Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
A not-for-profit organisation representing injured people

Accreditation FAQs

Individual accreditation FAQs

CPD hours and other providers FAQs

Corporate accreditation FAQs


INDIVIDUAL ACCREDITATION

Senior litigator quality mark
Fellow quality mark
Senior fellow quality mark

Do I need to have been a member of APIL for a certain period of time before I can apply for accreditation?

No, so long as you meet the criteria for your chosen level then you can apply for accreditation at the same time as you apply for membership.


How do I apply for accreditation?

Full details on the benefits, which level to apply at and how to apply can be found at www.apil.org.uk/accreditation-for-lawyers, alternatively you can call the APIL office on 0115 943 5422 or 0115 943 5427.


Can I start to apply for accreditation if I’m not yet or newly qualified?

Yes, the application can be used as a workplace assessment where each criterion on the candidate report sheet can be signed off as you meet it. You can work your way toward accreditation as you develop your skills.


How can ability be judged by a completed form?

The application process has changed over the years; yes a candidate does need to complete a form, the principles are then discussed with an assessor (who has to meet certain criteria) and the assessor then returns their completed form to say whether they believe the applicant is suitable for the level they have applied at.


How come so many members seem to hold individual accreditation, should the criteria be tougher?

We feel that the graduated competence framework is sufficiently robust to ensure that those with the appropriate level of experience gain accreditation at the relevant level/specialism.


Do APIL review the accreditation process and requirements at a regular basis?

Yes, we do take on board members’ comments and re-visit the process to make sure it meets its purpose.


Can someone on the AvMA/Clincal Negligence panel(s) be automatically accredited with APIL?

Although we have carried out comparative mapping, the criteria for the above panels do not correspond with that of the APIL scheme and we must therefore ask applicants to apply as normal. However, if a member is awarded APIL Clinical Negligence Specialist status the Legal Aid Agency now recognises APIL specialist accreditation on its merits alone.


Why not combine APIL’s scheme with the Law Society/AvMA schemes?

We have been in discussions with the above organisations but unfortunately talks broke down and it seems the Law Society is going ahead alone. APIL remains keen to reestablish discussions.


Is there accreditation for Scottish members/solicitor advocates in Scotland?

Those members based in Scotland can apply for accreditation through the targeted Scottish accreditation process. We consulted with solicitor advocates in Scotland regarding a specialised accreditation scheme for them but this is on hold due to insufficient numbers.


Why are the forms so lengthy?

Questions on specific areas must be asked to ascertain if an applicant meets a certain standard. These areas are verified by an assessor to ensure that when we advertise the applicant to the public we can be assured that they are meeting the Standards of the scheme which in turn re-assures the public they are approaching a solicitor of competence. However, the criteria can be signed off over a period of time taking away the onerous aspect of completing it in one go.


Do I need trial experience?

Not for Senior Litigator level but an applicant would need this for Fellow level.


Do I need to have worked in PI for a certain number of years before I can apply for Fellow level?

No, we look at the experience that you have gained, however, you would need to apply at Senior Litigator level first before being able to move onto Fellow level. The key elements of the Fellow criteria are sharing your knowledge and expertise both within and outside your firm, and managing a PI team.


Why do I need to revalidate my accreditation?

To ensure that APIL’s accreditations scheme is recognised as having the highest standards and the maximum level of client confidence in the services provided. Revalidation guidance and the forms can be found at www.apil.org.uk/revalidation.aspx.


Why do you not advertise the accreditation scheme more?

We do promote this through our website home page as well as at conferences and events that we run. Although we have undertaken a media campaign in the past, the cost of this is prohibitive and will always be considered within the overall business of APIL.


Why is it so expensive?

There is no charge for general personal injury accreditation at any level, unless an external assessor is needed. The cost for this is £450 + VAT, payable directly to the assessor for their time.


CPD HOURS AND OTHER PROVIDERS


Why does APIL have an accredited CPD requirement? Why not remove this requirement for those who are accredited?

To uphold the quality mark we need to reassure the public that those who have gained accreditation with APIL maintain their knowledge and keep up to date with changes in the law.


Do other providers’ events count towards my APIL CPD hours?

Yes, APIL accredits other external providers’ events which are all listed at www.apil.org.uk/other-accredited-courses. A full list of how to acquire your CPD hours can be found at www.apil.org.uk/individual-accreditation-cpd-requirements.


Do AvMA panel meetings count towards APIL CPD hours?

No as they are not guaranteed to meet the accredited training requirements. AvMA is invited to apply for accreditation at the substantially reduced charity rate.


Why do you not accredit all external events?

External providers’ events are accredited on an event by event basis so the provider can choose which ones to accredit. Not all meet the criteria or would be relevant for those working within personal injury. However, if you know of a provider whose events you attend then you can encourage them to apply for event accreditation.


Can I just count in-house accredited training towards my CPD hours?

Yes, so long as your office holds APIL in-house accreditation or the training is delivered by an APIL trainer.


Why not reduce the CPD requirement?

We have discussed the hourly requirement in the past with our Training and Accreditation Committee who feel that to maintain or gain the knowledge required to keep up to date 16 hours is a fair and sufficient number to do this.


Why does APIL’s CPD training year not run in conjunction with the SRA’s?

This is due to the time is takes to monitor each person’s training log which starts when that individual gains accreditation. Each one is 12 months so an event that may not count in one training year can be counted in the next. NB. After November 2016 the SRA will no longer have a CPD year.


If I only attend clinical negligence events would these count towards APIL CPD hours?

Yes, if they are run or accredited by APIL, presented by you (the latter is applicable to Senior Litigators and above) run in-house by APIL or APIL trainers or by external providers if the course has been granted event accreditation.


CORPORATE ACCREDITATION

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers - accredited practice
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers - accredited chambers

Would accreditation benefit my firm?

Yes.

  • Accredited members appear on the public search facility on our website, where 198,943 searches were carried out within the last month.
  • Individual members with senior litigator status or above can use the APIL quality mark, displaying the APIL logo and accredited status. This can be used on business cards, as part of their signature, on letter headed paper, and on your profile on your website.
  • A corporate accredited organisation can also use the accredited practice/accredited chambers logo. The firm details are also highlighted on the public search area.
  • Corporate members benefit from discounted training for everyone at the firm, whether an APIL member or not.

Can I still benefit from corporate accreditation if I am a sole practitioner or the only person in the firm dealing with personal injury?

Yes, we have many sole-practitioners who already hold corporate accreditation. If you are a sole-practitioner you would qualify for the concessionary rate of £150 + VAT rather than £225 + VAT. Corporate accreditation is offered on a branch by branch basis rather than the firm as a whole. Your details would still appear on the public search page on our website which would direct the public to you with their claims. You can use the accredited logo as part of your signature as well as on your letter headed paper and website page, as well as benefitting from an additionally discounted event rate on all full day events.


Why do we have to take part in corporate auditing?

The integrity of the corporate scheme depends on compliance with its criteria so to ensure this is happening we have to monitor all aspects of the scheme including those firms who have gained corporate accreditation. Although some firms have been apprehensive when approached regarding a monitoring visit, most find the visit beneficial. 99% of those we have visited have met all criteria, and only a small number of firms are subject to conditions and given time to implement procedures to ensure they then meet the criteria.