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 in the candidate’s column of the portfolio 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 portfolio)?
The application process has changed over the years; yes a candidate does need to enter details in the candidate’s section of the portfolio. The principles are then discussed by the candidate and the assessor, who must also meet certain criteria. The assessor must declare whether they have seen sufficient evidence to sign off the applicant as being suitable for the level they have applied at.
How come so many members seem to hold individual accreditation, should the criteria be tougher?
Only approximately 30% of APIL members are accredited. 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.
Does APIL review the accreditation process and requirements on a regular basis?
Yes, all criteria for the accreditation scheme are reviewed regularly by the training and accreditation committee and the various working parties which established the criteria.
In addition, we review the criteria following any new law reform and take on board members’ suggestions in respect of portfolio completion. All processes and procedures are reviewed continually to ensure that the scheme continues to meet its purpose.
Can someone on other accreditation panels be automatically accredited with APIL
The APIL scheme is based on a competence framework which was introduced in 2012. When comparative mapping was carried out, the criteria for the other panels did not correspond with the APIL scheme and we must therefore ask applicants to apply separately by using the APIL portfolio.
Is there accreditation for Scottish members/solicitor advocates in Scotland?
Yes, when choosing the appropriate level of individual accreditation here, there is an option to select “Scotland” for nearly all relevant levels. The accreditation scheme has been tailored for Scots members and advocates.
Why are the forms so lengthy?
Please do not be put off by the portfolio – the application form. If applicants wish to view the criteria on their own, please scroll to the bottom of the page of the appropriate level and view the Competence Standard itself. For example, the Senior Litigator Standard can be viewed here
Evidence must be provided against specific criteria to ascertain if an applicant meets a certain standard. These areas are verified by an assessor to ensure that when accredited lawyers are promoted to injured people, they can be assured that the lawyer meets the Standards of the scheme which in turn re-assures them that they are approaching a solicitor of competence.
The Standards are also development tools so criteria can be signed off over a period of time as and when new skills are acquired and throughout an applicant’s day to day work.
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 accreditation 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?
linking to individual member profiles, biographies, photographs and CVs. We also have a public information campaign leaflet which can be personalised and ordered here.
Press and TV advertising campaigns can be costly. APIL uses social media to celebrate member achievements and encourages members to promote their own accreditation wherever possible.
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.