PPR Is Getting Smarter

The PPR is looking to raise its game by introducing smart badges.

These smart badges will help to validate your registration on your own website, and stop non-members from using the PPR logo illegally.

We’ll be releasing more details to our members shortly, but first, we need your help.

We can only install the smart badge on your website if we have up to date details. Without having your up to date information we won’t be able to give you access to this innovative service. Only smart badges will be able to validate your registration.

Emails have been sent to all our members with a method to provide us with these up to date details.


PPR Members Notice Regarding NALP

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.


Rita Leat

Managing Director, PPR



The Professional Paralegal Register is the only independent voluntary regulator for the unregulated legal services market that covers all persons who practice law and/or offer legal services to the consumer.

Our regulation is robust and carries a compensation fund for consumers who in certain circumstances, where their complaint has been upheld by an independent regulatory board, may gain redress.

But what is the difference between this and self-regulation via a membership body?

Quite a lot!

PPR Practising Certificates

The whole point of establishing the PPR was to fulfil the recommendation of the Legal Education and Training Review, that a voluntary regulator for unregulated legal service providers should be formed – quite simply put, self-regulation by membership bodies was not good enough. In the most part, it is totally ineffective to provide any real redress for the consumer.

Regulation is more than just issuing a certificate or a licence – it is a commitment to providing those who choose regulation more than just a complaints procedure. It is about compliance.

The paralegal sector is not regulated by government and so it is true that Paralegals do not have to sign up to any kind of regulation, but if they do then they should only look at independent regulation with a strong emphasis on compliance and actual redress available for their clients. The PPR advises all Paralegals to only pay for proper regulation and not a badge or licence that is not worth the paper it is written on.

At the PPR we focus on compliance and member safety. We are introducing new levels of protection to PPR members and extra checks to ensure compliance. We have regular meetings with the Legal Ombudsman to ensure that we are working appropriately.

The PPR has contacts with government and will be holding an event at the House of Commons soon to further promote the Paralegal profession to government and other key stakeholders.

We are regularly invited to speak at the Legal Policy Forum and have once again been invited on the panel of their next Regulation discussion. We have also been asked for the second time in as many months to write an article of legal regulation focusing on current proposals from the sector.

So, let’s have a look at the actual difference between self- regulation and independent regulation that the PPR offers:


1st Level Complaints Complaints Procedure for 1st level complaints Complaints Procedure for 1st level complaints. Strict timetable and procedure is followed by the IoP complaints coordinator with some decisions being referred to the Chief Executive. Has recognised membership bodies who deal with 1st Level Complaints
2nd Level Complaints Licenced Paralegals – membership body offers 2nd level complaints – in house by the Membership Body. IoP is a membership body and not a regulator- it passes 2nd tier complaints to the PPR as an independent regulator- following best practice that representation and regulation should be independent. A strict timetable and procedure is in place. PPR will deal with complaints regarding conduct of its registered members and will deal with complaints about conduct and services for those who hold practising certificates.
Appeals Appeals are taken to the board of NALP by the CEO. Appeals are handled by the independent regulator. An appeals committee is formed by members of the RRC and any other independent expert necessary to hear the appeal.
Redress Redress- with or without a licence is the same- mainly reprimand or termination of the member from the NALP Redress- mainly reprimand or termination of the member from the IoP A full list of sanctions is available to the Regulatory Committee including the award of compensation to the consumer in certain circumstances. The decision of the RRC is completely independent and uninfluenced by the membership bodies who would otherwise have an interest of keeping their member. This scrutiny also applies to the Recognised Body itself in handling the first tier complaints – if they do not handle the complaint to the satisfaction of the PPR then their member and the consumer will be made aware of this.


Now let us look at the credibility of three types of ‘regulation’ currently available (generalisation only as there are a diverse range of membership bodies):


Credibility / Robustness General Membership Body Self- Regulation NALP Licence PPR Paralegal Practising Certificate
Application Criteria Yes Yes Yes
Code of Conduct Yes Yes Yes
Membership Level Criteria Yes Yes Yes
Qualifications Yes Yes Yes
Experience Yes Yes Yes
CPD Requirements Yes Yes Yes
PII Required No Yes Yes
Ability to reprimand members Limited Limited Yes
Ability to compensate consumers No No Yes
Has extensively consulted with other regulators on its regulatory scheme to ensure fitness for purpose No No Yes
Has received support and on-going dialogue with the Legal Ombudsman No No Yes
Has received support and on-going dialogue with the Legal Services Board Consumer Panel No No Yes
Has consulted with and has continued dialogue with the Legal Services Boar No No Yes
Has an independent regulatory board with an international arbitrator as the Chair and an ombudsman on the panel No No Yes
Has contacts with the government for the continued promotion of its regulatory scheme N/A N/A Yes
Has practising certificate rules reviewed by all key legal stakeholders No No No
Has strict criteria for providing evidence of suitability to practice that is independently verified away from the Recognised Bodies or membership bodies No No Yes
Has professional standards mapped to its regulatory structure No No Yes

The PPR focuses on regulation and compliance. Our policies and procedures are regularly reviewed and updated by our Regulatory Board. The PPR also uses consultants when expertise is required in specific areas.

Compliance is evaluated through CPD checks, regular checks of members websites, requests to see members policies and procedures and member engagement.

The PPR have adopted the IoP Professional Standards as standards as the IoP is the only government recognised professional body for Paralegals. The standards are mapped to the National Occupation Standards for legal services and are therefore compliant with best practice.

These standards have been mapped to the PPR Tiers of the PPR as can be seen below:


Competency Level Definition Knowledge Application IoP PPR
Expert Practitioner The highest level of knowledge and application – Expert Expert Constant Tier 4
Accomplished Practitioner An Advanced degree of knowledge and consistent application Master Constant Tier 3
Competent Practitioner Full knowledge with experience and application Full Regular Tier 2
Novice Limited or no knowledge or experience – potential to develop Some Limited Tier 1

Obtaining a Paralegal Practicing Certificate enables Paralegals to feel confident in the professional and independent nature of its regulator. It provides for real consumer protection and is a flagship service for the sector.

If you choose to be regulated then make sure that it is independent from your representative body if you want it to be more than just a badge.

Register Forum Meeting at the House of Commons

Kate Hoey MP, hosted a Stakeholders Forum meeting at the House of Commons for the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR).

The PPR is the over-arching voluntary regulator that provides a voluntary scheme of regulation for all those who offer legal services in the unregulated market.

Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR said “the aim of the PPR is to provide voluntary regulation for Paralegals to enhance consumer protection and to promote diversity in the sector.  With more than 2,000 members on the register, with numbers rising who are applying for Paralegal Practising Certificates, we are pleased to be recognised by the sector as the only recognised voluntary regulator for Paralegals.

The unregulated legal services market can now join the PPR so that they are accountable for the services that they offer.  Only PPR Paralegal Practising Certificates provide protection to consumers who choose to use the services of an unregulated provider.

We are delighted that 30 key stakeholders attended the meeting, many of whom have pledged support to the PPR in its commitment to enhance PLE, improve diversity within the sector via the PPR experiential route and to enhance consumer protection.”

Kate Hoey MP said: “I was very pleased to host this important event. Paralegals will become more and more essential for the public seeking help and legal advice. I am impressed with the co-operation between all the various legal agencies and want to see the PPR continue to grow as the voluntary regulator for those providing unregulated legal services”.

Kathryn Stone OBE, Chief Legal Ombudsman, said: “The Legal Ombudsman is keen to see efforts being made to enhance consumer protection in this sector. We applaud the PPR for providing voluntary regulation to maintain high standards among paralegals.”

Espe Fuentes, Head of Which?Legal who attended the event, confirmed that Which?Legal will be joining the PPR Supporters Group that was launched at the meeting.

Derek Wood CBE QC who is a patron of the PPR commented: “It would be quite inaccurate to suggest that Paralegals offer a fall-back or second-class service for clients who cannot afford to turn to a solicitor or barrister. They offer front-line high quality bespoke advice and representation at affordable prices and make a major contribution to the administration of justice.  They are guided by the ethical values which pertain across the whole of legal practice.   I have been deeply impressed with the sheer diversity of legal expertise deployed by PPR members, and their commitment to serving clients in the field of specialism which they have developed.  The PPR provides an important collegiality, a network of personal contacts and support, discussion and interaction”.

Derek Wood further made a request to all key stakeholders and organisations with members or employees who are paralegals not regulated under the Legal Services Act 2007 to join the PPR.  He said “Our increasing body of Paralegals in England and Wales need the professional and ethical support and guidance which the PPR can offer.  In that way they can develop effectively their own careers and practices.  Their clients need the assurance which the PPR can give that their adviser or representative is properly accountable for the quality and integrity of the service delivered, and that redress can be obtained if anything goes wrong.  The legal community at large needs the diversity of personal experience and insight which paralegals can bring to the table.”

Interviews are available, please contact Dorothy Campbell on 0203 0341486 or via email [email protected]

The Association of Probate Researchers has achieved Recognised Body status of the PPR

The PPR is proud to announce that the Association of Probate Researchers (APR) has achieved Recognised Body status of the PPR. The new professional body that has been set up by Fraser and Fraser will welcome into its fold Probate Research companies and individuals who would like to offer their clients the greatest protection by being regulated under this voluntary scheme.

Rita Leat MD PPR commented:

“Professional Probate Researchers provide an invaluable service for beneficiaries who may not otherwise inherit from their deceased’s families’ estates. We are delighted that these professionals can now receive the recognition they deserve along with suitable regulation provided by the PPR”.

If you would like to join the APR then contact Martin Quinn [email protected]

The IPW Becomes The First Membership Body To Achieve Recognised Paralegal Status Within The Sector

The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR), has set the highest standards for those membership bodies who seek recognised status within the sector, ensuring that only the best paralegals are registered and attainable to the consumer market.

The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) has become the first body within the sector to ensure their members are already signed up to the Professional Paralegal Register ahead of the launch to the consumer market on the 6th July.

The PPR Handbook

The Professional Paralegal Register is in the process of compiling a handbook which will be made available to all of our member’s in the coming months.

It is our aim at the PPR to always set the highest standards and to ensure that our members are fully equipped to provide the most professional and highest quality of work and service to the general public whom they are dealing with, at all times.

We believe that in making a PPR handbook available to our members it will act as an extremely useful tool and benefit ensuring that they are up to speed with the most current information regarding the PPR and its rules and policies whilst also acting as a resource that members can refer to for guidance, knowledge and support.

In order for members to consistently meet the highest level of expectation in their work as a paralegal and to minimise any risk to the consumer, it is of the utmost importance that you as a member of the PPR have a thorough understanding of our Strategy and Aims; Code of Conduct; and of the Rules and Requirements that we currently have in place.

Ultimately, the PPR endeavours to support all of its members at all times to ensure that you as a paralegal are not only recognised for your professionalism but that you are also placed in the best position to offer your clients complete reassurance and peace of mind in the work that you are doing for them.

Therefore, we hope that our members will find the handbook to be a highly beneficial resource that provides valuable knowledge and information whilst also assisting you to achieve the highest standards in your profession.

We look forward to being able to share the PPR handbook with you in the near future.

The PPR welcomes newly appointed Director Ian Grant

The PPR sadly says goodbye to Amanda Hamilton as a founding Director of the PPR, who has resigned for personal reasons. We can however say hello to our newly appointed Director, Ian Grant who is a lawyer of many years standing and has been involved in the Paralegal sector for many years. Ian will bring with him a wealth of legal and sector knowledge. Ian commented,

‘I am delighted to be appointed as a Director of the PPR as it is an organisation that promotes a voluntary regulatory scheme for Paralegals and protects consumers, both of which I firmly believe are required to encourage a diverse legal services industry’

The PPR welcomes the incoming Chair, Sarah Docx

The PPR has bid a fond farewell to Chris White who was the inaugural Chair of the PPR Advisory Board as he takes up new challenges in his career.  The PPR would like to thank Chris for all his work and support and wish him well in the future.

The PPR welcomes the incoming Chair, Sarah Docx, who has many years experience working within Financial Regulation as a Financial Services Compliance Officer.  You can see Sarah’s full bio under the Home Tab:  The Boards – The Advisory Board.