Advisors v Legal Services Commission : which is the appropriate measure of quality advice?

MARSON, James and FERRIS, Katy (2008). Advisors v Legal Services Commission : which is the appropriate measure of quality advice? Web journal of current legal issues, 14 (4).

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Abstract

The not-for-profit (NfP) advice sector plays a vital role in ensuring the vulnerable and those in need of advice and representation have recourse to accessible, informed and quality advisors. Given the increase in social rights through legislative action and regulated benefits, the need for advocates who can assist individuals without the means to seek private legal advice is paramount in ensuring justiciable problems are resolvable. To secure that advisory agencies are providing ‘quality’ advice to their clients, the Government, through the Legal Services Commission (LSC), established a system of regulation. This involved State-funded agencies applying for accreditation through a system of ‘Quality Marks’ demonstrating the centres’ level of expertise in areas of advice. This paper, from a wider study, considers how quality of advice may be identified, and undertakes this through examination of ‘quality’ from both the advisor’s and the LSC’s perspective. It concludes that quality may be a feature of advice that is not suitable to evaluation through audits and paper trails. Whilst well intentioned, attempting to offer a degree of transparency to advice and justifying public funding, clients are largely unaware of the ‘Quality Mark’ system and advisors have considered such regulation as a movement away from the philosophical underpinnings and ethos of the NfP sector.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper draws upon a wider research project funded by the Department for Constitutional Affairs: (Johnstone, J., and Marson, J., 2005) whose funding and assistance are gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed are personal and errors and omissions remain with the authors.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Law and Criminology Research Group
Depositing User: James Marson
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2014 11:23
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 00:08
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8877

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