To preserve the integrity of the Scheme and to ensure existing Accredited Specialists maintain a high level of expertise in their Areas of Accreditation, QLS only permits Solicitors to hold a maximum of two accreditations at any one time.
Members of the QLS Specialist Accreditation Advisory Committees are comprised of Accredited Specialists and Legal Academics who are responsible for preparing program assessments and determining if a practitioner meets the standard of an Accredited Specialists. All practitioners who are Accredited Specialists are entitled to express an interest to QLS to join a Specialist Accreditation Advisory Committee in their area of accreditation. Please contact the QLS Specialist Accreditation Team at email@example.com for more information about the application process.
The QLS Specialist Accreditation Scheme is part of a national framework of specialist accreditation Schemes in Australia. Each State that offers specialist accreditation programs adheres to a national Mutual Recognition Policy. How mutual recognition is determined will depend on the area of accreditation and how similar it is in another State. For example, accreditation programs for Family Law, Immigration Law, Taxation Law and Workplace Relations are all recognised as national areas of accreditation. On the other hand, there may be distinguishable differences between States for accreditation programs in Criminal Law, Property Law, Succession Law, Commercial Litigation etc.
For more information about obtaining interstate mutual recognition of your QLS specialist accreditation, please contact the relevant law society in that State.
Interstate legal practitioners who hold a specialist accreditation gained interstate may apply to the QLS Specialist Accreditation Board for mutual recognition of their accreditation pursuant to the Mutual Recognition Policy .
Applications can be submitted in the form of a letter addressed to the Specialist Accreditation Board attaching relevant supporting materials and emailed directly to the QLS Specialist Accreditation team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Accredited Specialist who is unable to satisfy the conditions for maintaining their accreditation due to a change in circumstance, such as parental leave, a serious medical condition, sabbatical etc., will need to notify the QLS Specialist Accreditation Team at email@example.com about taking a leave of absence.
The requirements for maintaining your accreditation during a leave of absence are specified in clause 4.4 of the Specialist Accreditation Scheme Handbook.
Accreditation must be renewed on an annual basis and is subject to an Accredited Specialist continuing to engage in actual legal practice in order to meet the Substantial Involvement requirement.
However, QLS recognises that some Accredited Specialists may elect to move into non-legal practice roles (e.g. academia, legal policy work, judicial or quasi-judicial appointment) or focus their services exclusively in mediation or arbitration. In circumstances where this is on a full-time basis, Accredited Specialists are unable to meet the Substantial Involvement requirement because they are not engaging in actual legal practice.
Depending on the nature of these non-legal practice roles and/or services, and the relevant period of time, the Handbook provides Accredited Specialists an opportunity to annually apply for a discretion from the Specialist Accreditation Board to maintain their accreditation. The terms of this annual discretionary application process are outlined in clause 4.9 of the Specialist Accreditation Scheme Handbook.