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SRA vows to learn lessons from chaotic implementation of online PC renewal system

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority has vowed to learn the lessons from a chaotic first year of online renewal of practising certificates.

The watchdog was forced to extend the deadline for renewals until the end of February 2012 after problems with the mySRA system. The original deadline was in October 2011.

The SRA admitted today [6 March] that the process – which replaced the old, paper-based system – had “not run as smoothly as the SRA had hoped”.

It said a comprehensive review would be carried out to “keep any frustrations the profession face next time to a minimum”

The SRA is kicking off the review with an online survey that asks for “constructive and structured” feedback from the profession over its experiences of mySRA in recent months.

The watchdog said it would use this information to prioritise the issues that should be looked at. It also plans to hold a series of workshops across the country.

Mike Jeacock, SRA Chief Operating Officer, said: "Changing the way we carried out the renewals process was wholly necessary and the introduction of mySRA in the long run will save everyone time and money. However, we have no illusions about how frustrating this year's renewals process has been, for all concerned, and we want to avoid a similar situation next time around.

"So we're conducting this review as promptly as possible so we can incorporate the lessons learned quickly. The review will hopefully allow us to identify those problems that affected the profession most, and therefore draw up solutions.”

Jeacock admitted that the SRA would not be able to address every issue raised. "We have to focus first on those problems that, if alleviated, will benefit the majority, so as we say, we'll be prioritising the issues and dealing with those first," he said.

The online survey can be found here.