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Lexcel V4.1 Update

 Lexcel 4.1 - An Update

In a previous article we stated that the new Version 4.1 of Lexcel would be compulsory for all practices from January 2011. This statement came from the information available at the time. Latest information from the Lexcel office states differently.

From January 2011, all practices newly applying for the standard will be required to be assessed against the 4.1 standard. Any existing practices that currently hold accreditation to Version 4.0 can choose to be assessed against version 4.0 if they wish, with Version 4.1 being optional to be assessed against.

The reason for this is that Lexcel will have a new Version 5 released either at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, and the Lexcel office has stated that it does not want to subject firms to a major change in accreditation with such a short period between new standards.

In terms of changes between Version 4 and 4.1, then the following are the main changes;

  • The Mortgage Fraud policy has moved to Section 6 of V4.1 and is no longer a policy but now a procedure. Emphasis should be on how to communicate the procedure within the practice.
  • The Business Continuity Plan must include key people relevant to the implementation of the plan. There will be an emphasis on listing the deputies in the plan.
  • The ICT plan requirement has moved from 4A.1 to 2.4
  • There is a new procedure requirement in relation to billing clients
  • The procedure for handling financial transactions has moved from 4B.1 to 3.5
  • There must be a named individual specified with responsibility for the whole procedure.
  • Sections 4A and 4B have been merged into one section - "Information Management"
  • ICT plan is incorporated into Section 2
  • Data protection is part of guidance
  • There is new requirement at 5.6 - procedures for when members of staff leave the practice.
  • Designation of an overall Risk Manager has been moved from section 6
  • Key Dates have moved from section 8, they have also been clarified that they should be specified by work type.
  • Conflict of interest has been moved to section 6 from section 8
  • Client Care Policy has been expanded

 The standard has a general tightening around policies, procedures and plans that will require more control over than previously.

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