Prior conduct

How to make a conduct declaration

It’s now quicker and easier to make a conduct declaration. Go to myCILEx and click on the ‘My conduct declaration’ tile. If you’re having any problems, follow our step-by-step instructions or contact us at info@cilexregulation.org.uk


Who should declare

  • Applicants for CILEx Membership, CILEx Practitioner or Approved Manager status
  • CILEx Members
  • CILEx Practitioners
  • Approved Managers

Applicants to own an Authorised Entity must declare Fitness to Own.


When to declare

Applicants must declare Prior Conduct on CILEx and CILEx Regulation application forms.

CILEx Members, CILEx Practitioners and Approved Managers must make a declaration at the point the conduct occurs (or for Members, when they renew their Membership – whichever is sooner).


What to declare

Our prior conduct questions and guidance set out what you must tell us and what the definitions mean.

You must declare in writing if you have at any time:

  • been convicted or accepted a caution in the UK for a criminal offence, or been convicted elsewhere for an offence which, if committed in England and Wales, would constitute a criminal offence (other than a motoring offence, not resulting in disqualification)
  • been subject to investigation or proceedings about your fitness to practice by any regulatory or professional body (including findings or orders currently under appeal)
  • been bankrupt or if you have made a composition with creditors
  • been removed from being a trustee of a charity, or removal from being concerned with the management or control of a charity
  • been removed from office as a member, director or manager of any public body
  • been disqualified from acting as a director of a company
  • been the subject of a civil judgment
  • been involved in any other matter which may be relevant to a decision by CILEx Regulation to admit, authorise or approve that Applicant

Chartered Legal Executives (Fellows) and CILEx Practitioners are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. You must therefore declare all convictions, including those that are spent. If you are in any other grade of membership you do not need to declare spent convictions until you make an application to become a Fellow of CILEx or a CILEx Practitioner. Protected cautions or convictions, and filtered convictions will not show up on your DBS or Disclosure Scotland check if they are not meant for disclosure.


What happens after I make the declaration?

Prior Conduct declarations are considered and determined in accordance with the Enforcement Rules.

Guidance on the Enforcement Rules can be found in the Enforcement Handbook and the annexes to it. Annex 2 includes guidance on sanctions that may be imposed and factors that are taken into account when making decisions.

Decisions can be made by CILEx Regulation or by the Professional Conduct Panel depending on the nature of the conduct declared and the grade of membership/position being applied for.

New applicants and CILEx Members, CILEx Practitioners and Approved Managers

If you have declared Prior Conduct, CILEx Regulation can approve your application. This is referred to as a Delegated Decision in the Enforcement Rules.

If the conduct that you have declared does not fall within a Delegated Decision your conduct will be referred to the Professional Conduct Panel. The Professional Conduct Panel can:

  • approve your application
  • refuse your application
  • decide to take no action and direct CILEx Regulation how to deal with declaration
  • impose conditions on you in respect of future conduct and (if you are an individual) your employment
  • require you to give an undertaking regarding your future conduct
  • reprimand (existing Approved Managers only), warn as to future conduct
  • refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal as it was an allegation of misconduct (existing Approved Managers only)

Before making decisions the Professional Conduct Panel may seek further information from you or request your attendance.

FAQs

What do I need to declare?

You must declare in writing if you have at any time:

> been convicted or accepted a caution in the UK for a criminal offence, or been convicted elsewhere for an offence which, if committed in England and Wales, would constitute a criminal offence (other than a motoring offence, not resulting in disqualification)
> been subject to investigation or proceedings about your fitness to practice by any regulatory or professional body (including findings or orders currently under appeal)
> been bankrupt or if you have made a composition with creditors
> been removed from being a trustee of a charity, or removal from being concerned with the management or control of a charity
> been removed from office as a member, director or manager of any public body
> been disqualified from acting as a director of a company
> been the subject of a civil judgment
> been involved in any other matter which may be relevant to a decision by CILEx Regulation to admit, authorise or approve that Applicant

Do I need to declare everything?

There are some matters that you do not need to declare if you are applying to become a student, an Affiliate, an Associate or a Graduate member of CILEx. For example, if you have a spent conviction that is a protected caution or conviction, you do not need to declare it. If you have a fixed penalty notice, you do not need to declare it unless you have not paid it. For further information on criminal record checks, please see the Nacro website: https://www.nacro.org.uk/resettlement-advice-service/support-for-individuals/disclosing-criminal-records/criminal-record-checks/#findout

When do I need to declare Prior Conduct?

> On all application forms
> At the time the prior conduct occurred
> On annual renewal forms

If a Prior Conduct matter arises at a time you are not completing a form for submission to CILEx Regulation you must write to us to declare the matter as soon as it occurs.

What happens when I declare a prior conduct?

Your Prior Conduct declaration will be reviewed by CILEx Regulation’s Investigation team. CILEx Regulation will gather information relating to the prior conduct matter from you (and relevant third parties where necessary) and decide what, if any, action to take in relation to it.

 

The decision will relate to whether to accept your application, where you are already regulated by CILEx Regulation, what action to take in respect of the conduct you have declared.

How long will it take for my prior conduct to be considered?

This will depend on the type of conduct you have declared and whether it has been declared on a previous application. We may also seek information from relevant third parties, which can take some time to obtain. Sometimes CILEx Regulation can deal with a prior conduct matter without referral to the professional conduct panel, this is referred to as a delegated decision. This should take no more than two weeks from receipt of the relevant information to approve. If you do not provide the information promptly, this will delay your application.

 

If your prior conduct cannot be dealt with via the delegated procedure it must be put before the Professional Conduct Panel (PCP). The PCP will decide what action to take based on the information you have provided. A decision will usually be made on the day of the meeting, unless further information is required by the PCP.

What information will I need to submit to CILEx Regulation relating to my Prior Conduct declaration?

A member of the Investigation team will write to you requesting the following types of evidence depending on the type of conduct you have declared and the application you are making:

>Disclosure Barring Service report (for all individuals applying for Fellowship, Practice Rights or to become an Approved Manager): https://www.gov.uk/dbs-check-applicant-criminal-record
> Information about the ID Checking Service, completing your DBS application form and submitting your DBS application form can be found on the CILEx Regulation DBS Guide
> A copy of a Court Order
> A letter relating to a debt that is owed and/or evidence that it has been repaid in full

 

You may be asked to sign an undertaking form.

 

This list is not exhaustive and there may be circumstances where you are unable to get this information. If this is the case you must contact CILEx Regulation to explore other routes through which you can obtain the information.

Can I submit character references?

You may submit character references. They must be signed and dated, with clear details of the status of the person providing the reference and, where possible, they should be provided on company headed paper. The reference should be no more than six months old.

When does the Professional Conduct Panel (PCP) meet?

There are approximately eight to nine meetings each year. They are roughly six weeks apart. If you are unable to provide the required information to us at least three weeks before the meeting, your prior conduct matter will have to be delayed until the next meeting of the Panel. This is because under the Enforcement Rules papers must be sent to the PCP two weeks before the meeting.

Who sits on the Professional Conduct Panel?

The Professional Conduct Panel (PCP) is made up of three individuals. Two are lay members who are non-lawyers. One is a Fellow of CILEx and is called the professional member. All members are independent of CILEx Regulation who takes no part in the decision-making process at these meetings. CILEx Regulation only attends to provide any further information the Panel may request.

 

The PCP is supported by an independent clerk who takes minutes of the meeting and assists with procedural matters. The Clerk takes no part in decision-making.

Will I need to attend a meeting?

In some cases, you may be asked to attend a meeting by the Professional Conduct Panel to answer questions it may have. You will be given notice of whether this has been ordered.

Where are the meetings held?

The meetings are held at the CILEx Regulation office which is College House, Kempston Manor, Kempston, Bedford MK42 7AB. The clerk will take you through to the meeting.

Will I need to bring anything with me to the meeting?

If you have been asked to attend you must bring a form of identification with you and a copy of any documents that you have used in support of your application or membership subscription form, unless the originals are already with CILEx Regulation. You may wish to prepare in advance any submissions or mitigation about your prior conduct matter ready to provide to the PCP.

What happens if I have enrolled on an education course?

If you have enrolled on a course of study to do the CILEx exams and qualifications you must contact the college to enquire what its policy is, should your application for membership be refused. You may wish to ask this prior to enrolling. You will not be able to take your Level 3 CILEx exams unless you become a CILEx member. You should therefore declare any prior conduct matters as early as possible, so that a decision can be made in advance of you having to register for and take your exams.

Can I make another application to become a member?

You may reapply unless the Professional Conduct Panel has stated you cannot. You should consider the reasons for which your application was refused in the first instance and make attempts to address those issues before reapplying.

What happens at the conclusion of the meeting?

You will receive a copy of the signed order providing reasons for the decision about your prior conduct. This will be sent within 21 days of the meeting.

Can I appeal a decision?

You may appeal a decision of the Professional Conduct Panel. You will have 42 calendar days within which to appeal. If you are unclear about prior conduct declarations then email us: info@cilexregulation.org.uk

 

If you have questions about declaring fitness to own where you are an Approved Manager, have an Authorised Entity or are applying for your entity to be authorised, then guidance can be found on our Fitness to Own pages.