The current contracts held between the Legal Services Commission (LSC) and community legal service direct specialist advisers terminate on 31 March 2007. The LSC is currently tendering for replacement contracts. One requirement of these revised contracts is that providers must achieve the Commission’s preferred supplier status. This is subject to an assessment of advice provision, by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (an independent organisation), resulting in a rating of category one (excellence) or two (competence plus).
The number of complaints about Community Legal Service Direct, recorded by the Legal Services Commission over the last 12 months, is 24. This is comprised of six complaints about the website, eight about the directory, nine about the telephone service and one about printed materials.
The Legal Services Commission’s contracts with Community Legal Service (CLS) Direct providers do not specify the qualifications that advisers must hold. CLS Direct supervisors must meet the Specialist Quality Mark standard for the category of law relevant to their post.