LEXCEL 6 - Summary of the Changes
LEXCEL 6 - the key changes summarised
Lexcel 6 was launched by the Law Society on Wednesday 29 October 2014.
It becomes mandatory for both new applications and existing firms from 1st May 2015.
So if your first or next audit falls on or after that date you will need to be Lexcel 6 compliant by the date of that audit.
The new accreditation with now be known as the Lexcel Quality Mark so be ready to change the Lexcel Logo on your websites and stationery.
As with CQS & WIQS you will need to appoint a Lexcel SRO. There are also now clear pathways to move on from Lexcel to CQS & WIQS.
The requirement to maintain an office manual has gone as has the "Risk Manager". However, before you arrange a ceremonial burning of either or both on 5th Nov, the risk management role remains and you still have to evidence your policies and procedures.
The other disappearing requirement is the requirement for a legal research procedure.
Unlike the eight sections of Lexcel 5, version 6 has only seven sections and below each section heading I have set out some of the key changes.
1. Structure & Strategy
This strategic plan now incorporates the marketing plan and requires a risk evaluation of the business objectives. There must now also be regular monitoring of performance against the objectives e.g. through the use of KPIs
2. Financial Management
Cash flow forecasts are now a requirement as are authorisation procedures for the transfer of funds.
3. Information Management
There's a greater emphasis on data security in 3.1.
The requirement to have a named person responsible for each policy, procedure and plan and the requirement for an annual review procedure are now set out once in section 3.6 b and c rather than being tediously repeated in every section as in Lexcel 5. The requirements are the same but it really tidies up the standard.
4. People Management
The key change here is the need to have a learning and development policy and plan for all personnel. Equality & Diversity gains more prominence as do "reasonable adjustments" procedures and flexible working.
5 Risk Management
A compliance plan is now mandatory and the role of the COLP and COFA and their breaches records are now expressly recognised.
Money Laundering is brought back to centre stage and MLROs can expect tougher questions about discharge of their role.
6. Client Care
Reasonable adjustments for clients now echoes the WIQS protocol.
There are some minor tweaks relating to overall supervision and naming of the complaints partner.
7 File & Case Management
Little has changed in this section of the standard except to make reporting to the client on the outcome, perhaps surprisingly, discretionary with the addition of the words "if required".
We will of course be running more detailed webinars and courses on the Lexcel 6 requirements but as we enter 2015 don't over-stock on stationery bearing the Lexcel logo.
If you need help with obtaining or maintaining your Lexcel 5 or 6 accreditation, then please get in touch for a no obligation quote.