonsmaybebecauseofculturaland confidenceissues(SuttonTrust2009:11); completingtheLegalPracticeCourse ItisexpensivetotaketheLegalpracticeCourseand42%ofindividualswho didnotapplystatedthatitwasforfinancialreasons(ShinerandNewburn 1995).74%ofOxbridgegraduates27%ofolduniversitygraduatesand14%of post92universitygraduates receivedaprofessionalsponsorship(ShinerandNewburn1995); completingthe2yeartrainingperiod, Thereareinequalitiesinthepracticesoffirmsforrecruitingfortraining contracts(RolfeandHenderson,2003).In2008therewere7000completions oftheLPCwith6000trainingcontractsavailablein2009. firmsattitudestonewrecruits Overaquarterofrecruitersfeelthatnewuniversitiesproducelowerquality graduates(RolfeandAnderson,2003).Howeversomefirmshavenow changedtheirrecruitmentpracticestoachieveamorediverseintake.

Therewere68%ofpartnersinmagiccirclefirmswhowereindependentlyeducated in1988comparedto55%in2004(theSuttonTrust2009).Trainingatalawfirmis notalwaysconducivetocareerneedsandthiseffectscareerprojectionsand segregatesthemarket. Thepositionofwomen Thereare46.1%ofwomensolicitorsandthefigureisrisingbutwomenonly accountfor24.8%ofpartnersinprivatepractice(TheLawSociety2009).Therehas beenahistoryofsubordinationofwomenwithinlegalpractice(Francis2006). Womenaremorelikelytoworkincommunityrelatedlegalworkandinfamilylaw, employmentandbenefitswork.Thismaybebecausewomenneedgreater flexibilityofferedbysomekindsoflegalwork..Halfofwomenlawyersthoughtthat solicitorsengagedinflexibleworkingwereconsideredaslessseriousabouttheir careers(LawSocietyGazette2010).Itmayalsobebecausewomenhaveagreater

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SRAFinalReport sensitivitytothemoreequalopportunitiesworkfoundoutsideprivatepractice. Thereislittleresearchabouttherationaleforthelackofwomeninlargeprivate firmsandespeciallythelackofwomenpartners Thepositionofblackandminorityethnicpopulations(BMEs) Thereisanexpectationthatmembershipofthelegalprofessionshouldreflectthe ethnicmixinsociety(BlackLawyersDirectory,2009).Howeveronly25.9%ofBMEs arepartnersinfirmscomparedto38.4%ofwhiteEuropeans(TheLawSociety, 2009).Sommerladetal(2010)discusstheLegacyoftheProfessionsWhite,Male ElitistOriginsandtheSignificanceofCulturalStereotypes.SomeBMElawyersare alsofoundinthemorefeminisedareassuchasfamilylawalthoughthisismore typicalinNorthEngland.TherearebroadtrendsintheunderachievementofBMEs inaccessinghighereducationandinachievementofhigherclassificationdegrees (HEFCE2010).ThisisalsoevidentinastudyconductedbytheEqualityChallenge Unit(2010)whichreportsthatblackstudentsshowedthelowestlevelof attainmentoffirstoruppersecondclassdegrees(only38.1%)comparedtowhite studentswhohadthehighestpercentageofsuchdegrees(67.2%).However,a higherproportionofblackandotherethnicminoritiesstudylawcomparedtowhite students6.3%ofblackstudentsvs3.1%ofwhitestudents(EqualityChallengeUnit, 2010). Developmentandrecognitionthroughworkbasedlearning Learningincontext ThespecificcontextoftheLawfirmisacknowledgedasthemostappropriateplace tobecomeimmersedinandcontinuetodevelopimportanttechnicalskillsand broadabilitiesconcerninglegalpractice.Inthissense,universityledprovisionof WorkBasedLearningmodules,coursesandprogrammescanproviderecognitionof thegroundingoflearningindailyroutinesofsolicitors.Goldetal,(2007) acknowledgethatsuchastrategymeansthatthisallowstheprofessionaltolearn andtraininworkratherthanlosevaluabletimeattendingexternaltraining.The technicalskillsandknowledgeoflegalprocessesarenolongersufficientinthe makingofgoodsolicitorswhonowneedarangeofbusinessrelatedattributesto meettheneedsofthehighlycompetitivelegalprofession.TothisendWatsonand HarmelLaw(2010p11)findthatworkplacelearningcouldbeasuitablevehicle tobalancethetechnicalorientationofprofessionalbodydevelopment,toembed learningintheworkplaceandminimisetimeoutfromincomegeneratingactivities. Goldetal(2007)confirmthatapracticebasedlearningperspectiveisconduciveto goodCPDinthelegalprofession. Accreditationofinhousetrainingandofexperientiallearning Learningfromexperiencecanbecapturedthroughmoreformallearning technologiesusedbyeducators.Accreditationofinhousetrainingacknowledges thathighlevellearningtakesplaceandvaluestheknowledgeinwork situations(Armsbyetal,2006)andcanimprovebusinessperformance,skillsand

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knowledgegainedanddisseminationacrossorganisations(Connor2005).Higher educationoffersanestablishedlevelofqualityassurance(QAA,2007),forexample inundertakingprocessesinvolvedintheaccreditationofexperientiallearningwhich canalsoincreasetheexternalstandingofinhousetrainingcourses. Accreditationofcoursesandalsoofindividualslearningatworkhasbeen acknowledgesashavingapositiveimpactonprofessionalism,moraleand motivationforstaff,leadingtoimprovedretention.Portfoliodevelopmentis associatedwithbenefitsthatmeettheneedsofthecontemporaryworkforceby encouragingorganisationallearningandsupportingworkerstotakeresponsibility fortheirownlearninganddevelopment(RomaniukandSnart2000).Accreditation isabletomeettheneedsoforganisationsbyprovidinggeneralaswellasspecific crediti.e.creditforknowledgethatdoesnotappearinaformthatiscodified againstsubjectdisciplineareasofknowledgebutisrecognisedasbeinghighlevelas anareaofprofessionallearning.Accreditingtheknowledgeofindividualsoften meansappreciatingaparticularcontextandaparticularindividualsexperience.Itis consideredasenablinganddevelopmentalforindividuals(Armsbyetal2006). Acloseengagementwithworkandlearning WorkBasedLearning(WBL)hasthepotentialtoprovidethekindoflearning opportunitiesneededforaccessintothelegalprofessionandCPDthatiscrucialfor excellenceinpractice.Onereasonforthisisthattacitknowledgeplaysalargepart inthesuccessfuloperationinaworksphere;suchknowledgecanbenebulousand difficulttospecifyprecisely(Walsh,2007)yetWBLisabletoengagewiththiskind ofknowledgefromthestartingpointofthepractitionersexperience.Thesuccess ofWBLinanygivensituationisdependentontheextentofanemployersrolein supportingandassessingWBL(BrennanandLittle,2006,BrodieandIrving,2007).If legalfirmsinvestedinthewidertrainingopportunitiesthatareinclusiveofbusiness andkeyskillsaswellastechnicallegalskillsWBLcouldbesupportedbyemployers anduniversities.Thiswouldentailacloseworkingrelationshipbetweenhigher educationandemployers.Workbasedapproachesthatconsidertheoutcomesof learningarethoughttoincreaseflexibilityofprovisionsandwidenaccessfor examplethroughtheuseofaccreditationandmoreaccessiblelearning opportunities(GoslingandMoon2002). References Armsby,P.,Costley,C.,Garnett,J.Thelegitimisationofknowledge:aworkbased learningperspectiveofAPEL.InternationalJournalofLifelongEducation, Jul/Aug2006,Vol.25Issue4,p369383 BlackLawyersDirectory(2009)BusinessCaseforRaceDiversityinthelegal profession Brennan,J.andLittle,B.(2006)Shiftingboundariesbetweenhighereducationand work:theroleofworkplacelearning.HigherEducationDigest.55,18. Brodie,P.andIrving,(2007)K.Assessmentinworkbasedlearning:investigatinga pedagogicalapproachtoenhancestudentlearning, Assessment&Evaluationin HigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue1,p1119

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SRAFinalReport Connor,H(2005)ACIHEconsultationonworkbasedlearningwhichidentifieda numberofissuesforbothhighereducationandbusiness,reportedinWorkforce DevelopmentandHigherEducation(CIHE,Sept2005) EqualityChallengeUnit(2010)EqualityinHigherEducationStatisticalreport2010, EqualityChallengeUnit,availableat: http://www.ecu.ac.uk/publications/files/equalityinhighereducationstatistical report2010.pdf/viewAccessed12thDecember2010 Francis,A.andSommerlad,H.(2008)Accesstolegalworkexperienceanditsrolein the(re)productionoflegalprofessionalidentity,unpublishedpaperpresentedat AnnualConferenceofSocialLegalStudiesAssociation,Manchester,March Francis,A(2006)Imnotoneofthosewomenslibbertypepeoplebut..Gender, ClassandProfessionalPowerwithinthethirdbranchoftheEnglishLegalProfession, SocialandLegalStudies.SAGEPublications. GeneralCounciloftheBar(2007)EntrytotheBarWorkingParty Gold,G.,Thorpe,R.,Woodall,J.,SadlerSmith,E.(2007),Continuingprofessional developmentinthelegalprofession:apracticebasedlearningperspective, ManagementLearning,Vol.38No.2 Gosling,D.andMoon,J.(2002)HowtoUseLearningOutcomesandAssessment Criteria,SEEC,London HEFCE(2010)StudentEthnicity,HEFCE,availableat http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2010/10_13/10_13.pdfAccessed12th December2010 HigherEducationStatisticsAgency(2008/09):Wideningparticipationofunder representedgroups http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1684&Item id=141 http://www.onlinebld.com/business_case_for_race_diversity.htmlAccessed12th December2010 Makingitwork:Aguidebookexploringworkbasedlearning.Availableat: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/scotland/WBL/guidebook/default.asp Nicolson,D.(2005)Demography,discriminationanddiversity:anewdawnforthe Britishlegalprofession?,InternationalJournaloftheLegalProfession12:2 QualityAssuranceAgency2007 Rolfe,H.andAnderson,T.(2003)Afirmchoice:lawfirmspreferencesinthe recruitmentoftraineesolicitors,InternationalJournaloftheLegalProfession,315 Romaniuk.KandSnart.F(2000)Enhancingemployability:theroleofpriorlearning assessmentandportfolios,Journalofworkplacelearning,12(1),(2000) Shiner,M.andNewburn,T.(1995)EntryintotheLegalProfession,TheLawStudent CohortStudy,Year3London,theLawSociety Sommerlad,H.,Webley,L.,Duff,L.,Muzio,D.andTomlinson,J.(2010)Diversityin theLegalprofessioninEnglandandWales:AQualitativeStudyofBarriersand IndividualChoices http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/what_we_do/Research/Publications/pdf/lsb _diversity_in_the_legal_profession_final.pdfAccessed12thDecember2010 Sullivan,R.(2010)BarrierstotheLegalProfession,LegalServicesBoard TheLawSociety(2009)Trendsonthesolicitorsprofession:Annualstatisticalreport 2009

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TheLawSocietyGazette(2010)Banksreluctancetograntloansimpedesstudent accesstoLPC.http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/banks039reluctancegrant loansimpedesstudentaccesslpc TheLawSocietyGazette(2010)Womensolicitorsbelieveflexibleworkingdamages careerhttp://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/womensolicitorsbelieveflexible workingdamagescareer TheSuttonTrust(2009)TheEducationalBackgroundsofLeadingLawyers, Journalists,ViceChancellors,Politicians,MedicsandChiefExecutives,TheSutton TrustsubmissiontotheMillburnCommissiononAccesstotheProfessions. Walsh,A.(2007)AnexplorationofBiggsconstructivealignmentinthecontextof workbasedlearning,Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol. 32Issue1,p7987 Watson,S.HarmelLaw,A.(2010)Exploringthecontributionofworkplacelearning toanHRDstrategyintheScottishlegalprofession,JournalofEuropeanIndustrial Training,2010,Vol.34Issue1,p722,16p;DOI Winter,R(1995)Theassessmentofprofessionalcompetences:Theimportanceof generalcriteriaAssessingcompetenceinHigherEducation,editedbyA.Edwards andP.Knight BlackLawyersDirectory(2009)BusinessCaseforRaceDiversityinthelegal profession http://www.onlinebld.com/business_case_for_race_diversity.htmlAccessed12th December2010 Sommerlad,H,Webley,L.,Duff,L.,Muzio,D.andTomlinson,J.(2010)Diversityin theLegalprofessioninEnglandandWales:AQualitativeStudyofBarriersand IndividualChoices http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/what_we_do/Research/Publications/pdf/lsb _diversity_in_the_legal_profession_final.pdfAccessed12thDecember2010

ExtendedLiteratureResearchondiversity,education,the legalprofessionandworkbasedlearning
DrNatashaShukla THEDEVELOPMENTOFAPARALEGALPROFESSIONINTHEUNITEDKINGDOM Full text
available O'Connell,J.JournalofCommonwealthLaw&LegalEducation,Jul2007,Vol.5Issue2,p97109, 13p

ThisarticletracksthedevelopmentofanewlegalprofessionintheUnitedKingdom: careerparalegals.Itconsidersthecommercial,socioeconomic,politicalandhistorical factorsinfluencingthedevelopmentoftheparalegalprofessionandalsohinderingand warpingaspectsofitsdevelopment.Thearticlefurtherconsidershowblinkeredattitudes withinthetraditionallegalprofessionhaveledtothegrowthofahalfmillionstrongbody oflegalpractitionerswithoutmanyinthetraditionallegalprofessionevennoticing. Finally,thearticleconsiderssomeofthelessonslearnedfromtheUKexperiencetodate andhowtheymaybeofassistancetootherjurisdictions.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR]

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Evans,N. and Robertson,D.TimesHigherEducationSupplement,3/5/2004,Issue1630,p1919, 1/8p

Presentsalettertotheeditorinresponsetothearticle"CreditsforPriorLearningFace Curb,"publishedintheFebruary2004issue. DevelopinganEvaluationFramework:assessingthecontributionofcommunitybased andworkbasedapproachestolifelonglearningamongsteducationallymarginalised adults. DetailOnlyAvailable


Thomas, L. and Slack, K.ResearchinPostCompulsoryEducationMar2003,Vol.8Issue1,p1938

IntheUnitedKingdomandEurope'lifelonglearning'isoftenpropoundedtobringboth economicandsocialreturns,althoughtheformer,ratherthanthelatterismore frequentlythefocusofpolicyprescriptions.Despitethesignificantincreasesin participationinpostcompulsoryeducation,certainsocioeconomicgroupsarestillpoorly represented.Thisarticlepresentstwocasestudiesthatpromotelifelonglearningto adults:acommunitybasedinitiativeandaworkbasedscheme.Drawingonacomparison oftheseinitiatives(basedonagroundedtheoryapproach)anevaluationframeworkfor assessingthecontributionofdifferentapproachestofurtherlifelonglearningamongst educationallymarginalisedadultsisproposed.Thisisthenelaboratedandutilisedto explorethetwocasestudies.Thissystematicanalysishelpstohighlightthecomplexityof theissuespertainingtolifelonglearningamongsteducationallymarginalisedadults.In addition,thisarticlepresentsasubstantivetheoryofevaluationthatcanbeappliedby othersbothtoevaluatetheirworkandtocontributetowardsaformaltheoryof evaluation.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] WorkbasedLearningProgrammesandSocialCapital. DetailOnlyAvailable
Hyland, T. JournalofInServiceEducation,Mar2003,Vol.29Issue1,p49,

ThetwinpillarssupportingcontemporarylifelonglearningtheoryinBritainandalsoto someextentintheUSA,EuropeandAustralasia(Field&Leicester,2000)arethe developmentofvocationalskillsforeconomiccompetitiveness,andthefosteringofsocial inclusionandcohesion.Clearanddirectlinksaremadebetweeninclusionandeconomic prosperityinthe'visionofasocietywherehighskills,highrewardsandaccessto educationandtrainingareopentoeveryone'(DfEE,2001,p.6).However,althoughthis policydoes,tosomedegree,representabreakwiththerampantneoliberalismofthe 1980sand1990sinBritain(Hyland,2002)underpinnedby'thirdway'values,which emphasise'economicefficiencyandsocialcohesion'(Giddens,2000,p.78)theconcept ofeconomiccapitalalwaystakesprideofplaceandthereisarealdangerthatthesocial capitalobjectivesofcontemporaryBritishvocationaleducationandtraining(VET)maybe neglectedintheobsessionwitheconomiccompetitiveness.Sinceworkbasedlearning (WBL)isnowacentralelementinallcurrentVETpolicyinitiatives,itissuggestedthat attentiontothesystematicmanagementandsupportoflearningonWBLprogrammes cangosomewaytowardsachievingtheimportantsocialobjectivesoflifelonglearning. [ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR]

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Evaluationofanaccessroutetohighereducationthroughaworkbasedassessment strategy. FullTextAvailable


Harvey,M. and Slaughter,T.Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue 1,p3543,

TheOpenUniversity(OU)istheUKslargestuniversity,withover200,000people studying,parttimeandatadistance,arangeofundergraduateandpostgraduatecourses andpacks.ResearchanddevelopmentcarriedoutattheOUsCentreforOutcomesBased Education(COBE),hasprovidedanewwayofenablingstudentstobeaccreditedat highereducationlevelfortheirlearningintheworkplace.Thisapproachtothe assessmentofworkbasedlearning(WBL)involvesrecognizingthelearningthathastaken placebelowhighereducation(HE)levelandenablingstudentstoachieve30creditsat highereducationlevelthroughspeciallydesignedassessment.WBLbelowHElevelis representedintheUKbyNationalQualificationsFramework(NQF)Level3qualifications, suchasNationalVocationalQualifications(NVQs).Thisnewassessmentstrategy,based onthetheoryofselfefficacyputforwardbytheoristssuchasDweck(1999)andBandura (1997),involvesmappinglearningoutcomesfromrelevantNQFlevel3qualificationsonto thegenericlearningoutcomesfor30creditsofworkbasedlearningathighereducation level.Studentswhohavecompletedthisconversioncoursearethereforeinagood positiontofurthertheirstudiesathighereducationlevel.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Thelegitimisationofknowledge:aworkbasedlearningperspectiveofAPEL FullText
Available

Armsby,P.Costley, C.,Garnett,J.InternationalJournalofLifelongEducation,Jul/Aug2006,Vol.25 Issue4,p369383,

AccreditationofPriorExperientialLearning(APEL)isnowanestablishedbutrelatively underusedprocessinhighereducation(HE).Inourreviewarticle,wearguethatthisis becauseAPELnotonlychallengesthetraditionaluniversitymonopolyofknowledgebut alsochallengesotherestablishedprocessesandsocialconstructions.WorkBased Learning(WBL)hasusedAPELtogreatadvantageinallowingpeopletogainaccesstoHE. Also,ithasdonemuchtochallengetraditionaldisciplinebasedassumptionsassociated withAPELpracticethroughseekingtorecognisetheknowledgeandabilitiesthatcome aboutthroughthethreespheresofwork,theacademicandthepersonal.Thisarticle examinestheperspectivesoffivetutorswhoregularlysupportthedevelopmentof,and assesstheAPELclaimsofWBLstudents.Theperspectivesofthetutorsarepresentedas vignettes.These,togetherwiththreeshortcaseexamples,areusedtoillustratethemes thatarerelatedtotheAPELprocess:powerandcontrolwithintheinfrastructureof universities;thepowerofthedisciplinestoskewthedepthandsignificanceofpriorand experientiallearning;thepressurefromgovernmentforuniversitiestofosteremployee learning;competingvaluepositionsofacademicsandofstudents;andthesocial influenceofstudentsandassessorsgender,raceandclass.Welookatthesefive overlappingthemesandhowthefieldofWBLmayhavecertainfeaturesthatcanhelp overcometheseconstructionsintheAPELprocess.WealsoconsiderthestrugglesofWBL anditsownemergingvaluepositions.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] WBL:anaccessiblecurriculum
Costley, C.Wideningparticipationandlifelonglearning,5,p3339

134InstituteforWorkBasedLearning,MiddlesexUniversity2010

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Solomon,N.

inUnderstandinglearningatwork,editedbyD.BoudandJ.Garrick(1999)

Technologisingequity:thepoliticsandpracticesofworkrelatedlearning,
Butler, E. inUnderstandinglearningatwork,editedbyD.BoudandJ.Garrick(1999)

Policyandpracticeinwideningparticipation:asixcountrycomparativestudyofaccessas flexibility. Authors: Osborne,Michael Source: InternationalJournalofLifelongEducation;Jan/Feb2003,Vol.22Issue1,p43,16p Wideningparticipationtohighereducation(HE)iscentraltotheeducationalpoliciesof countriesthroughouttheworld,andtakestheformofarangeoftypesofintervention, whichcanbeclassifiedwithinathreefoldtypology.Accessasinreachreferstothose programmesthatprioritizerecruitingpotentialstudentsintotheinstitutionexamples includeadultAccesscoursesandcertainsummerschoolprovisionsforschoolleavers. Accessasoutreachistypifiedbyeffortstowidenparticipationandinvolvepartnerships withoneormoreofemployers,schoolsandthewidercommunity.Alongsideinreachand outreachexistanumberofinitiativesthatcanneitherbecategorizedprimarilyaseither ofthese,butfocusontransformationsandadjustmentstothestructure,administration anddeliveryofHEprogrammes.ThethirdcategoryofAccessasflexibilityrefersto systematicasagainstdiscreteprovisionandincludessuchstructuralarrangementssuch astheuseofaccreditationofpriorlearning(APL),openanddistancelearningandtheuse ofinformationandcommunicationstechnology(ICT).Inthispaperbasedonresearch commissionedbytheScottishExecutivepoliciesandpracticesfromAustralia,Canada, England,FinlandandFrancearecomparedandanalysedwithparticularfocusbeinggiven toflexibility.Theimplicationsofthesepoliciesandpracticesandtheirpotential transferabilitytoScotlandareconsidered.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] ExtractfromCostley,AbukariandLittleLiteraturereviewofWorkbasedlearning: Theimportanceoftheworkplaceintheworkbasedlearningcurriculumraisesquestions abouthowlearningtakesplaceatwork.Chisholmetal.(2007)cautionagainsttakingthe workplaceatfacevalueasalearningenvironment,anditisclearthatworkplacesvary widelyintheirpropensitytopromotelearning(Sung&Ashton,2005;Brennan&Little, 2006).Whilethisdoesnotnecessarilymeanthatlearnersfromworkplaceswithlimited learningpotentialareexcludedfromworkbasedprogrammes,itsuggeststhathigher educationneedstobeinvolvedinprovidinggoodqualitylearnersupport(Billet,1999), developingapproachessuchasreflectivepractice(Boud,1999;Grahametal.,2006)and actionlearning(Miller,2003),andlookingbeyondtheformalaspectsoftheorganisation toopportunitiesofferedbyparallelorganisationalactivity(Cunningham,2001). OtherreferencesfromCostleyetalLiteraturereview: Bailie,S.(2000)SystemsofAPEL:asixpointtypologyinBailieS,andOHaganC.(eds) APELandLifelongLearning.Newtownabbey:ForumfortheAdvancementforContinuing EducationandtheUniversityofUlster

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Bellamy,M.(2008)WorkBasedLearningandtheundergraduatecurriculumIn(eds.)J. Garnett,C.Costley,andB.Workman,WorkBasedLearning:JourneystotheCoreof HigherEducation,MiddlesexUniversityPress Brennan,J.andLittle,B.(2006)Shiftingboundariesbetweenhighereducationandwork: theroleofworkplacelearning.HigherEducationDigest.55,18. Brennan,J.andLittle,B.(2006)TowardsaStrategyforWorkplaceLearning.Melton Keynes:CHERIandKPMG(ReportforHigherEducationAcademy). Boud,D.andSolomon,N.(2003)IdontthinkIamalearner:actsofnaminglearnersat work,JournalofWorkplaceLearning,15(7/8):326331. Costley,C.(2000)BoundariesandFrontiersofWorkBasedKnowledge,fromPortwood,D. &Costley,C.(Eds.)(2000)Workbasedlearningandtheuniversity:newperspectivesand practices.SEDAPaper109.Availableonline:www.mdx.ac.uk/www/ncwblp/SEDA2000.pdf SEDADESCRIPTIONhttp://www.seda.ac.uk/pubs/seda_papers_.htm Hughes,Jonathan;Slack,Kim;Baker,Chris(2006).LearningJourneysresearch project.PaperpresentedattheBritishEducationalResearchAssociationAnnual Conference,UniversityofWarwick,69September2006 O'Doherty,Eamon(2006).Foundationdegreesandwideningparticipation:publicsector employees'workbasedlearningandfoundationdegrees.JournalofAccessPolicyand Practice,3(2),142161. Stephenson,J.;Malloch,M.andCairns,L.(2006)Managingtheirownprogramme:acase studyofthefirstgraduatesofanewkindofdoctorateinprofessionalpracticeStudiesin ContinuingEducation.28(1),1732. Stephenson,J.andSaxton,J.(2005)UsingtheInternettogainpersonalizeddegreesfrom learningthroughwork:someexperiencefromUfi,IndustryandHigherEducation,19(3), 249263 WBLANDACCREDITATION Accreditationorvalidationofpriorexperientiallearning:knowledgeandsavoirsin Franceadifferentperspective?FullTextAvailable Pouget,M. and Osborne,M.StudiesinContinuingEducation,Mar2004,Vol.26Issue1,p4566,
22p

ThisarticlestemsfromthestudyoftheprocessandapplicationofAccreditationofPrior ExperientialLearning(APEL)intheFrenchhighereducationsystem,inFrancereferredto asVAP(ValidationdesAcquisProfessionnels).Thepaperseekstoreviewnotonlythe contextinwhichtheconceptsunderpinningVAPinFrancehavedeveloped,butalsothe natureoftheseconceptsandtheirimplementationinpractice.Inparticular,weconsider thespecificmeaningofconceptsusedwithinFrancewheretermswithclosemeanings reflectsubtlebutessentialculturaldifferencesofapproacheswithinthisarena,when comparedtosimilarconceptsandapproachesintheAngloSaxonworld.Thepracticeof APELinFranceraisesquestionsaboutthenature,acquisition,recognitionoreven reconciliationofvariousformsofknowledge,aswellastheirutilizationinrespectof employability.WhileinAngloSaxoncountries,andintheUnitedKingdominparticular, thepracticeofAPELseemstouncoverresistanceinuniversitiesalongavocationalor `professional'versusacademicdivide(Merrifieldetal.,2000),laformationcontinuein theFrenchhighereducationsystemseemstooffer,throughitsVAPpracticesand underpinningprinciples,athirdway,givingconsistencyofesteemtoprofessionaland vocationalknowledge.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR]

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Teachers'WorkplaceLearning:towardslegitimationandaccreditation. FullTextAvailable
Retallick,J.Teachers&Teaching,Mar1999,Vol.5Issue1,p33,

Thisarticleaimstoshowhowabetterundemandingofteachers'workplacelearning mightleadtoincreasedrecognitionasaformofprofessionaldevelopmentandto universitiesandotherprofessionalbodesgivingcreditforsuchlearning.Teachers' workplacelearningisviewedasasignificantcomponentoftheoverallprofessional developmentofteachers.Thearticleincludesacasestudyofworkplacelearningand concludesbyindicatingwaysthatteacherscandevelopaportfoliooftheirworkplace learningforassessmentbyuniversities.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Analysisandevaluationoffactorsrelatingtoaccrediting100%ofpriorexperiential learninginUKworkbasedawards. FullTextAvailable
Chisholm,C. andDavis,M.Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue1, p4559,15p

Thistheoreticalpaperexaminescurrentpracticeinworkbasedstudieswhererecognition ofpriorunaccreditedworkisnormallylimitedtoaround50%ofthetotalprogramme.The basisofthislimitingconceptischallengedandconsiderationisgiventoanumberof factorsthathavecontributedtoit.Comparisonismadewiththecurrentpracticeof awardingPh.D.sbypreviouslypublishedworkandamodelisproposedtofacilitatethe creationofapostgraduateworkbasedawardcompletelybypreviouslycompleted practiceintheworkplace.Anumberofkeypointsareexaminedinrelationtoevaluating themodelandtoilluminatingassessmentandmeasurementofthepreviousworkfor 100%recognitionwithinaworkbasedprogramme.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR]

AccreditingWorkbasedLearning:ActionLearningAModelforEmpowerment. Detail OnlyAvailable


Gregory,M.JournalofManagementDevelopment,1994,Vol.13Issue4,p41,

Defines"actionresearch"and"actionlearning"asformsofemancipatoryanddemocratic learning,anddescribestheiruseasamodelofprofessionaldevelopmentwhich empowerstheindividualasbothlearnerandcriticallyreflectivesocialresearcher.Some oftheissuesindevelopinganaccreditationprogrammeforactionresearchatmaster's levelarediscussedandanumberofareasareidentifiedforfurtherresearchbased aroundanactionresearchMasterofArtsdegreeinhumanresourcestrategy.Suggests thatthenotionofcontinuingprofessionaldevelopmentandprofessionalfellowshipcan bedeliveredandaccreditedwithinthehighereducationsystem,usingpractitioner centredandproblemsolvingapproachesandtheideaispromotedthatthe methodologicaluseofactionresearchinprofessionaldevelopmentisameansbywhich thedividebetweenacademiaandindustrybasedpractitionerexperiencecanbebridged. [ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] RecognisingandAccreditingInformalandNonformalLearninginHigherEducation:an analysisoftheissuesemergingfromastudyofFranceandScotland FullTextAvailable
GALLACHER,J. andFEUTRIE,M. EuropeanJournalofEducation,Mar2003,Vol.38Issue1,p71

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Presentsacasestudythatexploresissuesassociatedwithattemptingtointroduce systemsofinformalandnonformallearninginhighereducationinstitutionsinFrance andScotland.Analysisofbothsimilaritiesanddifferencesbetweeninformalandnon formallearning;Problemsassociatedwithaccreditingdifferentkindsofknowledge throughvoluntaryactivitiesandaccreditationofpriorexperientiallearning. Islearningtransferable?


Tennant, M.Understandinglearningatwork,editedbyD.BoudandJ.Garrick(1999)

ACCREDITATIONOFPRIORLEARNING DiscriminationPracticesDuringWorkplaceLearning:TheirExtentandImpactonStudent LearningandLives FullTextAvailable Ramrathan,L. and Ramrathan,S.InternationalJournalofLearning,2009,Vol.16Issue 10,p3950,12p,1Chart,4Graphs;(AN47478321) Workplacelearningiscurrentlyacrucialcomponentofmostprogrammesleadingto professionalandtechnicalcareers.UniversitiesofTechnologiesexpecttheirstudentsto spenduptoayearoftheirtrainingprogrammeatthesiteofenvisagedwork,while professionalprogrammesin,e.g.teaching,arerequiringalongerperiodoftimetobe spentinschools.ThenewframeworkforteachereducationinSouthAfricagazettedin 2007requiresastudentteachertobeinschoolsforuptoayear.Infact,thelengthof schoolbasedplacementwithinteacherdevelopmentprogrammesiscentraltothe conceptualizationsoftheoreticalmodels(e.g.masterapprenticemodel,appliedscience modelandprofessionalmodelfoteacherdevelopment)thatframeteacherdevelopment acrossthecenturies.Thissignalsthatworkplacelearning,eitherthroughinternshipsor boutsofschoolplacementsspreadacrosstheprogramme,isnowbeingconceptualizedas acrucialcomponentoflearning.Currently,themajorfocusonworkplacelearningison curriculum,policyandprocessissues.Littleresearchhasfocusedondiscriminatory practicesthatimpactonstudentslearningandliveswhenstudentsgoontheseworkplace learningactivities.Thispaperdrawsonempiricalevidencefromtwodifferent occupationalspecifictrainingprogramme(Hospitalitytrainingandteaching),using surveysandnarrativeenquirywithstudentsandstaffofindustriesandschools,toidentify themajorformsofdiscriminatorypracticesthatstudentsareexposedtoduringtheir workplacelearninganditsresultantimpactontheirlearningandlives.Thepaperfinally alludestocurriculuminterventioninthelearningprogrammetohelpaddressthesesgaps intrainingprogrammes.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] ExploringthecontributionofworkplacelearningtoanHRDstrategyintheScottishlegal profession DetailOnlyAvailable Watson,S. andHarmelLaw,A.JournalofEuropeanIndustrialTraining,2010,Vol.34Issue 1,p722,16p;DOI PurposeThepurposeofthispaperistoexploretherelevanceofhumanresource development(HRD)forlawfirmsintheUK.Itexamineshowthecharacteristicsoflegal professionalpracticeintheUK,includingthepartnershipstructure,longestablished methodsoftargetingsolicitorsandthelawsociety,mayactasbarrierstothe

138InstituteforWorkBasedLearning,MiddlesexUniversity2010

SRAFinalReport implementationofHRD.Design/methodology/approachThepaperusesanexploratory casestudyresearchapproachtoinvestigatecharacteristicsandissuesinfluencingthe adoptionofHRDinaScottishlegalfirm.Primarydataarecollectedviasemistructured interviewswithacrosssectionofrepresentatives.FindingsDespiterecognitionofthe importanceoflearning,thecharacteristicelementsoflawfirms,includingthepartnership structure;thepervasivenessoftimebilledtargetsinthesolicitorcommunity;andHR's profileandacceptanceamongthesolicitorcommunity,remainasbarrierstothe applicabilityofHRD.Theresearchalsoexposesvariabilityonthelevelandscopeof developmentopportunities,anemphasisontechnicalskillsdevelopment,andalackof solicitors'selfmanagedlearningability.Researchlimitations/implicationsWhilethe researchfindingsprovideausefulinsightintothebarrierstoHRDinonelegalfirm,this doesnotallowforanygeneralisationsbeingdrawnfromthestudy.Practicalimplications Thepaperexploresthesuitabilityofworkplacelearningtosupportlegalprofessional development.Originality/valueThereisadearthofresearchintoHRDinlegalpractices intheUK.Thepapercontributestothecontextualinfluencesthatlimittheapplicabilityof HRDtolegalprofessionalpractices.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Accreditationofpriorlearninginpreregistrationnursingprogrammes:Throwingthe babyoutwiththebathwater? Summary:Theperceivedlearningofpreregistrationstudentsnursesduringthe foundationprogrammewithandwithoutpriorclinicalexperiencewasinvestigatedattwo universitiesusingaquantitativequestionnaire.Nodifferencewasfoundbetweenthe perceivedlearningofindividualswith( 1year)andwithoutpriorclinicalexperience. Studentsatoneoftheuniversitiesconsistentlyperceivedthattheylearntmorethan studentsattheotherinstitute.Despitethis,thepatternintheresponsesbetweenthe universitiesisconsistent.Theimplicationsofthelackofeffectofpriorclinicalexperience onlevelofperceivedlearningfortheprocessofaccreditationofpriorexperiential learningisdiscussed.[Copyright&y&Elsevier] TheAccreditationofPriorExperientialLearninginHigherEducation:ADiscourseon RationalesandAssumptions FullTextAvailable Lueddeke,G.HigherEducationQuarterly,Jul97,Vol.51Issue3,p210,15p;(AN8616416) Abstract: Thispaperexploressomeoftheissuesandbenefitssurroundingtheprocessof accreditationofpriorexperientiallearning(APEL)asonekeyinstitutional'building block'formeetingtheneedsofadultswhowishaccesstoUKhighereducation institutions(HEIs)courseprovision.ArgumentsareadvancedwherebyAPELcould helpto'unlockdoors'toHEIsforthose(mostlyparttimestudents),whohave traditionallybeendeniedaccessoradvancedstandingtoHEcoursesbecauseof personal,socioeconomicorinstitutionalconstraints.Thepaperalsoprovidesa basisforAPELbasedoneducationalgrounds.Referencetoathreeyear study/projectinaCanadianinstitution,wherecriteriawereevolvedthat eventuallyledtotheestablishmentofAPELpolicyandproceduresalongwiththe evolutionofthenecessaryinfrastructure,isalsomade.APELisalsopresentedasa humanresource/careerdevelopmentprocessthatcangathermomentum,gain commitmentandsupportfromtheprivatesector.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR]

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Thelegitimisationofknowledge:aworkbasedlearningperspectiveofAPEL FullText Available Armsby,P. Costley,C.Garnett,J.InternationalJournalofLifelongEducation, Jul/Aug2006,Vol.25Issue4,p369383, AccreditationofPriorExperientialLearning(APEL)isnowanestablishedbutrelatively underusedprocessinhighereducation(HE).Inourreviewarticle,wearguethatthisis becauseAPELnotonlychallengesthetraditionaluniversitymonopolyofknowledgebut alsochallengesotherestablishedprocessesandsocialconstructions.WorkBased Learning(WBL)hasusedAPELtogreatadvantageinallowingpeopletogainaccesstoHE. Also,ithasdonemuchtochallengetraditionaldisciplinebasedassumptionsassociated withAPELpracticethroughseekingtorecognisetheknowledgeandabilitiesthatcome aboutthroughthethreespheresofwork,theacademicandthepersonal.Thisarticle examinestheperspectivesoffivetutorswhoregularlysupportthedevelopmentof,and assesstheAPELclaimsofWBLstudents.Theperspectivesofthetutorsarepresentedas vignettes.These,togetherwiththreeshortcaseexamples,areusedtoillustratethemes thatarerelatedtotheAPELprocess:powerandcontrolwithintheinfrastructureof universities;thepowerofthedisciplinestoskewthedepthandsignificanceofpriorand experientiallearning;thepressurefromgovernmentforuniversitiestofosteremployee learning;competingvaluepositionsofacademicsandofstudents;andthesocial influenceofstudentsandassessorsgender,raceandclass.Welookatthesefive overlappingthemesandhowthefieldofWBLmayhavecertainfeaturesthatcanhelp overcometheseconstructionsintheAPELprocess.WealsoconsiderthestrugglesofWBL anditsownemergingvaluepositions.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Angelsinmarble?Accreditingpriorexperientiallearninginhighereducation FullText Available Trowler,P.StudiesinHigherEducation,Mar96,Vol.21Issue1,p17,14p Discussestwocontrastingapproachestoaccreditationofpriorexperientiallearning (APEL)inhighereducation.NatureandbackgroundofAPEL;Creditexchangeapproachto APEL;DevelopmentalapproachtoAPEL;ProblemsintheapplicationofAPELinhigher education. BridgingtheAcademicandVocationalDivideaCaseStudyonWorkBasedLearningin theUKNHS FullTextAvailable Bond,C. and Wilson,V.InnovationsinEducation&TrainingInternational,May2000,Vol. 37Issue2,p134144,11p, Itisdifficulttoovercomethedivisionbetweenvocational,professionalandhigher education.However,theNationalHealthServiceTrainingDivision(NHSTD)hasdeveloped asetofnationaloccupationalstandardsforInformationManagementandTechnology (IM&T)professionalsinhealthcare.Thestandardsformacoherentandintegrated frameworkforknowledgeanditsapplicationandhavebeenusedasabasisfor developingasetofprofessionalandacademicawardsforIM&Tpractitioners.Thewriters describethetechnicalrationalandtheprofessionalartistrymodelsofeducationand giveanoverviewoftheinnovativeProfessionalAwardsasbasedontheportfolio

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SRAFinalReport assessmentframework,whichallowsaworkbasedapproachandaccreditationofprior learning.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Whatcountsaslearning? FullTextAvailable Challis,M. AdultsLearning,Mar98,Vol.9Issue7,p17 Evaluatesthefactorsworthyofcreditinlearning.ResultsofthesurveyofAccreditationof PriorExperientialLearning(APEL)conductedbytheUniversitiesandCollegesAdmissions Service(UCAS);Roleofhighereducation;Influenceofprofessionalbodiesinpostgraduate orpostexperiencehighereducationprovision.

WBLANDASSESSMENT AnexplorationofBiggsconstructivealignmentinthecontextofworkbasedlearning Full TextAvailable


Walsh,A. Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue1,p7987

ThepaperwillexploreBiggsconceptofconstructivealignmentinthecontextof workbasedlearning(WBL).InhisbookTeachingforQualityLearningatUniversityBiggs quotesTylermakingtheclaimthatLearningtakesplacethroughtheactivebehaviourof thestudent:itiswhathedoesthathelearns,notwhattheteacherdoes.Biggsmodelis studentcentredandoutcomesfocused,andhasbeenveryinfluentialintheareaofstaff developmentrelatingtolearningandteaching.Themodelemergedandhasmostlybeen consideredinthecontextofformaleducation.However,thestrongemphasisonthe studentandthenatureofthelearning(asopposedtothelocationinwhichthelearning takesplace)lendsitselfwelltotheareaofWBL.Withtherapidexpansionofawardssuch astheFoundationDegree,manyacademiccolleaguesarebecominginvolvedinthe supportingandassessingofWBL.Forthosestaffwhosebackgroundhasbeeninformal teaching,itcanprovedifficulttoachievethechangeinperspectivewhichisnecessaryto effectivelysupportworkbasedstudents.Biggsmodel,whichhasbeenveryinfluential insideHE,potentiallyoffersawayofprovidingguidancetocolleagueswhentheyare requiredtoengagewiththeevaluationandassessmentofWBL.Theintentionhereisto considertheconstructivealignmentmodelandexploretheextenttowhichitcanbe appliedinaWBLcontext.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Workbasedlearning:assessmentandevaluationinhighereducation FullTextAvailable
Costley,C.Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue1,p19,9p

Workbasedlearningassessedasafieldoramodeofstudy FullTextAvailable Costley,C. and Armsby,P. Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue 1,p2133,13p,2Charts;DOI:10.1080/02602930600848267;(AN23002119) Assessmentinworkbasedlearning:investigatingapedagogicalapproachtoenhance studentlearning FullTextAvailable
Brodie,P. and Irving,K. Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Feb2007,Vol.32Issue1, p1119

Workbasedlearning(WBL)isundertakeninawidevarietyofhighereducationcontexts andisincreasinglyviewedasavaluable,andincreasinglyessential,componentofboth

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theundergraduateandpostgraduatestudentlearningexperience.However,the developmentofrigorouspedagogiestounderpinWBLanditsassessmentisstill embryonic.Thispaperpresentsacasestudyofhowonemediumsizedinstitution,with experienceofofferingWBLformorethan20years,hasdevelopedapedagogical approachforbothsupportingandassessingWBL.TheWBLmodelexaminedisbasedon theinterrelationshipandinterdependencybetweenunderstandinglearning,critical reflectionandtheidentificationanddevelopmentofcapabilitywithinaWBLcontext.The paperconsiderseachofthethreeareasinrelationtoitsindividualcontributionandmost importantly,inrelationtotheWBLprocess,asameansofdevelopingaframeworkfor academic,personalandcapabilitydevelopmentwithinaworkplacesetting.Criticaltothis discussionisananalysisofthecontributionofrelatedpedagogictheoryandtheuseof appropriateassessmentapproachestosupportWBLandtoenhancethestudentlearning experience.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Thevalidityandreliabilityofassessmentsand self assessments of work based learning Full TextAvailable
Benett,Y.

Assessment&EvaluationinHigherEducation,Aug93,Vol.18Issue2,p83

Addressestheissuesonvalidityandreliabilityofassessmentsandselfassessmentsof workbasedlearning.Classicaltesttheoryusedtounderstandthefundamentalsof validityandreliability;Examinationsonhowthenotionsofvalidityandreliabilitymaybe appliedinthecontextofassessment;Conclusion. Issuesincompetencybasedassessment:Anoverview,


Carrell,L.J. PaperpresentedattheAnnualMeetingoftheSpeechCommunicationAssociation (78th,Chicago,IL,October29November1,1992.Availableat: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_Sea rchValue_0=ED354573&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED354573

Enhancingemployability:theroleofpriorlearningassessmentandportfolios
Romaniuk, K. and Snart, F.Journalofworkplacelearning,12(1),(2000)

Theassessmentofprofessionalcompetences:Theimportanceofgeneralcriteria
Winter, R. inAssessingcompetenceinHigherEducation,editedbyA.EdwardsandP.Knight (1995)

AssessmentandmentoringofworkbasedlearninginFoundationdegrees Taylor, C.(Escalatereport)availableat:http://escalate.ac.uk/1151 LearningresourcesatMakingPracticeBasedLearningWork (http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/intro.htm) Assessingstudentperformanceinworkbasedlearning(resourcematerial),byAllin L&TurnockC(2007).Availableat: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/docs/Assessment%20in% 20the%20Work%20Place/index.htm Learningandassessingthroughreflection.ByS.Fade.Availableat: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/docs/RoyalBromptonV 3.pdf

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SRAFinalReport Reflectiononandintheworkplace,byAllinL&TurnockC(2007)at: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/docs/Reflection%20Wo rk%20Based%20Supervisors/index.htm Reflectiononandintheworkplaceforworkbasedsupervisors,byAllinL&Turnock C(2007),at: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/docs/Reflection%20Wo rk%20Based%20Supervisors/page_01.htm AssessmentinPractice,at: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/assessment/intro.htm

COMPETENCEBASEDASSESSMENT CompetencebasedApproachestotheAssessmentofProfessionalAccountancyTraining WorkExperienceRequirements:TheICASExperience FullTextAvailable Gammie,E. and Yvonne, J.AccountingEducation,Sep2009,Vol.18Issue4/5,p443466, 24p Mostprofessionalaccountancybodies'qualificationprocessesencompassthree components:aprescribedprogrammeofprofessionaleducation,someformofwork experience,andaformalfinalexaminationtodetermineprofessionalcompetence.The InternationalFederationofAccountants(IFAC)suggeststhatpurelytheoreticaland knowledgebasededucationdoesnotmeettheneedsofallemployers.Thusprofessional bodiesareencouragedtofindwaystodeliverandassessrelevantcompetencesinthe mostappropriatemanner.Despiteeducationalistssuggestingthatperformance measurementsbasedondirectobservationwithintheworkplacearemoreeffectiveat measuringcompetencesthantraditionalpaperbasedexaminations,assessment strategieswithintheaccountancydomainremainconservative.TheInstituteofChartered AccountantsofScotland(ICAS)wasoneofthefirstprofessionalbodiestointroducea competencybasedapproachtoworkbasedassessmentin1999andsubsequently undertookareviewoftheprocessin2004.Thedatacollectedforthereviewwas undertakenbywayofaquestionnairetoauthorizedtrainingoffices,indepthinterviews withemployers,anddiscussionswhichemanatedfromaWorkingPartywhichincluded internalICASemployees,anacademicandarepresentativefromalargeaccountancy firm.Thispaperpresentsthefindingsofthereview,discussesthepertinentissuesin relationtoworkbasedassessmentandoutlinesthechangesthatweremadetothe competencybasedapproachadoptedbyICAS.Itconcludeswithrecommendationsfor futurepractice.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Chapter25:CompetenceBasedAssessment FullTextAvailable Wolf,A.CompetenceintheLearningSociety,2001,p453466 Chapter25ofthebook"CompetenceintheLearningSociety,"editedbyJohnRavenand JohnStephensonispresented.Thischapterillustratestheselfdefeatingnatureof attemptstogenerateatomisticspecificationsofvocationalcompetenceandthentouse theseasabasisfordecontextualisedobjectiveassessments.Italsoexploresthemeansto transitiontraditionalbasededucationalprogrammestocoursesinwhichstudents learnedhowtodothingstheywouldlaterneedtobecompetent.

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RecognitionofPriorLearningasanintegralcomponentofcompetencebasedassessment inSouthAfrica DetailOnlyAvailable Moore,A. andvanRooyen,L.SouthAfricanJournalofEducation,Nov2002,Vol.22Issue 4,p293, Theconceptofrecognisingandaccreditingwhatpeoplealreadyknowandcandois havingasignificantimpactonmanyoftheeducationandtrainingprogrammescurrently beingdeveloped.Thisisirrespectiveofwhetherthatlearninghasbeenacquiredthrough unstructuredlearning,performancedevelopment,offthejobassessment,orskillsand knowledgethatmeetworkplaceneedsbuthavebeengainedthroughvariousprevious learningexperiences.TheconceptRecognitionofPriorLearning(RPL)isunderstoodby mostintheareaofadulteducationasthemethodofassessingrelevantcompetences gainedbyadultsthroughworkandlifeexperiences,whichcanthenbecountedtowards qualificationsorforpromotionintheworkplacebyusingasystematicsetofprocedures. ApracticalelaborationofRPLpolicyandpracticeinthecurrentSouthAfricaneducation andtrainingsectorisurgentlyneeded.Administeredcarefully,andsupportedbyexplicitly antidiscriminatorypoliciesandpractices,RPLcanindeedcontributetomovementsfor greatercasualmobility,thusoptimisingSouthAfrica'sunderusedskillsandexpertise.In doingso,thiscountrycanembarkuponarealisticandattainablestrategytowards becomingawinningnation.[ABSTRACTFROMAUTHOR] Formalityandinformalityinthesummativeassessmentofmotorvehicleapprentices:a casestudy FullTextAvailable Colley,H. andJarvis,J.AssessmentinEducation:Principles,Policy&Practice,Nov2007, Vol.14Issue3,p295314 Thisarticleexplorestheinteractionofformalandinformalattributesofcompetence basedassessment.Specifically,itpresentsevidencefromasmallqualitativecasestudyof summativeassessmentpracticesforcompetencebasedqualificationswithin apprenticeshipsinthemotorindustryinEngland.Thedataareanalysedthroughapplying anadaptationofaframeworkforexploringtheinterplayofformalityandinformalityin learning.Thisanalysisrevealsinformalmentoringasasignificantelementwhich influencesnotonlytheprocessofassessment,butalsoitsoutcomes.Weofferdifferent possibleinterpretationsofthedataandtheiranalysis,andconcludethat,whichever interpretationisadopted,thereappearstobeaneedforgreatercapacitybuildingfor assessorsatalocallevel.Thiscouldacknowledgeamoreholisticroleforassessors; recognisetheimportanceofassessors'informalpracticesintheformalretentionand achievementofapprentices;andenhanceawarenessofinequalitiesthatmaybe reinforcedbybothinformalandformalattributesofassessmentpractices.[ABSTRACT FROMAUTHOR] TrainingforCompetenceTheNatureandAssessmentoftheBeast DetailOnlyAvailable Christie,R.JournalofEuropeanIndustrialTraining,1985,Vol.9Issue6,p3032, Commentsonhoweducational,professionalandexaminingbodiesaremovingtowards theuseoftheconceptofcompetenceasabasisfortheprovision,assessmentand recognitionofvocationaleducationandtraining.Advantagesofcompetencebased learningandassessment;Elementsofthejobdescriptionofanoccupation;Criteriaof competence.

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General Book Competenceinthelearningsociety,JohnRavenandJohnStephenson(eds)(2001) Bookchapters Anintroductiontoworkbasedlearninginhighereducation,byC.CostleyinDEWBLAM ThesocialandeducationalchallengeofworkbasedlearninginEuropeanhigher educationandtraining:Resultsofapilotstudy,editedbyR.Schmidt Theoreticalunderpinningsofworkbasedlearning:Sometensionsandstruggles,byC. CostleyinDEWBLAMThesocialandeducationalchallengeofworkbasedlearningin Europeanhighereducationandtraining:Resultsofapilotstudy,editedbyR.Schmidt Creatingaworkbasedcurriculum,byD.BoudinWorkbasedlearning:Anewhigher education,editedbyD.BoudandN.Solomon Reports Makingpracticebasedlearningwork,Finalreport,byJ.Mulholand,J.Scammell,C. Turnock,B.Gregg,Availableat: http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/report/docs/summary2.pdfand http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/report/report.htm WORKBASEDLEARNINGANDPROFESSIONALQUALIFICATIONS ThedevelopmentofaCPDframeworkforGPVetsbyexperiencedpractioners,byA. FilleryTravis,D.LaneandJ.Garnett,inWorkbasedlearning:Journeystothecoreof highereducation,editedbyJ.Garnett,C.Costley,B.Workman SEEC Allpublicationsavailableathttp://www.seec.org.uk/publications/seecpublications SEECCreditLevelDescriptors2010 CreditandHEQualificationsCreditguidelinesforHEqualificationsinEngland,Walesand NorthernIreland HowtoUseLearningOutcomesandAssessmentCriteria RevisedSEECCodeofPracticefortheAssessmentofPrior(Experiential)Learning SEECNotesforGuidanceonWorkRelatedLearning QAA Makingitwork:Aguidebookexploringworkbasedlearning.Availableat: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/scotland/WBL/guidebook/default.asp Codeofpracticefortheassuranceofacademicqualityandstandardsinhighereducation: Workbasedandplacementlearning.Availableat: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/codeOfPractice/section9/default.asp DISCRIMINATIONINTHELEGALPROFESSION LawSocietysDiversityAccessScheme Forinformationseethefollowingguides: DiversityAccessScheme:DiversityinActionAguideforsolicitors DiversityAccessScheme:DiversityinActionAguideforstudents Availableat: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/becomingasolicitor/careerinlaw/equalityanddiversity.law: DiversityAccessScheme:SupportingSolicitors Availableat: http://www.lawsocietylogicauat.org.uk/new/documents/diversityaccessschemebrochure 0709.pdf General

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Braithwaite,J.(2007)ExplainingdiversitypoliciesinlargeLondonLawfirms, unpublishedpaperpresentedatLawandSocietyinthe21stCenturyconference. Cole.B.(2005)Trendsinthesolicitorsprofession:AnnualStatisticalReport2005, London:LawSociety Halpern,D.(1994)Entryintothelegalprofessionthelawstudentcohortstudy,Years1 and2,London:LawSociety Nicolson,D.(2005)Demography,discriminationanddiversityAnewdawnforthe Britishlegalprofession?,InternationalJournaloftheLegalProfession,vol12(2),p201228 Rolfe,H.AndAnderson,T.Afirmchoice:lawfirmspreferencesintherecruitmentof traineesolicitors,availableathttp://www.niesr.ac.uk/pubs/dps/dp215.pdf Rolfe,H.andAnderson,T.(2002)Afirmdecision:Therecruitmentoftraineesolicitors, ResearchStudy42,NationalInstituteofEconomicandSocialResearch,London:Law Society.Availableathttp://www.lawsociety.org.uk/secure/file/166599/e:/teamsite deployed/documents/templatedata/Publications/Research%20Publications/Documents/ AFirmDecision_R42Report_v1.pdf Sandefur,R.(2007)Stayingpowerthepersistenceofsocialinequalityinshapinglawyer stratificationandlawyerspersistenceintheprofession,SouthwesternUniversityLaw Review,vol.36 Thomas,P.(ed)DiscriminatingLawyers,London,Cavendish Gender Books Sommerlad,H.andSanderson,P.(1998)Gender,choiceandcommitment:Women solicitorsinEnglandandWalesandthestruggleforequalstatus,Aldershot:Ashgate Articles Bolton,S.andMuzio,D.(2007)Cantlivewithem;cantlivewithoutem:Gendered segmentationinthelegalprofession,Sociology,vol.41(1),p4764 Hagan,J.(1990)Thegenderstratificationofincomeinequalityamonglawyers,Social Forces,68(3)p835855 Harrington,M.(1992)WomenLawyersRewritingtherules,NewYork;AlfredKnopf Hersch,J.andViscusi,W.K.(1996)Genderdifferencesinpromotionandwages, Industrialrelations,35(4),p461472 Kenney,S.J.(2004)EqualemploymentopportunityandrepresentationExtendingthe frametocourts,SocialPolitics,11(1),p86116and144 Laband,D.andLentz,B.(1993)Istheregenderdiscriminationinthelegalprofession?, JournalofHumanResources,vol.28,p230258 Landers,R.M.,Rebitzer,J.B.andTaylorL.J.(1996)RatracereduxAdverseselectionin thedeterminationofworkhoursinlawfirmsAmericanEconomicReview,86(3),p329 348 McNabb,R.andWass,V.(2006)MaleFemaleearningsdifferentialsamonglawyersin BritainAlegacyofthelawofacurrentpractice?LabourEconomics,13(2),p219235 Pierce,J.(2002)Notqualified?ornotcommitted?Aracedandgendered organizationallogicinlawfirms,inBanakar,R.andTravers,M.(eds)Anintroductionto lawandsocialtheory,Oxford:Hart Rolfe,H.andAnderson,T.(2003)Afirmchoicelawfirmspreferencesinthe recruitmentoftraineesolicitors,InternationalJournaloftheLegalProfession,vol.10(3), p315334 Sheehy,E.AndMcIntyre,S.(undated)CallingforChange:Women,LawandtheLegal ProfessionTenYearsafterTouchstonesforChange,Ottawa:UniversityofOttawaPress

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SRAFinalReport (ISBN077660620).Availableat www.leedsmet.ac.uk/research/crdp/docs/.../SheehyMcIntyre_Call4Ch.doc Sian,G.,Raitt,F.andRowan,M.(2000)SelectingsolicitorsinScotlandGenderissues, JournalofGenderStudies,9(2),p212226 Sommerlad,H.(2002)Womensolicitorsinafracturedprofessionintersectionsof genderandprofessionalisminEnglandandWales,InternationalJournaloftheLegal Profession,vol.9(3),p213 Sommerlad,H.(2008)Whatareyoudoinghere?Youshouldbeworkinginahairsalonor something:Outsiderstatusandprofessionalsocializationinthesolicitorsprofession, WebJournalofCurrentLegalIssues,vol.2. Webley,L.andDulf,L.(2007)WomenSolicitorsasabarometerforproblemswithinthe legalprofessionTimetoputvaluesbeforeprofits?JournalofLawandSociety,vol.34, no.4 Socialclass Vignaendra,S.(2001)SocialClassandEntryintotheSolicitorsProfession,London,The LawSociety,ResearchStudy41 Raceandethnicity Vignaendra,S.andWilliams,M.andGarvey,J.(2000)HearingBlackandAsianvoicesan explorationofidentity,inThomas,P.(ed)DiscriminatingLawyers,London:Cavendish PublishingLtd.

DISADVANTAGEDGROUPSINHIGHEREDUCATION

2008/09:Wideningparticipationofunderrepresentedgroups(HigherEducationStatistics Agency) http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1684&Itemid=14 1 2008/09:WideningparticipationofstudentsinreceiptofDSA http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1693&Itemid=14 1 Blackstudentstrailwhiteclassmatesinachievingfirstclassdegrees file:///D:/temp/CACHE/Content.Outlook/Q7FPMLFZ/Black%20students%20trail%20white %20classmates%20in%20achieving%20first class%20degrees%20%20Education%20%20guardian%20co%20uk.htm Trendsinyoungparticipationinhighereducation:coreresultsforEngland(This publicationreportsonthetrendsinyoungparticipationfromthemid1990stothe present.)
http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2010/10_03/

StudentsinHigherEducationInstitutions(55)
http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_pubs&task=show_pub_detail&pubid=1&Itemid=2 86 HigherEducationStatistics:HEqualificationsobtainedintheUKbylevel,modeofstudy,domicile, gender,classoffirstdegreeandsubjectarea http://data.gov.uk/dataset/hesaqualificationsinuklevelmodeofstudydomicilegenderclass of1stdegreesubject

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HigherEducationStatistics:Destinationsofleaversbymodeofstudy,levelofqualification, domicileandgender http://data.gov.uk/dataset/hesadestinationsofleaversbymodeofstudylevelofqualification domicilegender

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Appendix1 BackgroundtotheWBLPilotScheme
InOctober2008theSolicitorsRegulationAuthorityimplementedapilotschemebasedon aWorkBasedLearningtrainingandassessmentframeworkforthevocationalstageofthe routetoqualificationforthelegalprofession.Thisstageiscurrentlyreferredtointhe legalprofessionasthetrainingcontractandisprecededbytheacademicstage(Law degreeorGDL)andtheLegalskillscourse(LPC) Issueswhichhavearisenwithregardtothecurrenttrainingcontract: Anindividualwhohassuccessfullycompletedthefirsttwostagesiseffectively unabletoqualifyasasolicitorifatrainingcontractisnotsecured. Trainingcontractstandardsarecurrentlydependentontheemployerorganisation workingtobasicguidelinesfromtheSRAprimarilytodowithexposuretosetareas oflaw(seats). Therearenorequiredcriteriaofassessmentorobjectivemeasuresofcompetence otherthanthoseadministeredbytheindividualorganisations Trainingcontractsaremonitoredonarandombasisorwhenissuesrelatingto practicestandardsariseforthepublicandforemployeesofindividualorganisations TherationalebehindtheSRAsdecisiontointroduceapilotwas recognitionthattheexistingsystemisvulnerabletoindividualinterpretationsof professionalstandardsandindividualassessmentsofwhetheratraineeisfitto practice recognitionthatthecurrentsystemisvulnerabletoexcludingsectorsofthe population theneedforamorerobustandappropriateframeworktosupportitsregulatory obligationstoattendtoethicalissuesofprofessionalpracticeby (i) addressingstandardstominimiserisktothepublic (ii) exploringandchallengingbarrierstowideningparticipation AttendingtotheseissuesanticipatestheintroductionoftheAlternativeBusiness Structures(ABS)in2011andcompliancetotheextensionofthescopeofdutiesonthe publicsectortotheEqualityAct2010withtheintroductionofaSingleEqualityDutyin 2011 Specifically,theSRAwantedtofindthemostappropriatewayto (i) addresstheabsenceof standardisedpracticesinassessingwhetheratraineeisfittopracticeasa solicitorattheendofthevocationalstageDay1Competences

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objectiveassessmentmeasuresofcompetences areviewofcompetencesandfocusinthevocationalstageinthecontextof shiftsintheglobalmarketplacewhichhaveimplicationsforthedeliveryand timescaleofacademicandprofessionaltraining (ii) challengebarrierstowideningparticipationthrough introducingstandardisedpracticesandobjectiveassessmentmeasures recognisingthatseveralindividualswhosuccessfullycompletethefirsttwo stagesoftenbecomeparalegalsafternotbeingabletosecureatraining contract includingparalegalsinthepilotwhohadcompletedtheLPCandwishedto qualifyassolicitors (iii) encouragetraineecentredproactivelearningandanincreaseinsupervisor awarenessoftrainingneedsthrough systematiclearningoutcomes activeengagementoforganisationsinprovidingtheopportunitiesforlearning outcomestobeachieved

1.

Consultation,design,implementation

Asearlyas2002theEducationandTrainingcommitteeoftheLawSocietyandthe SRAspolicyunitwentintoextensiveconsultationtoarriveat 1.1 themostappropriateframeworktointroducewhichwouldaddressitsaims 1.2 arecruitmentandselectionschemeforcandidates 1.3 recruitmentprocessesfortheactiveparticipationoflegalfirmsandlegal departmentsinotherorganisations(supportiveemployers) 1.4 arobust,ethicalandstandardisedassessmentsystemtobemetbyparticipant organisations 1.5 arecruitmentandselectionstrategyforexternalassessmentorganisations 1.6 arecruitmentstrategyforinternalassessmentorganisations 1.7 areliableandeffectivemonitoringofthepilotbytheSRAtoensurequality andconsistencyacrossallparticipantorganisations 1.8 theselectionofanappropriateorganisationtocarryoutanexternal evaluationofthepilot

2.

RationaleforaWorkBasedLearningApproach

TheSRAwassetupinJanuary2006toregulatesolicitors.Acentralpartofits strategyissettingstandardsofentrytotheprofession.Itsstrategyframeworkis containedinEducation,TrainingandDevelopmentforSolicitorsTheWayAhead. ResponsestothisdocumentwerereceivedfromLPCproviders,legalfirmsand representativeorganisations.DiscussionstookplacewithLPCproviders,SRAstaff andmembersoftheEducationandTrainingCommittee.Outofthesediscussions

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SRAFinalReport emergedanewframeworkdrawnfromworkbasedlearning(WBL)thatwould provideamoreobjectiveassessmentofanindividualsreadinessforadmissionasa solicitorandprovidearoutetoqualificationforLPCgraduateswhohavenot securedatrainingcontract.[FutureStructureofLegalPracticeCourseConsultation Annex1.BackgroundandContext]Althoughthegeneralconsensusofthe professionwasthattheexistingtrainingcontractsystemseemedtofunctionwell enoughtherewereconcernsabout standardisation:thatallqualifiedsolicitorsshouldbeexposedtothesame coreareasoflawandhavedevelopedasetofskillsthatarequalitatively comparablewhetherfromasmallfirmintheNorthoramagiccirclefirmin London.[Source:EvaluationstrategymeetingswithSRA] underrepresentationofdiversesocioeconomicandculturalgroupsandof thosewithdisabilities unfairnesstothoseinparalegalroleswhohadnotbeenabletogaintraining contractsevenalthoughtheyhadsuccessfullycompletedthefirsttwostages oftheroutetobecomingasolicitorandwhounderthecurrentsystemwere highlyunlikelytoeverqualify

3.

FindingasuccessfulWBLmodelandadaptingitforSRA purposes
ThemostcomprehensivesourceforthedesignoftheWBLstrategywastheProject tosupportimplementationofanewtrainingframeworkforsolicitorsqualifyingin EnglandandWales.Reviewofthetrainingcontractandworkbasedlearning. ReportbyWebb,MaughanandPurcell(2004).Theethicalconsiderationsbuiltinto thedesignweresupportedbyPreparatoryethicstrainingforfuturesolicitorsbyKim EconomidesandJustineRogers(March2009). Althoughthelatterwaspublishedaftertheschemehadbeenintroduced,theSRA didhaveaccesstothematerialbeforehand TheSRAfollowedmostoftherecommendationsmadeintheWebb,Maughanand Purcellreport.Thefewwhichwerenotfollowed,includingtimeto count/accreditationofpreviouslearning,wouldbegivenfullerconsiderationonce anevaluationofthepilotitselfwascompleted ThefourcasestudiescontainedinthereportprovidedtheSRAwithpractical examplesofhowaworkbasedlearningframeworkcouldbesuccessfully appliedinotherprofessionswithsimilarroutestoqualification Theyalsohighlightedtheroles,responsibilitiesandtraining/supportneedsof supervisors,assessors(internalandexternal)andoftrainees Centraltotheframeworkwerelearningoutcomesandaportfoliosystemto bestevidencelearning Thereportdidnotprescribethelearningoutcomesthemselvesbutrather, throughexamples,offeredtheadvantagesofaportfoliosystemforallthe stakeholders,itsclearlinkbetweenevidencebasedlearningandthe assessmentofcompetenceanditspotentialcontributiontotheaimsof raisingandmaintainingstandardsacrosstheprofessioninallsetups.A

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learningoutcomes/portfolio/assessment/appealsarchitecturewasalso provided TheSRA,inconsultationwiththeprofessionandinformedbybestpracticesin thedeliveryofatrainingcontractandbytheWebb,MaughanandPurcell report,drewupthelearningoutcomeswhichwouldberequiredtobemetby allcandidateparticipantsinthepilotscheme Onthesamebases,theSRAdevelopedtheremainderofitsstrategiesaslisted above(1.21.8) Thereportdidnotexplicitlyaddressissuesofdiscriminationandwhethera WBLframeworkwouldinanywayaddresstheseissues Itwashopedthatinopeningthepilottoparalegalsthiswouldprovide importantdatatoinformanyfuturepoliciesinrelationtodiscriminatory practicesinthelegalprofession

ThesecondpaperonlegalethicsPreparatoryethicstrainingforfuturesolicitorsby KimEconomidesandJustineRogers(March2009)drewattentiontotheneedfor standardsofpracticeandconductconsistentacrossallsetupsinprofessional practiceandinalltraininginprofessionalpractice.Allfirms/organisationsdealingin legalmattersneedtobenotonlysigneduptolegalethicsbutalsopractisingthem. Theyneedtobeabletoevidenceaninfrastructureofpracticeinwhichethicsarean integralandvitalpart.TheSRA,throughthepilot,wishedtoaddressarangeof ethicalissueswithinlegalfirmsandlegaldepartments.Initsselectionofandregular liaisingwithIAOsandEAOstheSRAhasbeenparticularlyvigilantonthematterof ethics [Source:SRAdocumentsandreports]

3.1 SRApilotlearningoutcomes(LO)
EightsuperordinateLearningOutcomesweredrawnupbasedontheSRAs extensiveconsultationswiththeprofession,itscommissionedreportsandon existingbesttrainingpracticesinthelegalprofession EachLOhadsubcategoriesresultingin34learningoutcomestobeevidenced Theeightwere ApplicationofLegalExpertise Communication Clientrelations BusinessAwareness WorkloadManagement WorkingwithOthers SelfAwarenessandDevelopment Professionalconduct TheLearningOutcomesandwhattheywouldachievewerecontainedinthe handbook(see2.1.3)buthowtheyweretobedemonstratedwaslefttothe IAOsandtheEAOswhochoseaportfoliosystemasthemostappropriate vehiclefordemonstratinglearning,incrementalachievementofoutcomes

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SRAFinalReport andavehicleofassessment.TheSRAagreedandoptionswereavailablefor hardcopyorelectronicportfolios.

3.2 Portfoliosystemoflearningandassessment
Thecandidatesportfolioswouldneedtocontain alearningdevelopmentplandrawnupbythecandidate evidencedlearning/skillsapplicationforassessingincremental developmentandtheachievingofoutcomes reflectionsheets recordsofmeetingswithreviewers/nominatedsolicitors ongoingrecordoffeedbackandlearningtargetsfrom reviewers/nominatedsolicitors recordoftrainingworkshops/CPD supervisorappraisals selfappraisals

3.3 Areasoflaw

Eachcandidatewasrequiredtogainexperienceinthreeareasoflawwhich wouldincludeexperienceofcontentiousandnoncontentiouswork.Theareas oflawwerenotprescribedneitherwastheamountoftimeworkingineach area.TheSRAanticipatedthatthetimeineachseatwouldbeaboutthree months

3.4 Assessment

AssessmentstrategiesweretobedecidedbytheIAOsandEAOswith summativeassessmentcarriedoutbyassessorswhowereneitherthe reviewernorthenominatedsolicitoroftheindividualcandidate

3.5 Supportingthenewframework:CommunicationManagement 3.5.1 Developingahandbook


TheHandbookwasformulatedasaproceduresandentryintothe schemeguideratherthanaresourcehandbook itoutlinedtheaimsandpurposesoftheWBLPilotScheme presentedtheparticipativerequirementsforcandidates, employersandassessmentorganisations listedtheproceduresoflearningandassessments listedthelearningoutcomes providedinformationonmonitoringofthescheme outlinedtheresponsibilitiesofeachofthestakeholders

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ItsfirstversionwasonlymoderatelymodifiedinFebruary2009in responsetothefeedbackfromtheparticipants,fromtheinternaland externalassessmentorganisationsandfromexchangeswith supportiveemployers.

3.5.2 SRAwebsite
TheHandbookappearedontheSRAwebsiteinthesummerof2008 followingapprovalbytheEducationandTrainingCommitteeintime forthestartofthepilotinSeptember2008.Althoughtherewere somelatecomers,themajorityofpotentialcandidateshadalready beenbriefedabouttherequirementsandparticipatingorganisations selectedandvettedearlyin2008. newsthatthepilothadstartedwasannouncedonthewebsite amailboxwasalsoaddedin2009usedalmostexclusivelyby pilotparticipantsbutitwasnotsetupasachannelfor disseminatinginformationbetweenparticipants duetoseveralenquiriesfrombothparticipantsandemployers whowishedtoknowmoreaboutthepilotintheschemeor havesomeclarificationaboutaspectsoftheschemeFAQs wereaddedinJuly2010

3.5.3 Workshopsmeetings

BeforetheschemestartedinductionworkshopswereheldinLeeds andLondon Thepurposeoftheseworkshopswastoexplainthepurposeofthe pilot,thedifferentstrands(i.e.externalandinternal),thedistinction inassessmentbetweenthecurrentTCandWBL,howthescheme wouldbemonitoredandevaluatedandtimescales Thedelegatesweredividedintogroupstodiscussandraiseissues regardingthedevelopmentplan,portfolioandassessmentwitha samplehandbookprovidedtosupplementthesampledocuments alreadyissued(trainingrecord,traininganddevelopmentplan, performancereview). AworkshopwasheldinDecember2009specificallyonassessment

3.5.4 SRAmonitoringofpilotscheme
TheSRAbuiltasystemintoitsdesignofqualityassurancethrough monitoring.Thiswouldinvolveregularvisitstoparticipating employersandengagingwithIAOandEAOmembersabouttheir regularcontactwithcandidatestoensurecandidateswerereceiving adequatesupportandguidanceandthatstandardswerebeing monitoredandmetaccordingtoSRArequirementsforthescheme.

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SRAFinalReport TheSRAwoulddirectlyengagewithcandidatesonlyifasituation aroseinwhichtheemployerwasnotsupportiveoriftheSRApolicy unitfeltitwasappropriateinconsultationwiththeemployer.The monitoringwouldofferconsistencybykeepingtothesame monitor/swhowouldthenreportbacktotheSRApolicyteamfor discussion

4. Recruitment

4.1. Recruitingcandidates

Participationintheschemewaslimitedtocandidatesatsupportive organisationsinEnglandandWaleswhohadorwouldhavecompletedthe academicrequirements(alawdegreeorGDL)andtheLPCbeforethestartof thescheme.Thedeadlinewas3April2008 Thereweretwosourcesofcandidates: 1. Candidatesnominatedbyparticipatinglegalfirmswhohadalready agreedtotakethemonfortrainingassolicitors 2. Candidatesvolunteeringfortheschemewhowereinemploymentin legalrolesinlegalfirmsorlegaldepartmentsofotherorganisations. ThesecandidateswererequiredtoreadtheHandbookandsubmitaself selectionformandanemployerstatementofsupport.Thecandidate couldnotvolunteeriftheemployerwasnotsupportiveorcouldnot meettheSRAcriteriaforbeingsupportive. Thefollowingisabreakdownofapplicantsselfdefinedethnicity.Information onallcandidatesethnicitywasincompletebutthefollowingprovidesan overallpicture Ethnicity WhiteBritish Irish Scottish American Caribbean AsianE. African Bangladesh Pakistan Indian Noof Applicants 30 3 1 1 8 1 1 7 6 Provisionally Conditionally Recommended Selected(P) 14* 0 3 4 accepted(C) latercohort 8* 2 1 2 4* 3 0 0

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African Russian Mixed Sikh Notdisclosed Other

4 2 1 1 1 2

1 2

1 0

2 0

*FiguresrelatetoWhiteBritishandOtherWhite Thefinalnumberofcandidateswhoparticipatedinthescheme Externally Assessed by Nottingham Law School No. Candidates 35 CandidateProfiles Over85%ofthis groupwere paralegals/inlegal employmentin organisationswhich werenotlegalfirms 10.13% Overall % of the total 44.3%

ExternallyAssessedby 8 OxfordInstituteof LegalPractice InternallyAssessedby 36 Legalfirms TOTAL 79

45.57%

4.2 Recruitingsupportiveemployers

SeveralorganisationsexpressedaninterestintakingpartintheWBLpilot scheme,anumberthroughtheiremployees/traineeswhohadvolunteeredfor thepilotscheme.Thepilotschemerequiredsupportiveemployersbothinlaw firmsandinlaw/paralegaldepartmentsinorganisations.TheSRAdrewup criteriatobemetforparticipationinthescheme.Asupportiveemployer wouldbeonewhowould haveinplaceappropriateethicalproceduresrelatingtotraining includingexplicitandtransparentappealsandcomplaintssystems havetheresourcestofulfilthecriteriaofsupportforthecandidates ensuretheyhad,couldmakeavailableorcontracttheappropriate nominatedsolicitors/reviewers/supervisorstosupportthecandidatesin

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SRAFinalReport thepreparationofthelearningportfolio,theachievingoflevelsand meetingthestandardsoffinalinternal/externalassessment ensurethatthecandidatewouldhaveaccess/exposuretothethree areasoflaw,contentiousandnoncontentious,sotheywouldhavethe opportunitytosuccessfullyachievethelearningoutcomes providetheircandidates(theiremployees)whohadvolunteeredforthe schemewithasignedemployersupportundertaking.Howeverbefore thecandidatescouldbeselectedfortheWBLpilot,theSRAenteredinto extensivecorrespondencerequestingthoseemployerstosubmittheir existingpracticesandcodesofconduct(includingdiscriminationcodes). ThesewerereviewedbytheSRAandinanumberofcasesrequests weremadeformoreinformationormoreverifiablesupportbeforethe employercouldbeconsideredsupportivetotheextenttheSRAwould requirethemtobetobestassistthecandidatestoachievetheir learningoutcomes.[Source:Detailedcorrespondencesuppliedbythe SRA]

4.3 Assessmentprovision

AllcandidatesontheWBLschemewouldbeformativelyassessedthroughout theschemeonevidencebasedoutcomesandsummativelyassessedatthe endofit.Employershadthechoiceto internallyassessiftheycoulddemonstratethattheycouldmeetallthe criteriaofassessmentandprovidetheappropriateindividualstocarry outthetasksor optforanexternalassessmentorganisationwhichwouldeffectively managetheschemeandprovidereviewersandassessors,materialsand support. Thechoicesmadewere EAOs employersofcandidatesinparalegalemployment anumberoflegalfirmsincludingLawNetfirms IAOs theremaininglegalfirms

4.4 Recruitingexternalassessmentorganisations
ResponsestotenderasanexternalassessmentorganisationfortheWBLpilot schemewereexaminedandevaluatedbytheSRAforshortlistingattheendof May2008.TheSRAevaluatorsusedanagreedchecklistsothattheevaluation couldbestandardised.Thetenderaskedorganisationstosubmitaproposalof assessment.ThesubmissionbyNottinghamLawSchool,whichusedcase studies,revealstheextenttowhichtherichinteractionoverthetenderled theSRAtomakeseveralclarificationsrelatingtotheschemeandsome

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modificationstothehandbookwhichtheSRAacknowledgedasbeingan importantpartoftheprocess.Itwasusefultohavethehandwrittennoteson thedocumentsmadebytheSRAevaluatorsfortheshortlistingaswellasthe severalquestionsraisedbytheproposers.Itisrecommendedthatwhat emergedfromthisengagementcontinuestoinformfutureEAOrecruitment, bestpracticeinassessmentandcontributionstotheHandbookif/whenthe schemeisfullyimplemented.[Source:SRAdocumentsincludingthe submissionsandpresentationsofNottinghamLawSchoolandOxfordInstitute ofLegalPractice(OxfordBrookesUniversity]

4.5 Recruitinginternalassessmentorganisations
InSRAcorrespondencewiththeseorganisations,whichwouldbeinternally assessingcandidates,issuesaroseoverthedifferencesbetweenpractices relatingtotheexistingtrainingcontractssystemandthepilot.Themain concernsfortheSRAwerearoundtrainingoftheassessors,reviewers, supervisorsandsupportforthetraineeseghowtodealwithpoor performanceandthosewhofailtomeetcompetences;mechanismsfor dealingwithproblems;internalappealprocessesandwhowouldassist traineesindevelopingtheirtrainingplans.Fromthecorrespondence,allthe firmsrespondedbutsomeconcernsseemedtolinger.Howevertwo workshopsweregiveninSeptemberfortheIAOsandthefeedbackfromthese wasextensiveandhelpfulfortheIAOsandalearningprocessfortheSRA. [Source:SRAdocumentationandcorrespondencebetweenIAOsandSRA]

5. MonitoringandEvaluationoftheScheme
5.1 SRAmonitoringduringthepilot
TheAssessmentOrganisationmustallowtheSRAoritsrepresentativeto observe,attendormonitoranyaspect,anddocumentationof,theWork BasedLearningprogramme,andinvestigatecomplaintsagainstthe AssessmentOrganisation.[SourceTheHandbook]

5.2 Havingthepilotschemeexternallyevaluated

TheSRAissuedaninvitationtoquoteforanexternalevaluationofthepilot schemeby19December2008andarrangedpresentationsofthoseshortlisted inFebruary2009.TheScopeofWorkdocumentpreparedbytheSRAwas extensiveanddetailedandhaditselfbeeninformedbytheopenandengaged processtheSRAencouragedduringitssettingupofthepilotandits recruitmentprocedures. TheIWBLatMiddlesexUniversitywasselectedonthebasisoftheir experienceinworkbasedlearningandresearch.

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SRAFinalReport Theywoulduseinterviews,surveys,deskresearch,learningmaterialsand policydocumentstocollectdatatoevaluate howthisparticularWBLpilotwasselected,implementedandmonitored bytheSRAandtheimpactofthoseelementsonitssuccessorfailureto meettheaimsandobjectivesoftheSRAsscopingdocument thelearningprogrammesandmaterials,thereviewsystem,thesupport, theassessmentmechanisms,employerengagementandquality assuranceandenhancementproceduresoftheexternalassessment organisations,howthesemightdifferbetweenthem(1.2SD) howthesecomparewiththoseofinternalassessmentpractices(1.4SD) aportfolioasbestpracticeforevidencingandassessingcompetences (1.2SD) howtheWBLhasbeenappliedinthevarioussetupsandcontextsand anychallengestotheraisingofstandardsandachievingcommon learningoutcomesacrossallsetupsandforallcandidates(1.6) whetherthecurrentadaptationandapplicationofWBLlearning outcomesandassessmentprotocolsensuresthatallcompetenceshave beenmetinthisphaseofthetrainingofanindividualtobefitfor practiceasasolicitor(1.5SD) whetherthispilotgivesanyindicationofremovingbarrierstoaccess (1.5SD) anyotherunanticipatedbenefitsordisadvantagestotheprofessionof theintroductionofthepilot theimpactofthispilotonlegalfirms,organisationsandprofessionalsin termsoftrainingpractices,costs,learninganddevelopment approaches,recruitmentandstrategicplanning(1.13)

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Appendix2 Evaluationandscopeofactivities
1. 1.1 TheevaluationexercisewilllookatthefollowingaspectsoftheWBL pilot: theInternalAssessmentOrganisationsandtheirapproachesto training,includingtheirlearningprogrammes,review,supportand assessmentmechanisms,supportingdocumentationandpolicies, qualityassuranceprocesses,staffingrequirementsandeffectsonthe workofthefirm theExternalAssessmentOrganisations,theirlearningprogrammes, review,supportandassessmentmechanisms,supporting documentationandpolicies,qualityassuranceprocesses,and relationshipswithcandidatesemployers thedocumentationandrecordkeepingsystemsofinternaland externalassessmentorganisations thestrengthsandweaknessesofthedifferentapproachestoWBL operatedacrosstheorganisationstakingpartinthepilot,aswellas anysignificantdifferencesbetweenassessmentbyanInternaland ExternalAssessmentOrganisation whethertheWorkBasedLearningpilothasmetitsstatedobjectives, intermsofdemonstrationofcompetenceandremovingbarriersto access whetherparticipantshaveachievedtherequiredcompetencesofthe trainingperiodandifthereareanyfactorswhichaffectormight affectachievementoftheOutcomes thestructure,effectivenessandappropriatenessoftheWBL OutcomesandSRAsupportinginformation(e.g.wouldtheOutcomes benefitfromatwopartapproach,withLegalSkillsbeingdistinctfrom generalbusinessskills?IstheHandbookanadequatesetof requirementsandguidance?) theassessmentsystemsoperatedbyinternalandexternalassessment Organisations,inparticulartheirappropriateness,reliabilityand validity thequalityassuranceprocessesassociatedwithallaspectsofthe trainingandassessmentprovision thefeedback,opinionsandexperienceofallparticipantsinthepilots. comparisonofthesefactorsacrossWBLsitesandcohorts risksandissuesarisingfromWBLprovision,includinganydisputesor problemsbetweencandidatesandtheiremployers. thepotentialcoststofirmsandindividualsifWBLisrolledoutas plannedin2011 informtheSRAofanyimprovementstothesystem,potentialrisks, andpolicy/operationalissuesarisingfromthepilot

1.2

x x x x x x

1.3 1.4

1.5

1.6

1.7

1.8

x x x
Cohort 1

1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14

x x

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SRAFinalReport 1.15 evaluateanygapsbetweentheWBLOutcomesandthecurrent practiceskillsstandardsasdetailedinTrainingTraineeSolicitors,and thescaleofanyrisksandproblemssuchgapsmightcause comparetheoutcomeofaworkbasedlearningperiodandthe outcomeofatrainingcontract providequalitativeandquantitativedatatofeedintoanSRA assessmentofimpactofaWBLrollout providediscreteanalysisofthe2008cohort provideanopiniononthelongtermviabilityofWBL

x x x x x

1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 2.

2.1

2.2

2.3 2.4 3.

TheimpactassessmentwillbecarriedoutbySRAstaffitisoutside thescopeoftheroleoftheevaluationconsultant.However,the consultantwillhavetopayparticularattentiontotheareaslisted belowwhendesigningandoperatinganevaluationmethodology. Theimpactassessmentwilladdressissuesrelatingtoaccesstothe profession,including theextenttowhichthepilotaddressesequalityanddiversityissues identifiedinsupportingresearch(e.g.wheresomeethnicgroups appearedlesslikelytobeabletogainatrainingcontract) thepossibleimpactoffullimplementationofworkbasedlearningon newentrants,focussingonethnicity,gender,disability,andage(social classmayalsobecoveredifdatacanbecaptured) theimpactoncurrentperceivedoractualbarrierstoqualification

x x x x

3.1

3.2

3.3 3.4

3.5

anevaluationofpracticaldifficultiesandcostsforpotentialfuture candidates. Bothquantitativeandqualitativeinformationwillbegathered.The x precisemethodologyisuptotheevaluationconsultanttodesignand operate.However,weanticipateitislikelytoinclude: analysisofcandidateinformationincludingtrackingofcandidates progressthroughrecordsofpreviousattainments,diagnostic,formative andsummativeassessmentinformation,personalreflectiondiaries, progresstowardsandattainmentoftheworkbasedlearningoutcomes analysisofexternalandinternalassessmentorganisations x developmentandqualityassuranceofassessments,theirrecordsof assessmentandrecordkeepingbycandidatesworkbasedlearning reviewersandassessors analysisofequalityanddiversityinformationaboutthecandidates x comparisonsbetweenanalysisinalltheareaslistedaboveandany x existingequivalentinformationabouttraineesontraditionaltraining contracts,and,inrespectofequalityanddiversity,furthercomparisons withthesolicitorsprofessionandthegeneralpopulationofEngland andWales. comparisonsbetweeninternalandexternalcandidates,andbetween x candidatesworkingindifferentsizesoffirms.

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Appendix3 SRAScopingDocument2008

ITQ Ref: P184

15 December 2008

Dear Sir / Madam, Invitation to Quote Work Based Learning Consultancy The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has a requirement to tender for the provision of consultancy in relation to its Work Based Learning pilot scheme and I am pleased to invite your organisation to submit a proposal. The SRA is the independent regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales. We set and monitor entry standards for those seeking qualification as a solicitor. Work Based Learning is a new framework for assessing the final stage of solicitors training. We are piloting the new system on a small scale and need external consultants to help us evaluate it. The scheme and our requirements for evaluation consultants, is described more fully in the Scope of Work section. We are issuing a tender document directly, rather than approaching you initially to alert you to the work and gauge your interest, as the pilot is already underway and we would like a swift appointment. Please find attached: Appendix 1 - Scope of Work. Appendix 2 - Acknowledgement of Receipt of ITQ. Appendix 3 - Information Requested.

Proposed Time Scales Action Issue Invitation to Quote Acknowledgement of Receipt Return of quote Date By 19 December 2008 16 January 2009 30 January 2009

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SRAFinalReport Presenta ations Appoint supplier (s t subject to co ontract) Februar 2009 ry March 2009

The sup pplier will be selected o the basis of the resp e on s ponse that i considere to provid the is ed de most ad dvantageous solution to the Solicit o tors Regula ation Author (SRA). The SRA does rity not bind itself to ac d ccept the low west bid. The SR will not be liable for any costs in RA ncurred by suppliers re s esponding to this ITQ. The pre eparation of the Quotat f tion will be m made without obligation by the SR to acquir RA re any of the items or services in r ncluded in th Quotatio or to sele any sup he on, ect ppliers respons or to discuss the reasons why a Quotation is accepte or rejecte se, n ed ed. It should be unders d stood that if the supplie respons is accept it may fo part of the f ers se ted orm Contrac which will be comple ct l eted subseq quently. You are requested to answer all question This will assist the S e ns. SRA in a co ontrolled and fair review o all replies of s. here approp priate, any s supporting documents m d marking cle early on all Please include, wh enclosu ures the num mber of the question to which they refer. o y

Please email your response to wbl-pilot@ o @sra.org.uk by 2.00pm on Friday 3 January 30 2009. All enqu uiries should be directe to: d ed Name: Job Title e: Tel: Email: Simon Bullock Policy Executiv ve 0870 606 2555 extension 3464 5 simo on.bullock@ @sra.org.uk k

Allpaym mentswillb bemadewi ithin30day ysofthereceiptofthe einvoice.


Yours fa aithfully,

Ridley David R Procure ement Man nager Tel : 020 7316 5714

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Appendix 1 - Scope of Work

Work Based Learning Specification for the evaluation consultant First schedule The services

Terms: Assessment assessment Organisation and evaluation methodology Candidate Consultant the EAO the document used by the SRA to evaluate prospective organisations WBL programmes. Also used by EAOs to design deliver programmes

individuals attempting to qualify through a WBL programme the consultant or consultants appointed by the SRA to evaluate progress and final results of the pilot External Assessment Organisation the third party organisation that runs the WBL planning, support, review and assessment functions on paralegal participants the WBL Handbook, the core supporting document for all

Handbook participants IAO

Internal Assessment Organisation the organisations who train, review and assess their own internal trainees the solicitor in the supportive employer who has responsibility for supervision the WBL Outcomes; what the candidate must demonstrate at the end of the WBL programme the organisation where the candidate works. The supportive employer is committed to fulfilling the role as described in the Handbook through signing a solicitors undertaking the Work Based Learning project as a whole - the framework for the final stage of solicitor training. May also refer to the learning experience period the overall system of learning, support, review, and summative assessment

nominated solicitor Outcomes

supportive employer

WBL

WBL Programme

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Background The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is developing a new framework for the assessment of the final stage of solicitors training a project called Work Based Learning (WBL). The current training framework for domestic students seeking to become a solicitor in England and Wales has a number of key stages. Core legal knowledge is gained at the undergraduate level, usually by a qualifying law degree. Students can also have a degree in another subject and convert it through a one-year course teaching the foundations of legal knowledge (the Common Professional Examination). Following this academic stage, practical solicitor skills are taught during a one-year Legal Practice Course (LPC). The knowledge and skills are then practised in a real world context during the two-year Training Contract. This system is centred around a timeserved approach, with a set of prescribed requirements inputs from the SRA instructing the 2,500-plus training providers on what experience their trainees must be given. Crucially, there is no objective, summative assessment of competence before the trainee proceeds to admission. No evidence suggesting that the current system is failing exists, or that standards of newly qualified solicitors are dropping. However, we do not have sufficient assurance that trainees are meeting the required standard. We also have research which suggests that people from some ethnic groups have more difficulty in finding training contracts. As a risk-based regulator we need to address these issues. The lack of objective assessment, together with the fact that a significant proportion of LPC graduates cannot find Training Contracts, led the SRA to develop the Work Based Learning (WBL) project. If successful, WBL will replace the current Training Contract arrangements in 2011. Work Based Learning project The SRAs education and training strategy puts the emphasis of solicitor qualification on competence rather than process, and flexibility over routes of entry into the profession. To achieve this, the SRA will require that candidates complete a period of assessed, practical, legal experience prior to qualification, ensuring that they will: have demonstrated the required standard of competence (called the Work Based Learning Outcomes) in supportive legal environments come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience.

The basic nature of the current training system will remain; that training is designed and provided by autonomous organisations under the central regulations and guidance of the SRA. However, in WBL the SRA has taken a non-prescriptive approach to how organisations are to carry out training functions it is for an Assessment Organisation to develop programmes under a new framework, which the SRA will then validate. Another important difference between the existing system and the pilot is that candidates will be able to gain experience outside a Training Contract. Candidates in paralegal-type roles will, with the support of their employer, be able to agree a learning and development plan with an external organisation. This organisation will also perform the final assessment of competence.

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We explain the scope of the project in full in the Work Based Learning Handbook (available at www.sra.org.uk/wbl). We launched a small-scale pilot of the new system in September 2008, which will run for two years. During this time we need rigorous evaluation of the operation of the new framework in order to decide whether or not to implement this system (the evaluation exercise). Implementation will only happen if it can be proved that WBL is reliable and viable. We are aiming for implementation at some point after September 2011. The services to be provided by the evaluation consultant (the consultant) are described in detail below.

The requirements The consultant will be required to: develop a methodology for evaluating the pilot within the parameters described in the Scope and the Detail of the evaluation exercise, below operate this methodology and report back to the SRA within the timescales detailed on page 6.

The consultant will be free to use existing, or develop discrete, methodologies for the evaluation exercise. However, the SRA sets out what it needs to find out from the exercise in this document. This will form the basis of the agreement for services.

Scope
The scope of the evaluation exercise will include: Internal Assessment Organisations, their learning programmes, review, support and assessment mechanisms, supporting documentation and policies, and quality assurance processes External Assessment Organisations, their learning programmes, review, support and assessment mechanisms, supporting documentation and policies, quality assurance processes, and relationships with candidates employers Internal candidates External candidates Employers of External candidates Quality of SRA supporting information WBL Outcomes Qualitative analysis of feedback from all participants Potential costs to participants post roll-out Long-term viability of WBL

These areas are stated in more detail covered in the Detail of the evaluation exercise section on page 4.

Exclusions
The evaluation exercise does not extend to:

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analysis of the regulatory framework within which WBL will operate changes to this framework longitudinal research into ongoing performance/competence of candidates postqualification monitoring visits on IAOs and EAOs the overall SRA impact assessment(s) that the evaluation exercise findings will feed into anything else not listed in the Scope or Detail of the evaluation exercise sections.

Detailoftheevaluationexercise
1. The evaluation exercise will look at the following aspects of the WBL pilot: 1.1 the Internal Assessment Organisations and their approaches to training, including their learning programmes, review, support and assessment mechanisms, supporting documentation and policies, quality assurance processes, staffing requirements and effects on the work of the firm the External Assessment Organisations, their learning programmes, review, support and assessment mechanisms, supporting documentation and policies, quality assurance processes, and relationships with candidates employers the documentation and record keeping systems of internal and external assessment organisations the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to WBL operated across the organisations taking part in the pilot, as well as any significant differences between assessment by an Internal and External Assessment Organisation whether the Work Based Learning pilot has met its stated objectives, in terms of demonstration of competence and removing barriers to access whether participants have achieved the required competences of the training period and if there are any factors which affect or might affect achievement of the Outcomes the structure, effectiveness and appropriateness of the WBL Outcomes and SRA supporting information (e.g. would the Outcomes benefit from a twopart approach, with Legal Skills being distinct from general business skills? Is the Handbook an adequate set of requirements and guidance?) the assessment systems operated by internal and external assessment Organisations, in particular their appropriateness, reliability and validity the quality assurance processes associated with all aspects of the training and assessment provision the feedback, opinions and experience of all participants in the pilots. comparison of these factors across WBL sites and cohorts

1.2

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.7

1.8

1.9

1.10 1.11

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1.12

risks and issues arising from WBL provision, including any disputes or problems between candidates and their employers. the potential costs to firms and individuals if WBL is rolled-out as planned in 2011 inform the SRA of any improvements to the system, potential risks, and policy/operational issues arising from the pilot evaluate any gaps between the WBL Outcomes and the current practice skills standards as detailed in Training Trainee Solicitors, and the scale of any risks and problems such gaps might cause compare the outcome of a work-based learning period and the outcome of a training contract provide qualitative and quantitative data to feed into an SRA assessment of impact of a WBL roll-out provide discrete analysis of the 2008 cohort provide an opinion on the long-term viability of WBL

1.13

1.14

1.15

1.16

1.17

1.18 1.19

2.

The outcomes of the evaluation exercise will feed into an assessment of the probable impact of work based learning, if rolled out as the new model for solicitors pre-qualification period. The impact assessment will be carried out by SRA staff it is outside the scope of the role of the evaluation consultant. However, the consultant will have to pay particular attention to the areas listed below when designing and operating an evaluation methodology. The impact assessment will address issues relating to access to the profession, including: 2.1 the extent to which the pilot addresses equality and diversity issues identified in supporting research (e.g. where some ethnic groups appeared less likely to be able to gain a training contract) the possible impact of full implementation of work based learning on new entrants, focussing on ethnicity, gender, disability, and age (social class may also be covered if data can be captured) the impact on current perceived or actual barriers to qualification an evaluation of practical difficulties and costs for potential future candidates.

2.2

2.3 2.4

3.

Both quantitative and qualitative information will be gathered. The precise methodology is up to the evaluation consultant to design and operate. However, we anticipate it is likely to include: 3.1 analysis of candidate information including tracking of candidates progress through records of previous attainments, diagnostic, formative and

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summative assessment information, personal reflection diaries, progress towards and attainment of the work based learning outcomes 3.2 analysis of external and internal assessment organisations development and quality assurance of assessments, their records of assessment and record-keeping by candidates work-based learning reviewers and assessors analysis of equality and diversity information about the candidates comparisons between analysis in all the areas listed above and any existing equivalent information about trainees on traditional training contracts, and, in respect of equality and diversity, further comparisons with the solicitors profession and the general population of England and Wales. comparisons between internal and external candidates, and between candidates working in different sizes of firms.

3.3 3.4

3.5

Information will be gathered directly either by the consultant or the SRA, and may also include information gathered during any training contract monitoring visits.

Reporting The consultant is required to produce a total of four reports over a period of just less than two years: an early report in 2009, one interim in Autumn 09, another in early 2010 and a final report in October/November 2010. The reports will be structured as follows: early 2009 the report will look back at the selection processes used, the initial functions of the Assessment Organisations, and experiences of the candidates (covering, but not limited to, items 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.12 of the Detail section above) Autumn 2009 an analysis of the first year of the pilots operation, with some analysis of participants experiences at the half way point (items 1.1 to 1.4, 1.10 and 1.11). early 2010 an analysis of the pilot at its -completed stage (items 1.1 to 1.4, 1.10 and 1.11) Autumn 2010 a full report, addressing all areas of detail listed in 1.1 to 1.18 above, following closure of the first cohort of the pilot. (all of the stated aspects, but in particular 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.13 to 1.19).

The reports will be submitted to the SRA for consideration by staff, the Education and Training Committee and SRA Board, as appropriate. It may be necessary for the consultant to present one or more of their reports to the Committee and/or Board.

Timescales The consultant will be required to meet the following initial deadlines:

Submission of evaluation exercise proposals

end of January 2009

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First interim report submitted Second interim report submitted Third interim report submitted Final evaluation of the pilot submitted

end of May 2009 September/October 2009 April/May 2010 October/November 2010

The consultant will be required to provide regular updates on progress to the SRA, and also to report on any serious issues with the pilot as they are identified. The precise deadlines for interim and final reports will be discussed and agreed at the start of the project and the scope of work amended accordingly.

General Any ongoing quality or performance issues during the project will be discussed with the consultant by the project manager in the first instance and referred to the Head of Education and Training Policy if unresolved. In terms of candidate and partner organisation numbers, there are 41 external candidates across 32 employers; they are being assessed by one External Assessment Organisation. There are around 60 trainee candidates across 9 Internal Assessment Organisations. There are a further 9 trainees across five organisations being assessed by another External Assessment Organisation. The following table

Candidates Internal cohort External cohort 3rd way cohort 60 (approx.) 41 9

Employers 32* 5

IAOs 9* -

EAOs 1 1

* two Internal Assessment Organisations are also supporting external candidates.

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Appendix4 MUScopingDocument2009


Institute for Work Based Learning College House The Burroughs London NW4 4BT

Initial ScopingReport forthe

EvaluationofSRA PilotWBLProgramme20082010

May29th2009

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InitialScopingReportforthe EvaluationofSRAWBLPilotProgramme20082010
1. Context 1.1 OverallaimoftheSRA: Toregulatetrainingforthepublicinterestandtomaketrainingand assessmentfitforpurposethroughtheintroductionofanassessedperiod ofworkbasedlearningthatmeetsstandardisedbasiccriteriaacrossthe board 1.2 Overallpurposeoftheevaluationexercise: To assess the extent to which the Pilot addresses the following SRA concernsaboutthepresentsystem: thereisnoobjective,summative,appropriatelyuniform/consistent assessmentofcompetenceandnoexplicitoutcomesorlevelsof competencybeforetraineesproceedtoadmission peoplefromsomeethnicgroupshavemoredifficultyinfindingtraining contractsthanothers asignificantproportionofLPCgraduatescannotfindTrainingContracts 1.2 Inparticular: toprovidesubstantiatedevidencebasedontheexperienceofall participants,includingtheSRA,ontheextenttowhichthePilotWBL approachaddressestheaboveSRAconcerns toexplorestandardisationofdeliveryacrossarangeofproviders tosuggestchangesbasedontheevaluationofthePilotandexperience elsewherethatmightmaketheWBLaviablerouteforSRAentrants. 2. PreparationforScopingDocument,March09toMay31st09(Phase1) 2.1 FamiliarisationwithrelevantSRAdocumentsanddata CoveringLetterstoinformparticipantsofthesurvey(Appendix2,8,9 April09) Listsofcontactdetailsforallparticipants,15April09 MeetingbetweenSimonBullockandMaxineWarr(SRA)andProfessor JohnStephensonandDrKateMaguire(MU),29April09 ReceiptofSRAdocumentlistrelatingtothescheme,30April09 Receiptofelectronicallyhelddata,20May09 Receiptofhardcopydata,21May09 2.2 Clarifyingtermsandroles TheSRAhasprovidedclarificationontermsandrolesasthereareoverlaps duetotherunningofapilotschemealongsidethetraditionalscheme,with WBLterms/rolesalongsideexistingSRAtrainingcontractterms/roles(e.g. traineesisthetraditionalterm,candidatesistheWBLterm).

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SRAFinalReport Asaresult,toavoidconfusion,theInitialBenchmarkingReview(seein4.2 below)ofnominatedsolicitors,reviewersetcwillbereferredtoasthe Professionalssurvey. 2.3 Documentationnowincludes: NewFrameworkforWBLConsultationFeb07 AssessmentorganisationevaluationmethodologyAug08 WorkBasedLearningHandbookforallparticipantsSep08 1 Invitationtoquote12/12/08 AnupdatedWorkBasedLearningHandbookforallparticipants May09 SRAdocumentationon - thesettingupofthePilot - itscontractswiththeInternalandExternalassessment organizations - itsexistingQAproceduresformonitoringthePilotMay09 ResearchreportsfromwhichtheSRAhasdrawnguidance andprinciples,May09 3. StatementofMethodology ThegeneralstrategyoftheevaluationwassetoutinthebidsubmittedtoSRAon February17th2009,discussedwiththeSRAon29thAprilandmodifiedon6th MayaftertheMUresearchteammeeting.SeeAppendix6. InthisInitialScopingDocumentwesetoutouroverallBluePrintscheduleforthe evaluationasawhole,withdetailedplansforthefirststagesconsistentwiththe relevantsectionofouroriginalbid,andapathwayfortheremainingstages. 4.

AnInitialBenchmarkingReview(IBR)March2009June2009(Phase2) a) (i) AimsoftheIBR tocompileapictureofwhatishappeningformallywithintheSRAWBL Pilotatthisrelativelyearlystagesothatwecanscopethenatureand levelsofengagementofeachparticipantgroupandinformthefocusof moredetailedinvestigationsinlaterphases. toexplorethestateofplayandlevelofawarenessofthenatureofthe WBLprogramme(e.g.relevantactivities,contactswithotherparticipants, awarenessofandclarityofdocumentsandprocedures),andanyconcerns participantsmayhaveabouttheschemeindetailorasawhole.

(ii)

(Note: Clarification on paras 1.13 and 2.4 relating to costs of the scheme for participants (Invitation to Quote Appendix1). At the SRA meeting 29 April 2009 it was clarified that the evaluation exercise will evidence existing costs for the employers and the candidates and through interviews explore the role of costs for future participation in the scheme)
1

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b) Participants:QuestionnairesforCandidatesandProfessionals QuestionnairesfortheInitialBenchmarkingReview(IBR)willbedistributed electronicallybetweenJune1standJune3rd2009andreturnedbymidJune2009. WeareusingawellestablishedinternetbasedsurveyfacilityadvisedbyourIT& researchdepartmentensuringminimumeffortforrespondents,quickturnaround timesand,wheremultiplechoiceformatsareappropriate,automatednumerical analyses.Textbasedresponseswillbeanalysedindividuallyandtakemoretime. ThepenultimatedraftsofeachquestionnaireareintheAppendices.See CandidatesSurveyAppendix3andProfessionalsSurveyAppendix4. Atallstages,ourreviewwillencouragerespondentstobeopenabouttheir concernsorenthusiasms.Confidentialitywillbeemphasisedatalltimes,withall responsesseenonlybytheevaluationteamandreportedanonymously.Each groupsquestionnairewillhaveauniqueURL,therebyensuringonlycandidates receivethecandidatesversionandprofessionalsreceivetheprofessionalversion.

Therespondentswillbeaskedtoindicateperiodswhentheywillnotbeavailable foranyfollowup1to1interviewsduringtheperiodJulySeptember(e.g.for annualholidays). (c) Participants:InternalandExternalAssessmentOrganisations


Areviewofthedocumentationdemonstratedthatexistingmaterialcontainedallthe benchmarkinginformationneededforthisgroupofparticipantsandnothingmorewould beobtainedfromdoinganIBRquestionnaire.Preliminarymeetingsarebeingarranged withtheEAOsduringthemonthofJune09.Moresearchinginvolvementofassessorswill begininPhase2.

5.

AnalysesofquestionnaireresponsesbyendofJune2009(Phase3) AnalysesofIBRresponsestotheonlinequestionnairesandreviewofSRA documentationonassessmentorganisationswilltakeplaceinthesecondhalfof June. Theanalyseswillhelptheevaluationteamtoformulateissueswarrantingcloser followup,eitherbyfurtherquestionnairesor,moresignificantly,byinitial interviews.Thisinturnwillleadtotheselectionofintervieweesandthe formulationofinterviewstrategiesforeachgroup.Theseinterviewstrategieswill alsobeassistedbyinformationgatheredfromSRAdocumentationrelatingtothe aims,settingupofandmaintenanceofthescheme. Theanalysisofquestionnaireresponseswillalsoinformanemergingoverviewof theSRAsdocumentationandprocessesofconsultation,planning,settingupand maintenanceoftheWBLpilotscheme. Note:areviewofSRAprocesses,documentsandsupportwillbepartofthe overallintegrationoftheevaluationexerciseandtherecommendationswithinthe finalreporttoSRAinNovember2010

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SRAFinalReport 6. SelectionofParticipantsforInterview,lateJune,earlyJuly09(Phases4&5) Wewillselectarepresentativesampleofcandidateandprofessionalparticipants, basedontheanalysisoftheresponsesoftheIBRexercise,togeneratethemost valuableandusefuldatapertinenttoanevaluation.Sampleswillbecarefully chosentoensurerepresentativesofallsubgroupsareincluded. Weshallalsoprepareforinterviewswithallinternalandexternalassessment organisationsbasedonthedatastreamstodate,i.e.SRAdocumentationandour analysesoftheIBRsofcandidatesandprofessionalsquestionnaires. Weplantoachievearepresentativesampleofabout2530%ofcandidatesand professionals,andaimfor100%ofEAOs(2)andIAOs(9). Schedulesforfacetofaceortelephoneinterviewswillbefinalisedbasedonthe selectionprocessabove,matchedwithgeneralintervieweeavailabilityas indicatedintheInitialBenchmarkingReviewsurveyandfromcontactwiththe assessmentorganisations. FacetofaceandtelephoneinterviewsJulytoendofSeptember(Phase6) Theagendaforinterviewswitheachgroupwillbecollectivelyagreedbytheteam, basedonissuesarisingfromquestionnairesandothersources.Fortheactual interviews,individualmembersoftheteamwilltakeresponsibilityforparticular groupsaccordingtotheirexperience.(SeeAppendix1forlistofteammembers). Allinterviewswillbeaudiorecordedforsubsequentanalysisandcrossreferencing ofdata. AnalysisanddiscussionwithSRAoffirstroundofquestionnairesandinterviews ByendOctober09: Analysisofinterviewdata,formulationofkeyissuesand reviewofthefirstcycleofdatagathering(Phases7and8) November09 PreparationandpresentationofinterimreporttoSRA (Phase9) December09 DiscussionofInterimReportwithSRA(Phase10) SchedulefortheSecondRoundofinterviews,analysesandreports. NBThetiminsgofthefollowingphasesareprovisional,dependingonexperience todate. JanFeb2010 FebApril2010 MUevaluationteamreviewprogressandplanfollowup interviewsandquestionnaires(Phase11) Completefollowupinterviewsandquestionnaires (Phase12)

7.

8.

9.

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MayJune2010 JuneJuly2010

Analysisoffollowupinterviewsandquestionnaires (Phase13) Reviewofasampleofdevelopmentalportfolios ResearchersrecommendtheSRAtoconsiderthe distributionandanalysisofanIBRCandidatesquestionnaire, possiblymodifiedfromoutcomesfromfirstphasesofthe evaluationexercise,toCohort2whichmayyieldsome comparativedata (Phase14) WritingupandpresentingInterimReporttoSRAonfirst yearofpilotatstage (Phase14) Collatingallthedatastreams,includingareviewoftheSRAs processofconsultation,planning,settingupand maintenanceoftheWBLpilotschemewhichwillhave providedoneofthecontextualframesforinterview strategiesandanalysesoftheevaluationexercise (Phase15) Contextualisingoutcomesallanalysestodatewithwider WBLexperiencetohelpformulaterecommendationson possiblewaysforwardfortheSRAWBLprogramme (Phase15) WritingandpresentationoffinalreporttoSRA(Phase16)

September2010

October2010

Nov1st2010

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Appendix5 Datagatheringandanalysisdetail

Analysisdetailforeachphaseoftheevaluation
asystemofmixedmethodswasused. quantitativeforbenchmarkinginformation. qualitativeintheformofinterviewsandthematicanalysisofquestionnaires. thematicanalysiswastheorganisationofthemesovertimeintosuperordinate= majorthemeswithhighconsensusandsubordinate=themeswithalower consensusbutstillimportantinresponsetospecificareasandsetups.Issuesraised withnoconsensuswereomittedorusedfordescribingindividualproblems. allthethemesinthebodyofthefinalreportandonwhichtheconclusionsand recommendationsarebasedwereconsistentlysuperordinateandhighsubordinate inPhases3and4oftheevaluationexercise asystemoftriangulationofdatawasused:eachdatastream(surveys,interviews, portfolios,literature,policydocuments,qualityassurancedocumentsfromthe varioussetups)wasanalysedandcheckedagainsteachothertillthedistillation producedconfidentsuperodinatethemes(highconsensus)andsubordinatethemes (lowerconsensusbuthighsignificanceforcertainparticipants) BenchmarkingsurveyofcandidatesintheschemeacrossallsetupsMarch2009 Interviewswithaselectionofcandidates InterviewswithEAOsandsmallnumberofIAOs MayJuly2009 MayJuly2009 November2009

Phase1
i. ii.

Phase2 InterimReport
iii.

ongoingliteratureresearchoneducationanddiversity

Phases1,2(alsoseeInterimreport1availablefromSRA)
Note:highlightedboxesdenotethemesorconcernsstillrelevantinPhase4

Candidates
benchmarksurveyto Overallresponse allcandidates(79) widerangeof questionsaboutthe pilotanddetailedinfo onthemselves 47 selectionforinterview total Male Female Nonwhite (selfstated)

18

29

12

male

female

Nonwhite

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basedon: natureofresponseto anyothercomments availability/willingness ensuringcrosssection ofenvironments repsfromparalegals (NLS) repsfromIAOs repsfromLawNet OXILP Outcomeswhich emergedfrom themedanalysis ofrecorded interviews (InterimReport1)

7 8 4

19

11 (7white)

8 (6white)

Imale 5female

Summarisedtodemonstratetheanalyses
operational improvements toWBLpilot needed reviselearning outcomesas therearetoo many betterguidelinesonlevels, advocacyandPSC

paralegalsencountered severaldifficulties(10to over100applications) citingsocioeducational issuesascommonbarrier Degreelevel2.2new universities/formertech colleges,nightschoolfor LPCetc Recommendations operational relevanceofWBL whatcanWBLdothatis atthisstage improvements inallsetups notalreadybeingdone explore revisitlearning futureconsiderationto relationship outcomesand accreditingpriorlearning/ betweenWBL relevanceinall experience andLPC setups

marked difference between paralegalsand others bothfoundit costlyinterms oftime significant differencein tryingtogeta training contract

inmotivation, purposeof qualifying, personal circumstances paralegalsfound itfinancially costlyaswell nonparalegals reportedhaving littledifficulty (average35 applications) Degreelevel2.1 or1stgood universities

inopportunitiesforareas oflaw,supportatwork, time,workdemands

concernsinbothgroups overfutureprospects

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Professionals
professionals interviews whyparticipate 2NLS 2OXILP 2IAOs

EAOs IAOs opportunityfor moreconsistency inthesystemby helping experienced paralegalstoapply

Both toinfluencethe finalformofthe WBL

processofsigning up

WBLorsomething similarwas inevitableand wantedtobe aheadofthegame Paperworkclear Lackofclarityover seatrotation

whosedecisionto participate howmanytrainees togetherover40 participating

clarityofroles learningoutcomes

otherconcerns

notquitesure exactlywhatSRA wantedattheend ofit.Thisgave firmsflexibilitybut addedextrawork trainingpartner and/orHR average2with trainingcontracts runningalongside thosedoingthe experimentalWBL notentirelyclearat theoutset levelattainment notclear,concerns aboutadvocacy, legalethics,client contact, appreciationof business culturechangefor

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differences betweenWBLand trainingcontract

supervisors, morework costseemhigher, costofsoftware confidentiality

greaterobjectivity ofcriteria,better roundedlawyers, impeded developmentof specialist knowledge clarifydifferent aspects revisitproblematic outcomes

replacingexisting contract whattheywanted SRAtoknow

someconcerns, undecided

considerthe managementcosts donotimposea systemthatonly involvesexternal evaluators

Phase3
Phase3(seeInterimReport2forfullerbreakdown) i. thedevelopmentanddeliveryofakeyquestionnaires.Thequestionnairehad twoversions,oneforparticipantsandtheotherforprofessionals.Bothwere consistentinthethemesbeingexplored.Thequestionnairewasdeliveredon lineusingSurveyShare.Theaimofthekeyquestionnairewastoaddress keyissueswhichhadariseninPhases1and2andevidenced andpresentedinInterimReport1 keyissuestheSRAwantedaddressedwhichhadarisenfrom itsmonitoringoftheschemeanditsongoingconsultations withandsupportofprofessionalparticipants issuesthatthescopingdocumenthadhighlightedasimportant foranyfuturedecisionmakingonpolicy ii. ongoingresearchintodiversityineducationandinWBLandcompetency modelsfortheprofessionswhichinformedthequestionnaireandwould informaninterpretationandpositioningofthefindings iii. theengagementoftwoindependentcriticaladvisers,DrStanLesteronWBL andtheprofessionsandMaureenSpencerfromtheMULawSchooltoadvise onthequestionnaireandotheraspectsoftheevaluationmethodology

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SRAFinalReport ItwasimportanttotheSRAandtotheevaluatorsthatthisquestionnaireshouldaimfora highresponserate.Withextendingthedeadlinetwiceanoverallresponserateof86% wasachieved. Thesectionsofthequestionnaireweredesignedalongthemesandwereanalysed thematicallyusingacombinationofesoftwareandindepthindividualanalysisofeach response.

SRAKeyQuestionstoProfessionalsinvolvedwiththeWBLpilotscheme extractedfromtheSurveyShareelectronicdeliverydevice
Section1:YourexperienceofWBLsofar 1. Whatis/areyourWBLrole/swithinyourorganisation? 2. HaveyouseenanybenefitsofWBLsofar? 3. Ifyouhavewhatarethey? 4. DoyoufeelyoureceiveadequatecommunicationandclarityfromtheSRA regardingtheWBLpilot? 5. Ifno,pleasedescribehowitcouldbeimproved. 6. DoyoufeelthattheSRA'sWBLhandbookcouldbeimproved? 7. Ifyes,pleasedescribehowitcouldbeimproved. 8. Doyoufeelimprovementscouldbemadetoothermaterialsprovidedbythe SRAtoguideyourworkasaninvolvedprofessional? 9. Ifyes,howcouldthesematerialsbeimproved? 10. DoyoufeelimprovementscouldbemadetoothermaterialsprovidedbytheSRA toguideyourcandidates? 11. Ifyes,howcouldthesematerialsbeimproved? 12. Doyoufeelyoureceiveadequatecommunication/supportfromtheexternal assessmentorganisation,ifthisappliestoyou? 13. Ifno,pleasedescribehowthiscanbeimproved. 14. Doyoufeelimprovementscouldbemadetoanyothermaterialsprovidedby anexternalassessmentorganisation? 15. Ifyes,whatimprovementscanbemade? 16. Doyouthinktheelectronicportfolioscouldbeimproved? 17. Ifyes,pleasesuggestwhatimprovementscouldbemade? 18. IsthereanythingelseyouthinkneedstobeimprovedinrelationtotheWBLpilot? Pleasesuggestwaystheycanbeimproved. 19. DoyouthinktheWorkBasedLearningOutcomesshouldbemodifiedinanyway? 20. Ifyes,whatmodificationsdoyouthinkareneeded?Pleasebeasspecificas possible.Wewouldalsowelcomedraftingcommentsonthewordingofthe Outcomes. 21. IfinyourorganisationyouareabletocomparetheWBLschemewiththestandard trainingcontract,whatthingsaboutWBLareBETTER? 22. WhatthingsaboutWBLareNOTSOGOOD? Section2:WBLandyourorganisation 23. DoyouthinktheintroductionofWBLwillhaveorhashadanimpactonthe culture/ethosofyourorganisation?

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24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

WhatobstaclesdoyouthinkmaybeencounteredinyourorganisationifWBL weretoreplacethetrainingcontract? DoesWBLrequireanytimeandresourcesonthepartofthosesupervising trainingbeyondthoseyouwouldassociatewithastandardtrainingcontract? Ifyes,pleaseestimatewhatthesearepercandidateandlistthetypesof tasks involved. Inyouropinion,doyouthinkusingaWBLapproachhelpscandidatestobe moreproactiveaboutgettingexposuretoareasoflaw.Pleaseelaborateon youranswer IfWBLweretobeadoptedasthestandardapproachtothequalificationof solicitors,wouldthischangeyourexpectationsofwhatanewlyqualified solicitor willbecapableofdoing?Pleaseelaborateonyouranswer.

Section3:WBLassessmentandevidence 29. Ifyoucarryoutassessmentwithinyourorganisation,doyouforeseeanyissuesof consistencybetweencandidatesassessedbytheiremployersandcandidates assessedbyexternalproviders? 30. Ifyes,whatdoyouthinkisneededtoensureassessmentsarecomparable andconsistentacrossalltheorganisationsinEnglandandWalesinvolvedin WBL? 31. IfaWBLschemeisadopted,doyouanticipatethattherewillbedifficulties relatingtotheconfidentialityofevidenceproducedbyWBLcandidates?Ifso, howdoyouthinksuchdifficultieswouldariseandhowdoyouthinktheycouldbe overcome? 32. Inthecaseofasuccessfulcandidatewhocannottransfertheevidencedue totheneedtopreserveconfidentiality,whattypeofsummarydocumentwould convinceyou,asanemployer,thattheyhavedemonstratedthe achievementof theoutcomes.Whatwouldthedocumentneedtocontain? 33. WereaportfoliotobeusedastheprimaryassessmentformforWBL,what templatefromtheoptionsbelowdoyouthinkisthemostappropriateand useful? electronic paperbased combinationofabove 34. Wouldyoubeinfavourofasinglemandatoryportfoliotemplateforall candidates?Pleasegivereasonsforyouranswer. 35. Apartfromportfoliodoyouthinkthereareanyotherassessmentmethods thatwouldbemoreusefulorfitforpurpose? Section4:Recruitment:Selectionforinterviewandinterviewingcriteria 36. DoyouknowwhatcriteriayourorganisationsHRorrecruitingdepartmentis usingtoselectpotentialcandidatesforaninterviewforatrainingcontract? 37. Ifyes,canyoupleasestateuptofiveofthetopcriteria? 38. Currently,wheninterviewinganindividualforatrainingcontract,whatare thecriteriayouusetoassesstheirsuitability?Pleaselistuptofivestarting withthemostdesirable

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SRAFinalReport 39. Does/wouldthefactthatthecandidatewasasuccessfulWBLtraineehave anyimpactonthedecisionmakinginyourorganisationwithregardstoan individualssuitabilityforjobsinyourorganisation? 40. Ifyes,pleasedescribeinwhatway. Section5:WBLgenerally 41. Researchhasshownthatinsomeprofessionstheremaybebarrierstoentering andsucceedingbasedon:GENDER,RACE,DISABILITY,AGE,andOTHER DISCRIMINATIONFACTORS.Doyoufeelthatanyofthesebarrierscanbe addressedbytheintroductionoftheWBLphilosophyandmodeloflearning. Pleasetickasappropriate. Gender Race Disability Age Otherdiscriminationfactors 42. Ifyoustatedyesforgender,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddressthis barrier 43. Ifyoustatedyesforrace,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddressthisbarrier. 44. Ifyoustatedyesfordisability,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddressthisbarrier 45. Ifyoustatedyesforotherdiscriminationfactors,pleasedescribewhatthese mightbeandhowWBLcanaddressthese. 46. Researchhasalsoshownthatinsomeprofessionstheremaybebarriersto enteringandsucceedingbasedonthefactorsbelow.Doyoufeelthatanyof thesebarrierscanbeaddressedbytheintroductionoftheWBLphilosophy andmodeloflearning? (1)Anindividualssocialandeducationalbackground (2)Theclassificationofhisorherdegree (3)Theclassification/numberofhisorherAlevelsorequivalent (4)Thereputationsofinstitutionsofhighereducation 47. Ifyoustatedyesforbarrier(1)inQ.46,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddress this? 48. Ifyoustatedyesforbarrier(2)inQ.46,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddress this? 49. Ifyoustatedyesforbarrier(3)inQ.46,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddress this? 50. Ifyoustatedyesforbarrier(4)inQ.46,pleasedescribehowWBLcanaddress this? 51. IfWBLisadoptedasthestandardapproachtothetrainingcontract,what effect,ifany,doyouthinkitwillhaveonthestructureandcompositionof thelegalprofession?Howdoesthiscomparewithhowyouthinkthe professionneedstodevelop? 52. Doyouthinkcandidatesshouldbeaccreditedfor/have'timetocount'for previouslegalpracticerelatedexperience? 53. Ifyes,whatevidencewouldyourequiretobeassuredthattheaccreditation ismerited? 54. WhatdoyouseetheroleofanexternalbeingiftheWBLschemeweretobe introduced?Youmayselectmorethanoneoption. Anassessor

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55.

Amoderator Averifier Anadviser/consultant Isthereanyothercommentyouwouldliketomake?

SRAcompulsoryquestionnaireforcandidatesontheWBLpilotscheme
SectionA:Backgroundinformation 1. WhereareyoudoingWBL? Alegalfirm Anotherorganisation 2. Haveyouhaddifficultygettingatrainingcontractinthepast? 3. Ifyes,pleasesayifyoufelttherewereanyparticularreasonsinYOURcase. 4. Also,ifyouansweredyestoQ.2,wereyougivenanyreasonsfornotbeing accepted? 5. Ifyes,pleasestatethereasonsandwhethertheywereinresponsetoyour applicationorafteryouhadhadaninterview.Feelfreetolistasmanyincidents andprovideasmuchdetailasyouwish. SectionB:Accesstothelegalprofession 6. Researchhasshownthatinsomeprofessionstheremaybebarrierstoentering andsucceedingbasedonthefactorsbelow.Doyoufeelanyofthesehaveapplied toyou? Gender Race DisabilityAge Otherdiscriminationfactors 7. Ifyoustatedyesforgender,pleaseexplainfurther. 8. Ifyoustatedyesforrace,pleaseexplainfurther. 9. Ifyoustatedyesfordisability,pleaseexplainfurther. 10. Ifyoustatedyesforage,pleaseexplainfurther. 12. Ifyoustatedyesforotherdiscriminationfactors,pleaseexplainfurther. 13. Researchhasalsoshownthatinsomeprofessionstheremaybebarriersto enteringandsucceedingbasedonthefactorsbelow.Doyoubelieveanyofthese haveappliedtoyou? 1)Anindividual'ssocialandeducationalbackground 2)Theclassificationofone'sdegree 3)Theclassification/numberofone'sAlevelsorequivalent4)Thereputationof thehighereducationinstitutionsfromwhereonehasreceivedtheirqualifications 14. Ifyouansweredyesforbarrier(1)inQ.12,pleaseexplainfurther. 15. Ifyouansweredyesforbarrier(2)inQ.12,pleaseexplainfurther. 16. Ifyouansweredyesforbarrier(3)inQ.12,pleaseexplainfurther. 17. Ifyouansweredyesforbarrier(4)inQ.12,pleaseexplainfurther. SectionC:YourexperienceofWBLsofar 18. DoyoufeelyoureceiveadequatecommunicationandclarityfromtheSRA regardingtheWBLpilot?

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SRAFinalReport 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. Ifno,pleasedescribehowitcouldbeimproved. DoyoufeelthattheSRA'sWBLhandbookcouldbeimproved? Ifyes,pleasedescribehowitcouldbeimproved. DoyoufeelimprovementscouldbemadetoothermaterialsprovidedbytheSRA tomeetyourneedsasacandidate? Ifyes,howcouldthesematerialsbeimproved? Doyoufeelyoureceiveadequatecommunication/supportfromtheexternal assessmentorganisation,ifthisappliesinyourcase? Ifno,pleasedescribehowthiscanbeimproved. Doyoufeelimprovementscouldbemadetoanyothermaterialsprovidedbyan externalassessmentorganisation? Ifyes,whatimprovementscanbemade? Doyouthinktheelectronicportfolioscouldbeimproved? Ifyes,pleasesuggestwhatimprovementscouldbemade? IsthereanythingelseyouthinkneedstobeimprovedinrelationtotheWBLpilot? Pleasesuggestwaystheycanbeimproved. DoyouthinktheWorkBasedLearningOutcomescouldbemodifiedinanyway? Ifyes,whatmodificationsdoyouthinkareneeded?Pleasebeasspecificas possible.Wewouldalsowelcomedraftingcommentsonthewordingofthe Outcomes. IfinyourorganisationyouareabletocomparetheWBLschemewiththestandard trainingcontract,whatthingsaboutWBLareBETTER? WhatthingsaboutWBLareNOTSOGOOD?

33.

34. SectionD:YourreflectionsonWBL 35. Withinyoureffortstoobtainprofessionalqualificationasasolicitorwhatarethe mainthings(ifany)youfeelyouhavelearnedthroughWBLbeyondwhatyou learnedonthelegalpracticecourse? 36. HasWBLinvolvedyouinanypersonalcosts,eitherintermsofmoneyorpersonal sacrifices? 37. Ifyes,pleasesaywhat,and(ifyoucan)whetheryouthinkthesamecostswould haveappliedonastandardtrainingcontract. 38. Assumingyouqualifyasasolicitor,willtheWBLprogrammechangeyour prospectsorthenatureoftheworkyoudoorarelikelytobeaskedtodo?Please explainthereasonsforyouranswer. 39. DoyouexpecttheWBLprogrammetohaveaninfluenceonyoureconomicvalue inthejobmarket?Pleaseexpandonyouranswer. 40. ArethereanyotherissuesregardingtheWBLpilotschemewhichhavenotbeen coveredbutwhichareimportanttoyouandmaybehelpfultoothers?

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ThematicFindingsforcandidates(summarisedasanexampleofthe analysis)
Candidates stream2 Superordinate Discrimination onthegroundsof socio/educational background noconsiderationfor theeffortand struggleandwhat thatshowsabout commitmenttostay inlaw fairersystemtohave thisentryroutefor paralegals Subordinate Individual (stream2) gender age nepotism

stream2

both

stream2

stream1 both

stream2

Satisfactiongenerally withclarityfromthe SRAbuttempered becausethiswasa pilot LackofclarityonPSC onwhoispaying

Nodiscrimination stated Communication toomanychanges duringthescheme

creditforprevious experienceshouldbe considered,view temperedbythis beingapilot (stream1) WBLaverybad idea)

stream1

both

Outcomes toomanyoutcomes, timeconsuming, repetitive, suggestions: merge, makemorerelevant

lackofclarityonPSC intermsofrelevance andrepetitionwith LPC

(Both) Several individualised suggestions reflecting individualneeds

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SRAFinalReport tosituations, softskillschallenging toachieve, moreguidance neededon evidencing stream1 both stream1 stream2 stream2 stream1 tickboxingexercise tooprescriptive goodsupport eportfoliosiftailored eportfoliosiftailored AdvantageofWBL qualificationatlast nothingastandard trainingcontract couldnthave achieved proactiveabout evidencetoprove gettingworkneeded thatIcando tofulfiloutcomes something not portable/transferable assupervisors potentialemployers wontreaditoritwill beredactedtoo muchtomean anything Assessment worryingbecause dontknowwhatis required,dontknow whatlevelsmean, notsurewhatneeds tobedonetoprove youaregoodenough Dontknowwhatall thelevelsmeanbut notworriedabout finalassessmentas supervisorshave givenusagoodidea ofwherewestand andwehavevery muchbeenfollowing standardofthefirm anyway

both

both

stream2

stream1

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ThematicFindingsforprofessionalsfromkeyquestionnaire(summarised asanexampleoftheanalysis)
professionals highlevelsof consistencyin responsesalthough respondentsfroma rangeofsetups superordinate Standardisationand consistency: assessing performanceagainst standardised outcomesiskey subordinate individual

commonstandard worthwhilegoalas longasnotsettothe lowestcommon denominatorandhas flexibility WBLframework atickboxexercise WBLdoesencourage thecandidatetobe moreproactiveand selfmanaged Barrierstoentry fairersystem

unclearabouta monitoringand assessingstrategy thatwouldensure consistencyacross allsetups notnecessarilya guaranteeofquality

academicexcellence willremainatop criterioninamarket wherejobsarebeing lostandfirmshaveto surviveinhighly competitivemarket Costs timeconsuming costly AdoptaWBLscheme notinitscurrent formbutithasgood ideas

standards morestringent repackagedtraining contract encourages reflection,doesnt necessarilyachieve it notsurewhatWBL meansbyreflection meritocracyand marketforceswill behowbarriersare resolved

notalotofchoice butitneedswork onit

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Phase4
i. Duetothelatecompletionoftheassessmentperiod,theevaluationteamtooka decisiontointerviewarangeofkeyprofessionalsontheprocesses,experiences andoutcomesofassessmentwhichwouldcomplementandinformthe examinationofportfoliosandsummativeassessmentsintheeventofnotbeing abletoseeasmanyasitwouldhavelikedintheremainingtimebeforethe submissionofthefinalreport.Thisdecision,althoughtimeconsumingandcostly, increasedthevalidityofthewholeexerciseasitwasduringthisphasethatthe distillationofthemainissuesweremoreinformativelyarticulatedand complementedtheexaminationoftheportfolios Tofurtherincreasevalidityofanyfindingsitwasdecidedtodofacetoface interviewswithamagiccirclefirm,amediumLondonfirmandasmalltomedium regionalfirmwhichwerenotparticipantsintheWBLscheme.Anadaptedversion ofthequestionnairewasused.

ii.

iii. Anexaminationoftheportfolios These17semistructuredinterviewstookplacefromSeptembertoNovember2010. 3nonparticipantsinperson,recordedandsummarised Oftheremaining14 50%wereinperson50%byphone,allrecorded 50%werefullytranscribed50%summarised Allwerethematicallyanalysed NLS 1 OXILP 1 CityCouncils 2 Firmsoutsidescheme 3 IAOs 5 LawNet 4 Thequestionswereuniformforreliabilityandconsistencybutallowedflexibility dependingonthevarioussetups.Theywereinformedbytheresultsofthekey questionnaireandbytheongoingliteraturesearchesspecificallyonassessing competencesintheprofessions. InterviewQuestions Whatisyourroleinthepilotscheme? AssessmentQuestions Portfolios.Whathasbeenyourviewonthisasanassessmenttool? Canyouthinkofotherwaysorwaystocomplementaportfoliowhichinyour

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opinionwouldmoreclearlydemonstratethattheskillsrequiredtoqualifyasa solicitorhavebeenacquiredtoanappropriatelevel? Whatarethedisadvantagesoftheportfolio? WouldyoufeelmoreconfidentemployingaparalegalasasolicitoriftheyhadaWBL portfolio? Whatdoyouthinkthekeycriteriashouldbeandwhatperformanceindicatorsdo youthinkwouldmostsuitablydemonstratethem? Whatshouldtheevidencetrailbethatthispersonisreadytopracticelaw? Inyourviewwhatshouldthevocationalstageoftrainingcomprisewhichisnot alreadyincludedintheacademicandLPC(practicalstages)? Whatdoesatraineelawyergetfromvocationaltrainingthattheydonotgetfrom theacademic,theLPCandtheprofessionalskillscourse? Cantheprofessionalskillscoursebesubsumedintovocationaltrainingusing learningoutcomesasemployedintheWBLscheme? Whatarethekeycompetencesyouarelookingforgenericallyandspecificallyfor yourfirm/organisation? WhatistheroleoftheSRA?Canitaddvalueinthevocationaltrainingstages? Whatarethereasonsyouhavenotkeptsomeoneonintermsofkey criteria/competences/WBLlearningoutcomes? IstheWBLanymoreeffectivethanyourstandardtrainingcontractforaddressing issuesofcompetency? Cantrainingbestandardisedandatwhatlevel? Doyouseeawayofstandardisingifthatisdesirablewithoutreferencetoan externalassessmentorganisationorauditingprocesstoensurestandardised outcomes? Ifnotwhatwouldthatauditingprocessbe? WhathavebeenthecostsoftheWBLpilotschemeinbroadandspecificterms? Intermsoftrainingnewsolicitors,wheredoyouseetheprofessiongoinginthenext fiveyears?

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SRAFinalReport Theinterviewswerethematicallyanalysedandthesuperodinateandhighsubordinate themeswerecheckedagainstthosefromearlierphases.Theywerehighlyconsistentwith thefindingsofthequestionnairebutinterviewsallowedtherationalebehindviewsbeing explainedinmoredetail.Thesealongwiththeevaluatorsinterpretations,observations andpositioningofthefindingswithinthewidersphereofworkbasedlearningconstitute thefindingsofthisreport.Amostinterestingfindingwasthattherewasahigh correlationbetweentheanswersofthenonparticipantsandtheparticipantson challengestoassessmentandwhattheattributesofanewlyqualifiedsolicitorshouldbe.

Examiningportfoliosforprogressionandforformativeandsummative assessment.
Atotalof26portfolioswereviewedrepresentingthebestandthemiddletoborderline whosuccessfullyqualifiedassolicitorsundertheWBLscheme.Portfolioswereviewedat IAOs(5),LawNetfirms(OXILPassessed)andotherorganisations(NLSassessed) Thefollowingguidewasused. Guidetoassessingportfolios trackforprogressionoverfirstandsecondyear notefeedbackandhowfeedbackwasusede.g.howcandidaterecordedfeedback andwhetherlearningwasevident notequalityoffeedbackfromthesupervisor/reviewer typesofevidenceandhowoftenusedandforwhatoutcomes checkreflectionsheetsforhowthesewereusedandiftheyevidencedanything beyondskills generalpresentationoftheportfolio whatfinalassessmentisbasedon,correlationbetweenfinalassessmentand progression whatmaybemissingforapotentialemployer ifpossibleseekcomparisonwithstandardtrainingcontract anythingelsesuchasthekindoflanguageused,anomaliesetc SomeeffortwasmadetocompareWBLportfolioswithstandardtrainingcontractbutnot enoughinnumbertomakeanysignificantconclusions.Differenceswhichemergedhave beenincludedinthefindingssectionofthisreport. ResultsoftheWBLpilotintermsofcandidatesuccess FiguresfromSRA: No. Passed Revised Candidates Deadlines NLSEAO 35 27 6 OXILPEAO 8 8 0 IAOs 36 35 0 TOTAL 79 70 6

Referred 1 0 0 1

Withdrawn 1 0 1 2

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