Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)
What is the Conveyancing Quality Scheme?
The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is the Law Society’s quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. Obtaining accreditation improves credibility with stakeholders such as lenders and insurers as well as potential clients.
Many lenders require firms to hold CQS accreditation to be members of their panels, enabling the firm to act for both the client and the lender in conveyancing transactions involving a mortgage.
CQS requires compliance with two key pillars:
- Core Practice Management Standards
The CQS Core Practice Management Standards define quality management procedures in seven key areas:
- Structure and Strategy
- Financial Management
- Information Management
- People Management
- Risk Management
- Client Care
- File & Case Management
The CQS Protocol outlines practices to be followed across six key stages of residential conveyancing work:
- Pre-exchange – submitting a contract
- Prior to exchange of contracts
- Exchange of contracts
In 2019, the Law Society conducted a series of pilot audits to assess the compliance of practices holding CQS accreditation with its requirements. These audits comprised both desk-based and on-site visits. Although auditing activity has since paused, the Law Society has expressed its intention for all CQS-accredited practices to be subject to compliance audits.
How We Can Help
We can assist practices with the application process for initial or re-accreditation, or notifying the Law Society of the appointment of new key personnel at the firm. We can also help practices ensure that their firm’s policies and processes meet the Core Practice Management Standards, including ensuring that all client care letters and other templates are compliant.
Once auditing activity is recommended by the Law Society, we will review the nature of these audits, with a view to assisting firms in preparing for these.
The price for this service depends upon the size of the firm and the precise scope of the service.