TEL 020 7222 5381 (10.00AM TO 4.00PM WORKING DAYS)

Code of Practice

Chapter 18: Supervision

The Post-Admission Rules provide for newly qualified notaries to be supervised during the first two years of practice.

The supervision of newly qualified notaries is designed to provide notaries with the support and encouragement of an experienced notary during their first two years of providing notarial services, and to facilitate the monitoring of the newly qualified notary’s work.

The supervisor of a newly qualified notary must have been in practice for at least five years [Post-Admission Rule 4(1)].  A newly qualified notary who works in the same firm as a notary who has been qualified for five years or more may be supervised on site by that notary, or by a different notary at a distance if preferred.  A newly qualified notary who works in a firm where there is no other notary, or who sets up a new practice as a sole practitioner notary, must be supervised at a distance.

Supervision at a distance is conducted mostly by telephone and e-mail.  The supervisor should be available to assist the supervised notary at all reasonable times and respond to the supervised notary’s enquiries promptly [Post-Admission Rule 5(5)].  Supervisor and supervisee are required to meet four times during the two years of supervision so that the supervisor may examine the supervisee’s records.  The supervisor is required to check that the supervised notary is practising in accordance with the Master’s Rules.  The supervised notary must make the records of his or her notarial practice and all other relevant information available to the supervisor so that the supervisor is able to make that assessment.

The Post-Admission Rules also require a notary who provides conveyancing services or probate services to be supervised for the first three years during which these services are provided as a notary if that notary is not in practice with another lawyer who provides the same services within the same firm.

During each year of the supervision period, all notaries must attend a Continuing Education Day covering general matters of notarial practice and professional conduct, and in addition the law and practice of bills of exchange [Post-Admission Rule 6(a)].  Notaries who are under supervision for the provision of conveyancing services must attend a full-day’s course in the law and practice of conveyancing [Post-Admission Rule 6(b)], and notaries who are under supervision for the provision of probate services must attend a full-day’s course in the law and practice of probate [Post-Admission Rule 6(c)].

  • Newly qualified notaries receive the support and guidance of an experienced notary.
  • The acquisition of skills and knowledge during the course of study leading to appointment as a notary is extended and enhanced through the period of supervision.
  • The work of newly qualified notaries is monitored so that the services they provide to the public are of a high standard.
  • Newly qualified notaries receive in-depth updates on relevant law and practice through Continuing Education Day.
  • Notaries offering conveyancing and probate services are adequately monitored to ensure that those services are provided competently.

Notaries under supervision

  • You select a supervisor who is well qualified to provide you with ongoing guidance as to relevant law and practice and to monitor the notarial services that you provide, in particular if you intend providing notarial services in specialist areas of law or one or more foreign languages.
  • You keep your supervisor sufficiently informed of the notarial services that you are providing for adequate monitoring of those services to be maintained.
  • You attend Continuing Education Day and, if relevant, courses in conveyancing and probate, in accordance with the Post-Admission Rules promptly and attentively.
  • You consider attending other relevant educational events during your supervision period so as to increase and enhance your legal and practical knowledge.
  • You actively increase and enhance your legal and practice knowledge through self-study.
  • You respond promptly and fully to any request from the Master of the Faculties for information or documentation relating to the period of supervision [Post-Admission Rule 7(3)].

Supervisors

  • You ensure that you are available at all reasonable times to give guidance and support to your supervisee.
  • You ensure that your monitoring of your supervisee’s work and attendance at Continuing Education Day is effective and ongoing.
  • You raise any points of concern with your supervisee at the time that they become apparent and attempt to resolve them, failing which you report your concerns to the Master of the Faculties.
  • You record each meeting with your supervisee and any advice or guidance given during the period of supervision in accordance with the Practice Rule 23 [Post-Admission Rule 7(1) and Post-Admission Rule 7(2)].
  • Once the period of supervision has been satisfactorily completed, you provide prompt confirmation to the Master of the Faculties of its completion listing the Continuing Education Day or other courses or seminars attended by the supervisee, and confirming your opinion that the supervisee should be permitted to practise in future without supervision [Post-Admission Rule 7(3)].
  • You respond promptly and fully to any request from the Master of the Faculties for information or documentation relating to the period of supervision [Post-Admission Rule 7(3)].

Notaries under supervision

  • You select a supervisor who is not well equipped to advise you or monitor the services that you provide taking into account the nature of your notarial practice, for example if your supervisor is not sufficiently competent in a foreign language that is used regularly by you in your notarial practice, or if you are specialising in a particular area of law with which your supervisor is not sufficiently familiar.
  • You fail to attend a Continuing Education Day or other relevant course during each year of your supervision.
  • You do not inform your supervisor of any major point of concern that may arise in your practice, such as a complaint or an accusation of malpractice.
  • Your records are not sufficiently well organised to permit your supervisor to review them easily.
  • You do not make your records fully available to your supervisor on request or during a supervision

Supervisors

  • You agree to act as the supervisor of a newly qualified notary whose practice is likely to encompass areas of law or foreign languages which are not within your sphere of competence.
  • You are absent for long periods or otherwise unable to assist and guide your supervisee at all reasonable times.
  • You fail to monitor your supervisee’s attendance at Continuing Education Days and, if relevant, courses in conveyancing and probate, in accordance with the Post-Admission Rules.
  • You do not request sufficient information from your supervisee during supervision meetings and generally during the supervision period to monitor compliance with the Master’s Rules.