Independent Children’s Lawyer panel quality audits commencing in April

Independent Children’s Lawyer panel quality audits commencing in April

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

In the coming weeks, our Quality Assurance team will be working with Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) panel members to support the delivery of high-quality legal services through quality audits and compliance checks.

The Quality Assurance team will be in contact with ICL panel members to support practitioners to meet their obligations as outlined in the Practice Standards and our compliance terms and conditions.

The aim of quality audits is to ensure that a minimum quality standard is being met, and encourage improvements where a need is identified.

We seek to improve the quality of legal services that clients receive and to identify and promote those practitioners who are leading the way by demonstrating high quality services to their clients. The Quality Assurance team will also use this time to recognise the high-quality work conducted by our panel members. 

What to expect

ICL panel practitioners selected to undergo a quality audit will be contacted via phone with a request for specific files to be audited and/or compliance checked.

As COVID-19 is continuing to impact our capacity to assess physical files, the Quality Assurance team have implemented some changes to better support our practice partners.

  • While we are in the process of developing alternative electronic file submission platforms, currently we can only assess files sent to us by email.
  • Should you need additional time to electronically scan your paper files, please discuss this with your quality assurance team member.
  • Please ensure you emails do not exceed 10 Megabytes in size. 
  • All correspondence should be forwarded to qualityaudits@vla.vic.gov.au.

Once your files have been reviewed, your Quality Assurance team member will forward you a quality assurance outcome letter. We may also be in touch to arrange a conference call to discuss the quality assurance findings with you.

Tips to prepare for a quality audit

Preparation is key to a successful and smooth audit. To support our practice partners, the Quality Assurance team recommend the following in preparation for a review:

  • Files should be submitted on time to the quality auditor to avoid a failed audit.
  • Include all relevant documents and reports in the file.
  • Files should be presented in chronological order.
  • Separate files should be kept for separate matters.
  • Conflict checks should be documented on the files.
  • File notes should be legible. 
  • Client instructions, including personal history relevant to the matter, should be documented on the file.
  • Advice to the client should be recorded on the file.
  • Evidence of a final outcome letter to clients should be available. 
  • Contact your Legal Quality Auditor if you have any questions ahead of the file submission date.

More information

If you have any questions, please contact the Quality Audit team at qualityaudits@vla.vic.gov.au.

 

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