Dear PPR Members
In light of NALP’s sudden withdrawal of the PPR it has been incumbent on us to try and aid those members that have been affected by this action.
NALP have not discussed with us any plans that they have put in place to support their members, who are also members of the PPR, financial or otherwise, and we have received many calls from distressed and upset PPR/NALP Members and therefore feel that we should respond in an open and transparent way.
The PPR requires all members to be a member of a Recognised Body and through NALP’s sudden withdrawal, NALP members that we have spoken to feel that they have been left without a Recognised Body at no fault of their own.
The Chairs of our Boards and the Directors have worked tirelessly over the last three days to ensure that our members and consumers are protected.
The PPR has therefore published guidance and has actively sought assistance from all the other RB’s during this difficult time. If you wish to continue to be regulated by us then we suggest that you take action. Action to find out how we and the other RB’s can assist you and action by ensuring that you receive information from NALP.
The PPR has been established now for over two years and we have great supporters in the legal sector for what we do and what we have achieved. We are not a membership body with a code of conduct tagged on, we act as a full voluntary regulator to ensure that our members and consumers are protected. Just take a look at our conference video and see the statements made by the Chief Legal Ombudsman (now up on our website).
We have two independent and professional boards that safeguard all that we do to bring you a robust regulatory scheme.
The PPR’s members are the rising stars for the sector proving themselves as not only competent and professional but also accountable. It took over two years to set up to ensure that the PPR was robust and effective.
We have great integrity and are open and transparent in all that we do and we expect our Recognised Bodies to have the same behaviours, and where they do not, then they will cease to be compatible with our aims. We have robust complaints procedures and will take our Recognised Bodies to task if they fail to meet our standards. This is what you can expect from us as your voluntary regulator.
We have been told by a distraught PPR/NALP member that NALP is offering an ‘alternative’ to the PPR, a ‘Licence’ to practice and a new Licensed Paralegal Register (LPR) and we have been asked to comment about that. We have no information and so we cannot comment, but we shall seek to ensure that consumers and Paralegals are not set back to the time when Paralegals traded on a badge with no substance behind it. The PPR is not a representative body it is a regulator.
We have also taken two calls from concerned members who are worried that they cannot move to another Recognised Body for fear of not being able to complete their NALP course. Again we cannot comment on NALP policies but would advise that you seek assurance from NALP or Ofqual that you can complete a course that you have started if you choose to move to another Recognised Body for regulatory purposes.
The only valid regulated Licence in the legal sector is that held by Licensed Conveyancers who are regulated by the Legal Services Board.
The PPR can confirm that it disapproves of the actions of NALP, a former Recognised Body and is sympathetic to the PPR members that have been affected because of this.
Part of being a voluntary regulator is the ability to steadfastly stick to our principles when our aims are challenged or threatened and as Directors and Board Members we need to have resilience to ensure that it is business as usual. I am very proud to say that we can and will do that on your behalf.
We are delighted however, that we had a record number of applications for Paralegal Practising Certificates last month, which shows the value that you place in being regulated by us.
We also have two interested parties that wish to join as new Recognised bodies, which will further give you choice in the future.
On top of that we are awaiting confirmation of the date for our next event that we are holding in the House of Commons that is kindly being hosted by another great supporter, Kate Hoey MP.
The PPR are also launching a consultation in September regarding rights of audience for PPR regulated Paralegals, something that can only be achieved with the reputation and reassurance of robust voluntary regulation provided by the PPR.
I do hope that this information is useful and please be assured that we are here to assist you in your endeavours to be the only professional regulated Paralegals in England and Wales.
Managing Director, PPR