Higher Apprenticeship in Probate (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR04001
Issue number: 1
Issued: 23 March 2017

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Higher Apprenticeship in Probate (Wales)
(PDF document 1.91 MB)

Issued by
Skills for Justice (Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services)

Contact name:
Telephone number: 0114 284 1930
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The UK Legal Services sector is large and diverse. The total value of legal services to the UK economy is £25.7 billion and in 2014-15 the sector grew by £1.9 billion (Law Society 2016). Individuals and small businesses often use legal service providers (both regulated and unregulated providers) at critical points in their life. Most commonly, buying and selling property, making Wills and dealing with anEstate in accordance with the wishes of a deceased family member or close friend.

A Will is a document in which a person states who should receive his or her property after his or her death. Probate is the process of verifying a person’s will after their death. The process of applying for probate is a reserved activity limiting those who can provide the service. It is very important that consumers receive an appropriate standard of professional legal service in these situations because their outcomes are likely to have significant and long-lasting personal and financial consequences for the individuals affected.

There are just over 4,000 solicitor firms active in probate and estate administration in the UK, representing 39% of all solicitor firms (SRA data 2014). Other authorised providers provide probate services: these include licenced conveyancers and licensed probate practitioners (regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers), notaries (regulated by the Master of Faculties), legal executives (regulated by CILEx Regulation), and authorised accountants (regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).

Probate Technicians work under the direct supervision of an Authorised Person, e.g. a Licensed Probate Practitioner, a Solicitor, or a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. These individuals are able to carry out the process of applying for a grant of probate. This framework will help employers to effectively train staff in this specialist field so that they understand the requirements and restrictions of working in an environment which is regulated together with consumer and legal requirements associated with probate matters.

Probate Technicians will work directly with other providers of professional services such as: financial services providers such as banks, building societies, accountants, and independent financial advisers.

Other probate providers include trust corporations, banks, charities and specialist will writers. Of specialist Will writers around 1,000 out of 1,600 providers offer some form of estate administration (Economic Insight (2016).

The Skills for Justice 2010 Sector Skills Assessment highlights the key issues affecting the legal services sector:
• Recession has impacted on the sector in a number of ways. Corporate and commercial law firms have seen reductions in the volume of work e.g. reduced merger and acquisition work. For high street firms, the slow-down in the housing market will have reduced the number of probate transactions, whilst crime (especially acquisitive crime according to government modelling) tends to rise when recession produces a rise in unemployment, so parts of the legal sector may see workloads increase.
• Part 5 of the Legal Services Act 2007 introduces Alternative Business Structures (ABS) An ABS is a relatively new form of business structure where external investment in the business can be made from non-lawyers in professional management or ownership roles. ABS structures offer much greater flexibility in the way Lawyers practise. The CLC licences ABS’s.

These Higher Level Apprenticeships will also contribute to meeting the skills priorities for Wales by:

• providing flexible access to a high quality level 4 skills programme, which offers a real alternative to A Levels as an entry to the legal sector for those who prefer this style of learning and achievement
• creating new technical jobs as entry points with employers who historically have only employed a graduate workforce
• incorporating skills to improve the general literacy, numeracy and ICT competence in Wales
• using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to increase
• productivity
• developing apprentices' employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers, whichever career they choose
• providing a career pathway into jobs and training at technician level and higher, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow
• building on the existing quality learning provision for the justice sector in Wales

Download framework

Higher Apprenticeship in Probate (Wales)
(PDF document 1.91 MB)