The LAA has opened the tender for Education and Discrimination face to face service contracts.
For those firms new to this area of legal aid, it is essential to be aware of the background to this tender. At present, anyone requiring legal aid services in these areas of law must use the telephone gateway service (CLA Service). Mandatory use of gateway services is being phased out – it will still continue but clients will eventually have the option of contacting face to face providers directly. From September 2019, during the phased removal period, whilst a prospective client must still contact the CLA Operator Service or use the Digital CLA Service (unless they fall within an exception), they will have greater freedom to access Face to Face Advice. Clients will be given the details of Face to Face Providers closest to them and have the option of choosing to be referred to one of those Face to Face providers or another Face to Face provider of their choice.
Lots will not apply to the Education and Discrimination Categories of Law. A successful Applicant will be allocated 100 Matter Starts with the ability to self-grant a further 50%. Licensed work will be unlimited.
Bids can be submitted for either or both categories. For each category, bidders will need to demonstrate that they meet the following minimum requirements:
- Employment of at least one Part Time Equivalent (PTE) Supervisor who meets either the Category-specific Supervisor Standard or the Transitional Supervisor Standard by 19 August 2019
- Meets the one PTE Supervisor to two Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Caseworkers ratio at each Office from which it is tendering to deliver Contract Work
- Each Office in the Procurement Area from which the Applicant is tendering to deliver Contract Work must be a Part-time Presence
- Has access to an Authorised Litigator with experience of carrying out cases in the relevant Category of Law in which the Applicant is tendering to deliver work
Bidders who already hold the SQM or Lexcel Standard must hold a valid accreditation that will be in force until at least 1 September 2019. If you are bidding, you will need to determine if this means that you need to bring forward any upcoming audit.
Having reviewed the information for applicants, we feel the LAA has made a few concessions to allow new entrants to this market but supervisors will still need to demonstrate a sufficient level of experience that will give the LAA assurance that the individual already has sufficient experience to make it likely they will be able to meet the full standard within the lifetime of the contract.
Applicants who do not meet the Supervisor Standard requirements in full will need to meet the Transitional Supervisor requirements which will be in place for the duration of this Contract. The casework requirements have been reduced and includes provisions to rely on experience of supervising in the category prior to the implementation of LASPO or sharing responsibility of supervision with a member of staff with a Level 3 or higher National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) standard in supervising (although note that this does not actually exist, the closest thing being an NVQ in ‘occupational supervision’ which is commonly used for workers in the construction industry).
Please find some useful links below:
FAQs must be submitted by 5pm on 21 June 2019.
The Deadline for submitting Tenders is 9am on Wednesday 10 July 2019.
Get in touch
If you are intending to enter in a bid for this contract then we are able to provide assistance. For further information on how we can assist, please contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01509 214 999.