Update on COVID-19 contingency arrangements from the LAA

PUBLISHED November 11, 2020

Please see the message below from The Legal Aid Agency:-

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has reviewed and made a few minor updates to contingency arrangements based on the scenario that Parliament votes in favour of these restrictions.

We hope these arrangements demonstrate the LAA’s desire to offer support and operate flexibly in response to necessary changes.


 The changes mainly apply to contract management and assurance areas of legal aid work including the following:

  • Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) audits restarted after 1 September 2020 with providers expected to use remote, blended or full on-site audit
  • If you are unable to undertake your SQM audit due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, please contact Recognising Excellence in the first instance
  • Please also keep your Contract Manager updated if:
    • restrictions result in your audit not being progressed or
    • your accreditation is affected


The timeframe for the current arrangements has been extended to January 2021, including DSCC arrangements.

 Updated GOV.UK info

 For the latest updates please visit these pages on our website: COVID contingency arrangements.

Please note that there is also guidance on working with self-employed applicants.

The above information will be publicised in the Legal Aid Bulletin and on their social media Twitter and LinkedIn channels.