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Professional Standards Schemes are legal instruments, approved by the Professional Standards Councils, that bind occupational associations to monitor, enforce and improve the professional standards of their members and protect consumers.

In return for these commitments, the Schemes cap the civil liability or damages that members who take part in an occupational association’s scheme may be required to pay if a court upholds a claim against them.

The Law Society of NSW has continuously administered Professional Standards Schemes since 1996, as an exclusive benefit for its solicitor/life members in private practice. The new Professional Standards Scheme (effective 2018-2023) commenced on 22 November 2018.

New Scheme, new benefits, new logo

This new Scheme brings several new benefits to Society members:

  1. Incorporated Legal Practice (ILP) entities can now participate.
  2. It is designed to have mutual recognition in other Australian states and territories.
  3. Scheme participants can use the new Law Society Professional Standards Scheme logo, which replaces the now obsolete Cover of Excellence logo.

New Scheme, new rules

Under the Scheme, as approved by the Professional Standards Councils and in accordance with the professional standards legislation, all Law Society members in private practice are required to apply for either participation in, or exemption from, the Scheme.

Participation in the Scheme is open to all solicitor members and life members in private practice. For more information on the new Scheme.

From left: Mary C Snell, A/Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Professional Standards Councils; John R Rappell, Director Professional Standards Regulation, Professional Standards Authority; Michael Tidball, Chief Executive Officer, Law Society of NSW; and John Vines OAM, Chair, Professional Standards Councils at the presentation of the Professional Standards Councils Scheme approval certificate to the Law Society of NSW on 18 October.