The scheme, proposed by the Joint Advocacy Group, comprising the Bar Standards Board, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and ILEX Professional Standards, is currently under consultation. Under the QAA, all criminal advocates will be assessed against a common set of standards. It proposes four levels of competence ranging from magistrates' court work to complex Crown court cases.
The proposal has drawn criticism from the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates (SAHCA) which argues that the scheme would be unworkable.
The consultation closes next month and the scheme is scheduled to be introduced in July 2011.
Law Society Gazette. October 25, 2010.