What is a Paralegal Practising Certificate?
In order to be able to offer legal services to the general public, a Tier 2 or above Paralegal on this Register MUST have a current Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC). There is an experiential route available to Paralegals who may have many years’ experience but do not meet the necessary qualification requirements. You should discuss this with your Recognised Membership Body.
There are two application forms: PPCA1 – this is a standard application form for those who have qualifications and experience. PPCA2 – this is the application form for applying via the experiential route only.
A PPC may be ‘Specified’ or ‘General’ certificate.
A Specified Certificate is appropriate for Tier 2 and above Paralegal Practitioners who offer services to consumers in one area of law or service eg employment or will writing. The application for a ‘Specified Certificate’ is at the cost of £155.00 per year, which includes an application handling fee of £30.00 and a contribution to the compensation fund of £25.00.
A General Certificate is appropriate for Tier 3 and above where one or more areas of law or services are being provided to consumers. The application for a ‘General Certificate’ is at the cost of £205 per year, which includes an application handling fee of £30.00 and a contribution to the compensation fund of £35.00.
If you are unsure about the type of Practising Certificate you require, please contact your Recognised Membership Body for advice.
Who can practise as a Paralegal under the PPR?
No person shall be entitled to practice as a Paralegal under this Register
- they have met the requisite qualification and/or experience as a Professional Paralegal; and
- they have a current Paralegal Practising Certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of these Rules and the Paralegal Practitioners’ Rules; and
- they have and continue to comply with CPD requirements set out in the Paralegal Practitioners’ Rules and the CPD Rules, and
- they have professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the Paralegal Practitioners’ Rules, and
- they are deemed to be a fit and proper person having met the requirements of these Rules and the Paralegal Practitioner’s Rules.
Who is able to obtain a Paralegal Practising Certificate?
Subject to the powers set out herein to refuse a Paralegal Practising Certificate a PPR Member at Tier 2 or above is entitled to a Paralegal Practising Certificate provided:
- they return their application for a Paralegal Practising Certificate by the deadline stipulated; and
- they have paid the Paralegal Practising Certificate Fee in full within the deadline stipulated; and
- they have provided evidence that they fulfil the requirements of the Certificate, PPR will notify its reasons in writing to the Applicant in the event PPR:
- 1. refuses an application;
- 2. makes a Paralegal Practising Certificate subject to a condition or conditions;
- 3. refuses to remove a condition imposed on a Paralegal Practising Certificate.
The Professional Paralegal Register
In order to be able to offer legal services to the general public or other clients such as companies or local authorities, A Tier 2 Paralegal on this Register needs to apply for a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC), to enable their services to be regulated by the PPR voluntary scheme.
There is an experiential route available to Paralegals who may have many years of experience but do not meet the necessary qualification requirements.
Are you ‘Registered’ or ‘Regulated’?
Paralegals who are members of a Recognised Body can apply to be registered on the PPR. This provides visibility and certainty to consumers and other persons who use their services, and want to know whether they are a bona fide Paralegal.
The PPR can hear complaints relating to conduct only in respect of Registered Paralegals and do not fully regulate the services that they offer.
A PPR member who has a Paralegal Practising Certificate is regarded as a Professional Paralegal Practitioner, and is fully regulated by the PPR for all of the services that they are authorised to undertake, provided these services are specified on their practising certificates. A Professional Paralegal Practitioner’s clients are able to utilise the compensation fund when things go wrong. Members of the public who use PPR Paralegals that are only Registered, do not have access to the compensation fund.
A PPC is your licence to practise and enables you to carry out legal services and be held accountable by the PPR. A proportion of the PPC fee contributes to the compensation fund.
Paralegals that hold ‘Practising Certificates’, ‘Licenses’ or ‘Certificates to Practise’ via any other membership organisation are NOT regulated by the PPR and should not be used as an authority of regulation to clients.
All Paralegals on the PPR who offer services to consumers or other clients, such as companies or local authorities, are encouraged to apply for a PPC to enable them to offer a professional service with the peace of mind that their clients are protected should things go wrong.
Apply for a Practising Certificate
For payments, please visit our payments page