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The 2022 Conveyancing Quality Standards - New Core Practice Management Standards

CQS members may recall that in 2019 the Law Society updated the CQS Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) to much fanfare and publicity?

If so, then they may be forgiven for not noticing that the CPMS are changing again, with the only information we could find about this coming from a “one minute read” on the Law Society Website on March 1st, 2022, which can be viewed here;

If firms are accredited to Lexcel, then the first question normally asked about CQS is whether any of the Lexcel requirements satisfy the CQS requirements. In this case the answer is “yes,” although the comparison document provided in the linked article appears to be for Lexcel V6.1 and the CQS CPMS 2019 so it means that firms would have to do their own comparison. It also has to be noted that while there are some commonalities, there are still items that are specific to CQS and Residential Conveyancing in general, and there are also changes between CQS CPMS 2019 and CQS CPMS 2022, which don’t appear to be covered by the Law Society yet, so we’ll try and give some indication of those in this article.

What’s New?

Firstly, the new CPMS has 7 Sections, instead of the 6 in the “old” version.

The two new Sections are Section 1, “Structure and Strategy,” and Section 4 “People Management.” Wait – that would mean 8 sections, not 7? It would, however 2 Sections of the old CPMS, “Risk Management” and “Supervision and Operational Risk Management” have been combined into 1 Section which is the largest in the new CPMS, Section 5 Risk Management (Which runs from 5.1 to 5.17).

There are some parts of the old CPMS that have not changed in the new CPMS, however there is a mixture of slight changes or additions as well as some brand-new requirements.

One of the more subtle changes is the use of “procedure” in place of words such as “system” or “policy.” The difference being that a system or policy might be a general guide/description of what may happen for a particular requirement, while a procedure is a detailed step by step description of how a particular task or requirement is met or achieved. We won’t go into too much here, we wouldn’t want to spoil it for firms who want to go through the detail…

There is also a general updating from the SRA Outcomes Focused Regulations of 2011 in the old version, to the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

So, for some of the newer bits (which are not in numerical order);

CQS CPMS 2022 Requirement Comment

3.3 Practices must have;

a. a register of each plan, policy and procedure that is contained in the CPMS

b. A named person responsible for each plan, policy and procedure that is contained in the CPMS

c. A procedure for review of each plan, policy and procedure that is contained in the CPMS

Firms with Lexcel would recognise this from that standard, but it is new for CQS

4.2 Practices must conduct an appropriate documented induction for all personnel, including those transferring roles from within the practice and must cover;

a. immediate training requirements

b. key policies

Again, Lexcel firms would recognise this, but it is new for CQS

5.8 Practices must have a procedure to ensure that all personnel are actively supervised. Such procedures must include:

f. Ensuring that personnel adhere to the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol, where possible

While the other requirements in 3.3 are the same as the CPMS 2019, this one is new

5.17 Practices will analyse at least annually all risk assessment data generated within the practice. This must include:

d. any matters notified to the MLRO, COLP and/or COFA

This is an existing requirement in CQS 2019 but with a subtle difference which is the inclusion of matters reported to the MLRO

6.5 Practices must operate a written complaint handling procedure, including:

b. informing the client at the outset of the matter, that they have the right to complain about the practice's services and charges

d.  How a complaint can be made and to whom, providing the client with a copy of your practice’s complaints procedure, if requested, and ensuring that a copy is available on the practice's website.

e. once a complaint has been made, the person complaining is informed in writing:

iii) that the complaint will be dealt with promptly, fairly, and free of charge

f. How the practice ensures it complies with requirements 8.4 and 8.5 of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors

For b. this is a subtle difference to the previous version to include “services and charges”. For d. there is a new reference to the complaints procedure being on the firm’s website, and for e.iii) this is a new reference to the complaint being dealt with fairly and free of charge.

Finally for f. this links to the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors, which is a double check

6.4 Practices must have a policy for dealing with lenders which must:

a. Explain that the lender is also a client where a practice is acting for both the purchaser and the lender client.

b. contain a procedure to ensure that part 2 of the UK Finance Handbook is checked by a fee earner to ascertain the lender's standard requirements, as well as those specific to a transaction, and for verifying that all those requirements have been satisfied prior to exchange and recording on the file that the check has been carried out.

c. Contain a procedure for reporting matters to lenders which must include;

iii) providing appropriate legal advice and indicate what action can be taken to minimise or eliminate any risk, within what timescale, and at what cost

This is far more prescriptive than the previous version, and c.iii) includes the requirements for timescales and costs.

7.4 Practices must have a procedure to:

a. Minimise the risk of receiving avoidable requisitions from HMLR which must include how applications are checked for simple errors or omissions and how fee earners access guidance on more complex transactions

b. Ensure that clients are advised that the practice is able to register up to three addresses, (including an email address) for service when registering their ownership of the property, at HMLR and the advantage of having more than one address registered.

This is a new procedure that did not exist in the previous version

The above is not an exhaustive list, which is too big for a Snapshot article such as this.  There are also for example, changes to SDLT requirements and to Leasehold reporting requirements.

What should CQS Firms do?

May 1st, 2022, is when these new CPMS come into force, so firms should;

  • Review their existing 2019 CQS policies plans and procedures and update those that require it.
  • Check the 2022 CQS requirements and identify, draft, and implement any new policies plans and procedures
  • Check client care and terms of business letters to ensure they contain the new requirements
  • Check all 2019 CQS forms and precedents, such as Client and Matter Risk Assessment forms to ensure they include then new requirements
  • Arrange training for all relevant CQS personnel to ensure they understand the new requirements.

And last, but not least;

Prepare to be audited…

Extract from the Law Society Changes to CQS article;

“We'll also be introducing a small number of on-site visits each year and increasing the number of desk-based assessments to ensure you're equipped and able to achieve the values of CQS at the same time.”

We hope you found this article useful. As usual, if any firms need help on this or other Quality Standard or Compliance issues, please contact us, our details can be found here;

To see this article in Welsh, please read on…

Safonau Ansawdd Trawsgludo 2022 – Safonau Rheoli Arfer Craidd Newydd

Efallai y bydd aelodau CQS yn cofio bod Cymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr wedi diweddaru Safonau Rheoli Ymarfer Craidd (CPMS) y CQS yn 2019 i lawer o ffanffer a chyhoeddusrwydd?

Os felly, yna efallai y byddant yn cael eu maddau am beidio â sylwi bod y CPMS yn newid eto, gyda'r unig wybodaeth y gallem ddod o hyd iddo am hyn yn dod o “ddarlleniad un munud” ar Wefan Cymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr ar Fawrth 1af, 2022, y gellir ei gweld yma;

Os yw cwmnïau wedi'u hachredu i Lexcel, yna'r cwestiwn cyntaf a ofynnir fel arfer am CQS yw a yw unrhyw rai o ofynion Lexcel yn bodloni gofynion CQS. Yn yr achos hwn yr ateb yw “ie,” er ei bod yn ymddangos bod y ddogfen gymharu a ddarperir yn yr erthygl gysylltiedig ar gyfer Lexcel V6.1 a CQS CPMS 2019 felly mae'n golygu y byddai'n rhaid i gwmnïau wneud eu cymhariaeth eu hunain. Mae'n rhaid nodi hefyd, er bod rhai pethau cyffredin, bod yna eitemau sy'n benodol i CQS a Thrawsgludo Preswyl yn gyffredinol o hyd, ac mae newidiadau hefyd rhwng CQS CPMS 2019 a CQS CPMS 2022, nad yw'n ymddangos eu bod wedi'u cynnwys. gan Gymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr eto, felly byddwn yn ceisio rhoi rhyw syniad o'r rheini yn yr erthygl hon.

Beth sydd yn newydd?

Yn gyntaf, mae gan y CPMS newydd 7 Adran, yn lle'r 6 yn yr “hen” fersiwn.

Y ddwy Adran newydd yw Adran 1, “Strwythur a Strategaeth,” ac Adran 4 “Rheoli Pobl.” Arhoswch – byddai hynny'n golygu 8 adran, nid 7? Fodd bynnag, byddai 2 Adran o’r hen CPMS, “Rheoli Risg” a “Goruchwylio a Rheoli Risg Weithredol” wedi’u cyfuno’n 1 Adran sef y fwyaf yn y CPMS newydd, Adran 5 Rheoli Risg (Sydd yn rhedeg o 5.1 i 5.17) .

Mae rhai rhannau o'r hen CPMS nad ydynt wedi newid yn y CPMS newydd, ond mae cymysgedd o fân newidiadau neu ychwanegiadau yn ogystal â rhai gofynion newydd sbon.

Un o’r newidiadau mwy cynnil yw’r defnydd o “weithdrefn” yn lle geiriau fel “system” neu “polisi.” Y gwahaniaeth yw y gallai system neu bolisi fod yn ganllaw/disgrifiad cyffredinol o'r hyn a all ddigwydd ar gyfer gofyniad penodol, tra bod gweithdrefn yn ddisgrifiad cam wrth gam manwl o sut mae tasg neu ofyniad penodol yn cael ei fodloni neu ei chyflawni. Ni fyddwn yn mynd i mewn i ormod yma, ni fyddem am ei ddifetha i gwmnïau sydd am fynd trwy'r manylion…

Mae diweddariad cyffredinol hefyd o Reoliadau SRA sy’n Canolbwyntio ar Ganlyniadau 2011 yn yr hen fersiwn, i Safonau a Rheoliadau SRA 2019.

Felly, ar gyfer rhai o'r darnau mwy newydd (nad ydynt mewn trefn rifiadol);

Gofyniad CQS CPMS 2022 Sylw

3.3 Rhaid i bractisau gael;

a. cofrestr o bob cynllun, polisi a gweithdrefn a gynhwysir yn y CPMS

b. Person penodol sy'n gyfrifol am bob cynllun, polisi a gweithdrefn a gynhwysir yn y CPMS

c. Gweithdrefn ar gyfer adolygu pob cynllun, polisi a gweithdrefn a gynhwysir yn y CPMS

Byddai cwmnïau gyda Lexcel yn cydnabod hyn o'r safon honno, ond mae'n newydd i CQS

4.2 Rhaid i bractisau gynnal cyfnod sefydlu priodol wedi'i ddogfennu ar gyfer yr holl bersonél, gan gynnwys y rhai sy'n trosglwyddo rolau o'r tu mewn i'r practis a rhaid iddynt gyflenwi;

a. gofynion hyfforddi ar unwaith

b. polisïau allweddol

Unwaith eto, byddai cwmnïau Lexcel yn cydnabod hyn, ond mae'n newydd i CQS

5.8 Rhaid i bractisau gael gweithdrefn i sicrhau bod yr holl bersonél yn cael eu goruchwylio'n weithredol. Rhaid i weithdrefnau o’r fath gynnwys:

dd. Sicrhau bod personél yn cadw at Brotocol Trawsgludo Cymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr, lle bo modd

Er bod y gofynion eraill yn 3.3 yr un fath â CPMS 2019, mae'r un hwn yn newydd

5.17 Bydd practisau yn dadansoddi o leiaf bob blwyddyn yr holl ddata asesu risg a gynhyrchir yn y practis. Rhaid i hyn gynnwys:

d. unrhyw faterion a hysbyswyd i'r MLRO, COLP a/neu COFA

Mae hwn yn ofyniad presennol yn CQS 2019 ond gyda gwahaniaeth cynnil sef cynnwys materion yr adroddwyd arnynt i'r MLRO

6.5 Rhaid i bractisau weithredu gweithdrefn ysgrifenedig ar gyfer ymdrin â chwynion, gan gynnwys:

b. hysbysu’r cleient ar ddechrau’r mater, bod ganddo’r hawl i gwyno am wasanaethau a thaliadau’r practis

d. Sut y gellir gwneud cwyn ac i bwy, darparu copi o weithdrefn gwyno eich practis i’r cleient, os gofynnir amdano, a sicrhau bod copi ar gael ar wefan y practis.

e. unwaith y bydd cwyn wedi’i gwneud, caiff y sawl sy’n cwyno ei hysbysu’n ysgrifenedig:

iii) y bydd y g?yn yn cael ei thrin yn brydlon, yn deg, ac yn rhad ac am ddim

dd. Sut mae'r practis yn sicrhau ei fod yn cydymffurfio â gofynion 8.4 ac 8.5 Cod Ymddygiad yr SRA ar gyfer Cyfreithwyr

Ar gyfer b. mae hwn yn wahaniaeth cynnil i'r fersiwn flaenorol i gynnwys “gwasanaethau a thaliadau”. Canys d. mae cyfeiriad newydd at y drefn gwyno ar wefan y cwmni, ac ar gyfer e.iii) mae hwn yn gyfeiriad newydd at ymdrin â’r g?yn yn deg ac yn rhad ac am ddim.

Yn olaf ar gyfer f. mae hyn yn cysylltu â Chod Ymddygiad yr SRA i Gyfreithwyr, sy'n wiriad dwbl

6.4 Rhaid i bractisau gael polisi ar gyfer delio â benthycwyr sy’n gorfod:

a. Eglurwch fod y benthyciwr hefyd yn gleient lle mae practis yn gweithredu ar ran y prynwr a'r cleient benthyciwr.

b. cynnwys gweithdrefn i sicrhau bod rhan 2 o Lawlyfr Cyllid y DU yn cael ei gwirio gan enillydd ffi i ganfod gofynion safonol y benthyciwr, yn ogystal â’r rhai sy’n benodol i drafodiad, ac ar gyfer gwirio bod yr holl ofynion hynny wedi’u bodloni cyn cyfnewid a chofnodi ar y ffeil bod y gwiriad wedi'i wneud.

c. Cynnwys gweithdrefn ar gyfer adrodd materion i fenthycwyr sy'n gorfod cynnwys;

iii) darparu cyngor cyfreithiol priodol a nodi pa gamau y gellir eu cymryd i leihau neu ddileu unrhyw risg, o fewn pa amserlen, ac am ba gost

Mae hyn yn llawer mwy rhagnodol na'r fersiwn flaenorol, ac c.iii) yn cynnwys y gofynion ar gyfer amserlenni a chostau.

7.4 Rhaid i bractisau gael gweithdrefn i:

a. Lleihau’r risg o dderbyn ymholiadau y gellir eu hosgoi gan HMLR sy’n gorfod cynnwys sut y caiff ceisiadau eu gwirio am wallau neu hepgoriadau syml a sut mae enillwyr ffi yn cael mynediad at ganllawiau ar drafodion mwy cymhleth

b. Sicrhau bod cleientiaid yn cael eu hysbysu bod y practis yn gallu cofrestru hyd at dri chyfeiriad, (gan gynnwys cyfeiriad e-bost) ar gyfer gohebu wrth gofrestru eu perchnogaeth o’r eiddo, yn HMLR a’r fantais o gael mwy nag un cyfeiriad wedi’i gofrestru.

Mae hon yn weithdrefn newydd nad oedd yn bodoli yn y fersiwn flaenorol.

Beth ddylai Cwmnïau CQS ei wneud?

Mai 1af, 2022, yw pan ddaw'r CPMS newydd hyn i rym, felly dylai cwmnïau;

  • Adolygu eu cynlluniau a gweithdrefnau polisïau CQS 2019 presennol a diweddaru'r rhai sydd eu hangen.
  • Gwirio gofynion CQS 2022 a nodi, drafftio a gweithredu unrhyw bolisïau, cynlluniau a gweithdrefnau newydd
  • Gwiriwch ofal cleientiaid a llythyrau telerau busnes i sicrhau eu bod yn cynnwys y gofynion newydd
  • Gwiriwch holl ffurflenni a chynseiliau CQS 2019, megis ffurflenni Asesiad Risg Cleient a Mater i sicrhau eu bod yn cynnwys gofynion newydd bryd hynny
  • Trefnu hyfforddiant ar gyfer yr holl bersonél CQS perthnasol i sicrhau eu bod yn deall y gofynion newydd.

Ac yn olaf, ond nid y lleiaf;

Paratoi i gael eich archwilio…

Detholiad o erthygl Newidiadau i CQS Cymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr;

“Byddwn hefyd yn cyflwyno nifer fach o ymweliadau ar y safle bob blwyddyn ac yn cynyddu nifer yr asesiadau desg i sicrhau eich bod yn meddu ar y cyfarpar a’r gallu i gyflawni gwerthoedd CQS ar yr un pryd.”

Gobeithiwn fod yr erthygl hon yn ddefnyddiol i chi. Yn ôl yr arfer, os oes angen cymorth ar unrhyw gwmnïau ar y mater hwn neu faterion Safon Ansawdd neu Gydymffurfiaeth eraill, cysylltwch â ni, mae ein manylion i'w gweld yma;