The Swansea Law Clinic, based at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, has been accredited with the Advice Quality Standard (AQS), which is the recognised quality mark for organisations that provide advice to the public on social welfare issues.
The Advice Quality Standard is owned by the Advice Services Alliance, which is the umbrella body for the advice sector. Accreditation is carried out by independent auditors, and in the case of the Law Clinic, eleven areas of best practice were identified, spread across all audited categories.
In order to achieve and maintain the standard, advice providers need to demonstrate that they have a well-managed service, ensure their staff have relevant and up-to-date knowledge, and that the quality of advice provided remains high, all of which are independently audited.
This puts Swansea Law Clinic in a prestigious positon, with only three other university law clinics in the UK currently holding AQS accreditation, with Swansea being the only university law clinic to hold this accreditation in Wales.
Under the Welsh Government’s Information and Advice Action Plan (2016), a quality assurance framework for information and advice was developed; The Information and Advice Quality Framework for Wales (IAQF), and it is government policy that advice providers must have IAQF accreditation.
Funding of social welfare advice in Wales by public bodies is contingent on having IAQF accreditation. Holders of the AQS are pass-ported automatically through to IAQF accreditation, and the AQS is currently the only quality standard that Swansea Law Clinic can apply for, which is also recognised by the IAQF.
This means that our Student Advisers, offering their time to the Clinic, have proven to the satisfaction of an independent auditor that they are working to the same standard as people employed in the advice sector.
Speaking of the accreditation, Professor Richard Owen said:
“'I am delighted Swansea Law Clinic has achieved this recognition. It is a testament to the hard work and professionalism our Student Advisers have put into their activities advising members of the public.”
Find out more about Swansea Law Clinic by viewing the Clinic’s website.