QUALITY ASSURANCE, COMPLIANCE & LICENSING DEPARTMENT

The Quality Assurance, Compliance & Licensing Department (“QCL”) assists and supports Council achieve its primary objective of promoting legal education and training and maintenance of the highest possible standards in legal education in Kenya. The department implements the Legal Education Act No. 27 of 2012 and the Council of Legal Education (Accreditation and Quality Assurance) Regulations, 2016 through two overarching functions:

1. LICENSING OF LEGAL EDUCATION PROVIDERS IN KENYA

This process is guided by the Legal Education (Accreditation and Quality Assurance) Regulations, 2016 (“Regulations”). The Regulations apply to any Legal Education Provider. According to the Regulations, a legal education provider is any institution or place of learning, however established, whose object is to provide legal education and training.

Legal education is defined as any education or training programme offered by an institution whose object is to impart knowledge or skills in the area of law, or such other educational or institutional training that the Council may declare to be legal education and training. This definition is wide enough to cover education, which does not necessarily prepare a person to be the traditional lawyer, but in one way or another, to operate within a field of law. This may include training of paralegal, training on judicial systems etc. The Regulations shall apply to any institution that is or intends to offer legal education in the Country. All these institutions are required to apply for licensing before mounting any legal education programme in the country.

The application for licensing as a legal education provider is undertaken through the following key steps:

Institutions are required to apply in the format set out in the first schedule of the 2016 Regulations, using Form CLE/L/001.

Applicants MUST also furnish Council the following as part of the application;

  • A feasibility study of the legal education programme highlighting the justifications for the programme including the programme’s “niche” area
  • A strategic plan, highlighting specific strategies applicable to ensure sustainability and growth of the legal education programme
  • Supporting policy documents such as staff recruitment and development policy, research policy and library policy
  • A detailed curriculum of the legal programme and
  • any other relevant documen

Within thirty days of receipt of the application, Council shall;

  • Notify the applicant that the application does not comply with the Regulations. An applicant who has been notified by Council that the application does not comply with the Regulations is required to amend the application and submit the same within twelve months of being notified by Council.
  • Notify the applicant that the application complies with the Regulations. Council within sixty days of notifying the applicant that the application complies with the Regulations notifies the applicant of the date when Council may make an on-site visit to inspect the facilities of the applicant at the place or places the applicant intends to offer legal education.The application form and the documents are all evaluated as follows: (i) Application form and the accompanying documentation are assessed by the CLE staff (ii) The programme is assessed by two independent evaluators, one who is a professor in law and another who is an expert in curriculum development, who need not be a legal expert. (iii) The report of the independent evaluators is sent to the institution with recommendations of the peer reviewers for the institution to undertake corrective action.
  • Council schedules an audit of the institution to determine the level of compliance and in order to determine whether the institution is ready for an on-site inspection by the Quality Assurance and Compliance sub-committee of Council. Where Council determines that an institution is not ready for an on-site inspection, Council makes a report of the same and makes recommendations for corrective action for the institution. Where it is found that an institution is ready for an on-site inspection, the same is scheduled by notice to the institution.
  • Council conducts an inspection of the place where legal education shall be offered by the applicant to determine whether or not the applicant has complied with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations including the standards set out in the Third Schedule of the Regulations.
  • The report of the Quality Assurance and Compliance sub-committee of Council made with reference to paragraphs (iii) and (V) above, together with recommendations are presented to the Council which makes a final decision on the accreditation status of an institution. Where Council is satisfied that an applicant offering a legal education programme should not be accredited- (i) That applicant shall suspend the legal education programme immediately (ii) That applicant shall furnish Council with a closure plan within a period of three months and (iii) That applicant shall close the law programme within one year from the date of the inspection. Where Council determines that an institution should be accredited, a license shall be issued upon such conditions as it shall deem fit for a period of five years.

Post Accreditation Requirements

  • Comply with the conditions of the license
  • Maintain the quality standards

In order to ensure quality legal education of a licensed institution, Council shall undertake audits of the quality of legal education offered by a legal education provider. Council also may on its own motion or at the request of any person investigate whether or not a legal education provider is complying with the Act or Regulations.

2 . LICENSING OF LEGAL EDUCATION PROVIDERS IN KENYA

Recognition and approval of foreign qualifications means the legal and regulatory framework as well as the processes and procedures by which the Council of Legal Education determines whether applications for recognition of foreign qualifications in Law for purposes of admission to the Roll of Advocates in Kenya meet the standards prescribed in the Legal Education Act, 2012 (“LEA”) <link to the Act> and the Legal Education (Accreditation and Quality Assurance) Regulations, 2016 (the “Regulations”) <link to Regulations>.

Section 8(1)(e) of the Legal Education Act, 2012 provides the legal foundation upon which Council recognizes and approves foreign qualifications in law. This provision is strengthened by rule 7 of the Regulations which sets out the application procedure for recognition and approval of foreign qualifications. All persons who hold foreign qualifications in law and who are desirous to join the Advocates Training Programme (“ATP”) in Kenya must apply to Council to have their foreign qualifications in law recognized by Council.

ALL APPLICANTS for recognition and approval of foreign qualifications in law and/or applicants seeking clearance to join the Advocates Training Programme must ensure that their applications are complete and submitted to Council timeously.

Council will not receive or process incomplete applications.

The following are the requirements for each application.

1. Applications for Recognition and Approval of Foreign Law Qualifications

The applicant must attach:

  • a) The complete application form (CLE/EQ/001)
  • b) Receipt of payment of application fee (Kshs. 10,000/-)
  • c) Certified copy of LL.B. Degree certificate (NB: Letters from the University will not be accepted in lieu of the Degree Certificate)
  • d) Certified copy of LL.B. transcripts
  • e) Certified copy of LL.B. Curriculum/syllabus
  • f) Certified copies of ALL High School Certificates and in addition; (i) Applicants with KCSE High School Qualifications must also submit evidence of application of KNEC verification e.g. KNEC payment receipt; or (ii) Applicants with foreign High School qualifications i.e. High School Qualifications obtained outside Kenya must submit evidence of KNEC equation.
  • g) Letter of recommendation of the applicant from the Institution where the law qualification was obtained;
  • h) Evidence of accreditation of the law programme where the law qualification was obtained by the relevant accreditation body in the Country of award; and
  • i) Any other relevant document (e.g. Diploma in Law or Certificate in Law/legal studies) where applicable.

2. Applications for clearance to join the Advocates Training Programme

The applicant must attach:

  • a) Certified copy of LL.B. Degree Certificate
  • b) Certified copy of LL.B. Transcripts
  • c) Certified copies of ALL High School Qualifications Certificates (i.e. ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels certificates where applicable). In addition to the above, applicants seeking clearance for purposes of joining the ATP after completing the remedial programme as directed by Council must submit the following:
  • d) Certified copy of letter and results transcripts confirming completion of all remedial units; and
  • e) Copy of letter from Council communicating Council’s decision to the applicant to attend the remedial programme.

Applicants are HEREBY CAUTIONED that under Section 43(1)(a) of the Legal Education Act, No. 27 of 2012, any person who furnishes or causes to be furnished false documents or makes any false statement or representation to Council for any purpose under this Act commits an offence.

Applicants are FURTHER CAUTIONED to desist from acts of impropriety, intimidation and/or harassment of Council staff in connection with any of the above matters.