Monday 17 September 2012 by Gazette reporter

The president of The Law Society has today written to solicitors explaining the process for renewing practising certificates in 2012/13, which will begin on 1 November. Lucy Scott-Moncrieff outlines steps that have been taken to make the process run smoothly following last year's well-publicised disruption.

These include the introduction of a function enabling administrators to complete the renewal process for an entire organisation, rather than requiring individual solicitors to apply for their new certificate through the 'mySRA' portal.

A 'non-negotiable' 1 November renewal date will allow the completion of work to change the way in which online renewal operates, Scott-Moncrieff explains. Testing of the new administrator function is under way and the Society will not be able to confirm its successful completion before late-September.

A 'reliable and robust fall-back position' is on stand-by if testing does not complete in time, for which the Solicitors Regulation Authority will announce support measures during October should it turn out to be needed.

Scott-Moncrieff writes: 'I recognise that the fallback arrangements are not ideal. However, better this than the risk of problems with the new system, hence the extensive testing. My main focus, therefore, is to ensure that you are aware of the current situation and planning to enable you use the time between now and 1 November (armed with the further information that will follow as to the roll-out of the improved system) to plan and prepare for renewal from 1 November.'

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