Competency assessment: Your chance to stand out

Helen Whiting, CILEx Regulation’s Practitioner Authorisation and Supervision Manager, highlights the reasons why competencies evidenced through Work-Based Learning portfolios are so important for lawyers - and for consumers of legal services.

The excitement of buying my first house quickly turned into dismay as my boiler broke down. Gone were the days of passing the problem on to my letting agency, I was now faced with the daunting prospect of finding someone who knew what they were doing when it came to boiler repair. But is knowing what you should do enough? Can I really trust the fading old diploma certificate sitting in the pile of papers in the repair person’s van?

I wanted to know their experience – have they applied the theory they learnt in college 10 years ago? Can they actually use this to fix my boiler – and properly? This is where competency assessment is so important.

Competency assessment is your real chance to shine. It’s your opportunity to show how well you can use the knowledge you have gained to support your client to the best of your ability. Lots of people can memorise facts to pass an exam, but how many can apply that relevantly and effectively when it comes down to a difficult case with real clients? When I was buying my house, I wanted to know that my conveyancer not only had the legal knowledge necessary, but had proven experience of applying this in real life scenarios. That’s why CILEx Regulation asks you to demonstrate your competence through the work-based learning portfolios required to obtain authorisation as a Chartered Legal Executive or CILEx Practitioner. Consumers of legal services can be assured that you have evidenced your competence in the workplace and not just passed exams.

Let’s just say if the repairman had his certificate but had never fixed a boiler independently, I would have been quickly looking elsewhere for help!


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