SQM Audit News

As of tea time yesterday we have had 3 successful SQM Audits with clients so far this week – all with remarkably low levels of recorded non-compliance (as I insist on still calling it). This continues our fieldwork teams 100% record.

I had my first hands-on experience of audit preparation yesterday under the latest version of the standard. My immediate difficulty was NOT to look at files from another angle – Contract Compliance, cost assessment or old style franchising. We know, for instance, that they spend only a small amount of time on files, just looking for very basic evidence of compliance – a CCL or a close of case letter for instance. A dramatic reduction in focus was therefore needed. The experience has however left me certain that auditors without a detailed knowledge of Legal Aid will miss essential elements of the old requirements. I am more concerned however that (understandable) confusion about the requirements on Costs Advice may lead to mistaken findings. Ho hum, not our problem – our punters remain delighted.

On a genuinely worrying note however, are the 2 recent calls thi, both from London firms, who seem only just to have spotted the end July deadline – not sure that even our guys have time enough to help put that right.

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