In this article Amanda Lee, Chair of the RRC explains what is the purpose of the committee, how it handles complaints and how you can get involved.
What is the Register Regulatory Committee?
The Register Regulatory Committee (RRC) is responsible for managing the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) and providing strategic and operational advice on issues that affect the PPR. To fulfil this role it considers advice received from the PPR’s independent Advisory Board.
Led by Chair Amanda Lee, the RRC is composed of six members with professional experience in a broad range of different disciplines. Members of the RRC are committed to ensuring that members of the PPR uphold the highest standards of professional service and support the PPR’s goals of raising the profile of professional paralegals and protecting consumers.
What does it do?
The RRC plays a vital role in supporting the PPR’s mission of providing its members and the public with the ability to make informed choices when choosing a legal representative. If a complaint is made about a registered or regulated paralegal then the RRC is responsible for considering that complaint and taking whatever action is necessary.
The RRC acts in accordance with clear rules and procedures in order to ensure that complaints are considered fairly and in a timely fashion. It therefore helps the PPR to ensure that paralegal work is of the highest standard by providing consumers with a remedy if they have any complaints about the work undertaken by a PPR member.
How does the RRC handle complaints?
The RRC’s powers differ depending on whether the complaint made relates to a regulated or registered paralegal. It may dismiss complaints or impose some sort of sanction if it is determined that a complaint should be upheld, such as requiring a paralegal to pay compensation or suspending their PPR membership. These broad powers help it to protect the public and to ensure that the standard of service provided by paralegals that are voluntarily regulated by the PPR is reflective of the high standards of service that PPR members strive to provide to their clients.
The RRC has the power to appoint independent bodies to investigate complaints. If the value of the compensation sought by the complaining party is £500 or less then the RRC will appoint a Complaints Committee to consider the allegations made and determine whether any sanctions should be applied to the paralegal involved. If the value of the compensation sought exceeds £500 then the RRC will appoint an independent Adjudication and Appeals Panel. This panel has broader powers and the ability to impose a penalty of up to £5,000.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in supporting the important work of the RRC then please consider applying to join the committee. The RRC meets a minimum of twice per year. The deadline to apply is 20 December 2019. For further information see the advertisement here.