Book Review: Conveyancing Quality Scheme Toolkit

Book Review: Conveyancing Quality Scheme Toolkit

I have read the Conveyancing Quality Scheme Toolkit 2nd Edition with considerable interest and enjoyment. That enjoyment probably means I am not getting out quite as much as I should, but to all those that earn their livelihoods from conveyancing this toolkit will either endorse or challenge your own practices.  It doesn’t just hold benefit for CQS firms but for all types of conveyancers.  

I also have to admit I missed the first edition but the CQS itself is so much more significant this year than it was last.   This toolkit has been updated to include outcome focused regulation, anti-bribery and internet use policies.

I don’t know the compiler Peter Rodd personally very well but I have always respected his position within the market.  Amongst the variety of posts and positions that he has held he is the present Chair of The Law Society Property Section. I think that this book is a credit to him.   

The preface states “The Conveyancing Quality Scheme Toolkit is intended to help your practice implement and comply with some of those qualities through adherence to the core practice management standards.  These standards must be followed by all member practices of the CQS”,

So what is in the toolkit?  Well there are lots of example procedures, policies and letters that I think all conveyancers need irrespective of whether they have CQS, seek it or are just in practice.  These are not just provided in a print form but in a CD-ROM.

If you are a conveyancer I defy you not to take something positive from this toolkit.  Either your will find a nugget of information or idea that you haven’t got which will enhance your processes and risk management or you will feel relief that what you have meets the expectations that the toolkit sets.

If I was being critical I would suggest that the toolkit is light on issues relating to technology and information security which are quickly becoming increasingly important to the financial service sector and are spilling over into the conveyancing world with the expectations of HSBC and Santander.  The section on Business Continuity Planning is particularly weak.  

This book isn’t going to be enough to get you onto a volume panel for a national estate agent, panel manager or lender but it will give you the fundamentals of what you need to manage your practice.  Of course many firms will never have a desire to receive volume work from an introducer.  The point that I am making is that most volume providers would expect a higher and more detailed set of policies. 

This is all said with a big pinch of salt.  There is no point in having a policy you pay lip service to.  Buy this book, read it, review your performance against it and close the gaps.  Don’t just put the policies into the office manual and ignore them.  They need to form an integral part of your culture. 

If you don’t embrace the content from this type of toolkit or develop your own you won’t be on general lenders panels for long.  We also all know that you can live and breathe best practice and through no fault of your own be caught up with something that results in you being removed from lender panels.  This toolkit is a good start but no guarantee of success. 

At £49.99 it is good value for money.  If you can’t afford it, it is time to close before you are closed.

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