Professional Competence: Peer Review and Quality Assurance

24 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2011 Last revised: 22 Jul 2011

See all articles by Avrom Sherr

Avrom Sherr

University of London - Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Alan Paterson

University of Strathclyde - School of Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This paper notes the emergence of peer review as a means of quality assurance regarding the work of legal professionals. The peer review system used for public funding in England and Wales and Scotland has focused on a range of factors including inputs, structure, process and outcomes. The paper reviews different approaches to assessment, showing up the difficulties of direct observation, model clients, assessment of the management of cases and approaches which look at outcomes only in statistical terms. Specific criteria need to be generated for evaluating quality of performance and they have to be agreed by the professional groups concerned as an accurate representation of the necessary work. The paper goes on to discuss the optimum amount of such criteria, systems for assessment on a Likert scale and approaches in order to maintain consistency. The article then compares peer review in Scotland with England and Wales. The experience of the peer review studies in England and Scotland suggest that peer review based on files, an agreed set of criteria and trained reviewers can deliver an effective quality assurance programme.

Suggested Citation

Sherr, Avrom H. and Paterson, Alan, Professional Competence: Peer Review and Quality Assurance (2008). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 5, p. 151, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881592

Avrom H. Sherr (Contact Author)

University of London - Institute of Advanced Legal Studies ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square Room 505
London WC1B 5DR
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7862 5800 (Phone)
+44 (0)20 7862 5850 (Fax)

Alan Paterson

University of Strathclyde - School of Law ( email )

Lord Hope Building
John Anderson Campus 141 St. James' Rd
Glasgow G4 0LT, Scotland G4 0LT
United Kingdom

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