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Advocate Panels: 2020 Panel - General Crime and the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (RASSO List)

Guidance and the Application Process

The new iteration of the CPS Advocate Panel for General Crime and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences runs from 2020 to 2024. All applications for the Panels must now be made via the Application Portal, which can be accessed from the main Advocate Panels page.

2020 Panel Refresh arrangements

The arrangements relating to the 2020 refresh of the CPS Advocate Panel in respect of General Crime and the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (RASSO List) (‘the 2020 Panel’) can be found on this page:

Advocate Panel Scheme 2020-2024: 2020 Refresh Guidance - General Crime and the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (RASSO List)

Advocate Panels - Assessment Process (updated June 2021)

Summary of Application Process

1. Each Circuit based Panel will have a General Crime list and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) list.

2. Applicants will apply by completing and submitting an online application form via the portal, together with any supporting documents. References will also be submitted via the portal.

3. Applicants can apply for a place on up to two Circuit based Panels and will identify their primary Circuit and preferred Crown Court location(s).  

4. Only advocates who have been assessed as being suitable for levels 3 or 4 will be considered for the ‘RASSO List.’

5. Applications and references are submitted via the Online Application Portal to the Advocate Panel team in HQ Operations with the assessment of applications undertaken at Circuit/Area level.

Assessors and Assessment Boards

Level 1 assessments

6. Applications to join the Advocate Panel at Level 1 will be assessed by a single member of the CPS.

Levels 2, 3, 4 and RASSO

7. Assessment Boards will be conducted for applicants wishing to apply at Levels 2, 3 or 4, upgrade a level or join the ‘RASSO List’.

8. Assessment Boards should be diverse and consist of a minimum of three members, comprising CPS colleagues and, wherever possible, a representative from the Bar.  

9. Assessment Boards will only proceed with two members where, due to a conflict of interest, a member has had to recuse themselves from the assessment process.  A conflict of interest will occur where a member of the assessment board knows an applicant well, belongs to the same chambers or firm, or has acted as their referee. Although this should not now occur as application forms are anonymised, a referee  or applicant may inadvertently use a name that can identify an applicant.

10. The Assessment Boards will meet and agree a Chair for the session. Each Assessment Board will be provided with copies of their allocation of applications, references and marking forms.

Assessment of applications

Assessment criteria

11. The Assessment Boards will score each candidate against the selection criteria. Once a score is agreed the Chair will complete an assessment form for each candidate.

12. Applications will be assessed against set criteria. Each criterion will be scored against the requirement for the level applied for and an overall score determined.

13. The criteria for assessment of General Crime applications will fall under the following headings:

  • Advocacy
  • Advisory Work
  • PII and disclosure (levels 2, 3 and 4 only)
  • Other relevant knowledge, skills and experience
  • Understanding the role of the CPS Panel Advocate

14. The criteria for assessment of RASSO applications will fall under the following headings:

  • Consent, Myths & Stereotypes
  • Awareness of CPS policies in relation to Rape & Serious Sexual Offences
  • Medical & Forensic Science

Scoring Framework

15. Assessment Boards will review each application against the criteria, which are particularised on the assessment form. The selection criteria need to be scored as to the level of skill / experience / response each applicant has, or has made, in relation to the type of work expected at that level. Assessment Boards are asked to arrive at a points score within each level.

16. The response for each of the criterion will be scored between 0 and 30 points based on the specific requirements of the selection criteria in the context of the casework for the level applied for. For example, overall advocacy experience markings would be awarded as follows:

ScoreLabelDefinition
1Not DemonstratedNo positive evidence of the competency.
2Minimal DemonstrationLimited positive evidence of the competency.
3Moderate DemonstrationModerate positive evidence of the competency.
4Acceptable DemonstrationAdequate positive evidence of the competency.
5Good DemonstrationSubstantial positive evidence of the competency.
6Strong DemonstrationSubstantial, positive evidence of the competency and includes some evidence of exceeding expectations.
7Outstanding DemonstrationEvidence provided wholly exceeds expectation at this level.

17. A score of 0 will be given for a section when sensitive identifying case information has been used.

Minimum Scoring

General Crime and Specialist Panels

LevelAdvocacy Minimum ScoreAdvisory Minimum Score
Level 133
Level 244
Level 344
Level 444

RASSO

Consent, Myths & Stereotypes 
Minimum Score
Awareness of CPS policies in relation to Rape and Serious Sexual Offences
Minimum Score
Medical & Forensic Science
Minimum Score
444

18. Applicants are asked to reference their answers to criminal law. If they have no knowledge, skills or experience in this area they are invited to give examples of analogous knowledge, skills or experience or an aptitude to develop in these areas. Applicants who have failed to do so should receive fewer marks, proportionate to the relevance of the area(s) to the criteria.

19. Defence experience will carry equal weight to prosecution experience provided the applicant can demonstrate that their defence skills and knowledge are transferable to prosecution work.

20. Assessors need to be aware that:

  • The word limit for each section of the application form is deliberately very tight
  • Applicants are expected to focus on their ability and experience and analyse it constructively
  • Applicants should not get credit merely for listing cases or saying “I have been involved in…”  This gives no basis for assessing their ability, achievements or potential
  • Applicants have been asked to select referees on the basis of who can say most about their competencies. Whilst references from instructing solicitors are helpful, do not overlook references from judges, leaders, opponents etc.
  • Applicants who have a predominantly defence practice should be able to demonstrate transferable skills and knowledge
  • Applicants from a non-criminal background may not have direct experience of some of the more mainstream criminal skills, such as PII or disclosure. Assessors should be alert to the technical and intellectual demands of the sort of work undertaken and the capacity to adapt that to other areas if required
  • Should an applicant include sensitive identifying case information in an example given for the PII and disclosure section or any other or in their supporting documentation they will receive a zero score for that section. The applicant should be notified of the breach and all copies should be redacted/deleted immediately
  • Examples of legal drafting should be no more than five pages and can either be a relevant extract or an entire document. Consideration of document in excess of five pages will be at the discretion of the Assessment Board.

Completion of the assessment forms

21. Assessment Boards are required to make a full and clear note of the evidence supporting their markings, remembering that applicants may be entitled to see comments under the Data Protection Bill 2017.

Written feedback for unsuccessful applicants

22. Where an applicant is unsuccessful, they will be provided with an anonymised copy of their assessment form by way of written feedback. Assessment forms should therefore provide sufficient detail to inform an appeal or future application. Specific comments as to why the criteria are not met and where improvements could be made should be provided against each criterion and in the overall comments box.  

23. In circumstances where the Advocate Panel Team consider the Assessment Board’s written feedback to be insufficient, the chair will be invited to provide further detail.   

Moderation

24. Moderation of assessments will be undertaken annually by the Advocate Panel team.

Appointment to the Panel

25. Appointment to the Circuit based panels will be conducted in two phases.

Phase One - appointment at the level applied for

26. Applicants must meet the minimum acceptable score in their assessment as follows:

LevelNo. of competenciesMinimum score requiredPass mark
14
(Advocacy and Advisory)
12
254
(Advocacy and Advisory)
20
354
(Advocacy and Advisory)
20
454
(Advocacy and Advisory)
22
RASSO34
(All Criteria)
12

27. The same appointment threshold will be applied across all Circuits.

28. Applicants scoring below the acceptable score will not be appointed at that level, even if it means there is a shortfall in advocate numbers.

Phase Two - appointment at the level below

28. Applicants at level 2, 3 or 4 who fail to meet the minimum acceptable score at the level applied for will be assessed at the next level down and re-scored against the criteria for that level. Comments should be provided on the assessment forms to indicate how the new scores were reached.

29. Applicants scoring below the acceptable score at the next level down will not be offered a place on the Panel and will be required to re-apply.

30. A score awarded for the preferred Circuit will be adopted by all other Circuits applied for. For example, if an applicant applies for the Northern and North Eastern Circuits, with a preference for the Northern Circuit and is scored 95 by the Northern Circuit assessors, then that score will also carry over for both circuits.

Equalities Monitoring

Please visit the CPS Advocate Panel Webpage for further information relating to Equalities Monitoring.

Advocate Panels - Application Process – New Joiners/Upgrades/Temporary Members (Updated June 2021)

This document describes the separate processes applicants to the CPS Advocate Panel 2020-2024 for General Crime and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) List (the 2020 Panel) must follow for permanent membership:

A) Permanent membership - applications to join the General Crime list as a permanent member at levels 1 to 4
B) Upgrading - applications from existing members to upgrade their level on the General Crime list
C) Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) List - applications to join at levels 3 and 4
D) Temporary Membership (General Crime Levels 2,3 and 4 only)
E) Further information - in respect of the following:

  • References
  • Submission of applications
  • Number of Regional lists

This document does not relate to the CPS Specialist Panels 2018-22 for which separate arrangements are in place. For further information, please visit the relevant page on the CPS website.

Introduction

All advocates appointed to join the CPS Advocate Panel must meet the assessment criteria for levels 1 to 4 for the 2020-2024 Panel and agree to abide by the Advocate Panel Members’ Commitment (see main Advocate Panels page).

Applicants who join will be appointed for the duration of the Panel. The current Panel is expected to run for four years from 2020 to 2024. CPS has discretion to amend the duration but will only do so in consultation with the Bar Council and Law Society.

An annual application/upgrade window will be open in September each year, although CPS can hold the window at another period at its discretion.

The application and upgrade process will be open and transparent and provide equal opportunity for all applicants. There will be no quotas in respect of sex, ethnicity, sexuality, age or disability for candidates being appointed onto the Panel.

A) Permanent Membership - Applications to join the Advocate Panel

Applicants applying to join the Panel must complete the relevant online application. When applying, barrister applicants should quote their unique 5-digit Bar reference number and solicitor advocate applicants should quote their Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA) number.

New applicants must determine which level they wish to apply for and apply for one level only. For levels 2, 3 and 4 the application will automatically be considered for the next level down if it is unsuccessful at the level they applied for.

Applicants must carefully consider which level to apply for based on their own assessment of their ability and experience.

Applications will be assessed on the content of the written application, examples of work and written references. There will be no interview or other test as part of the assessment process.

It is important that applicants take time and care when completing their application form. In doing so, applicants should refer to all of the available guidance.

Please note:

  • All applications must be submitted via the online portal
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be assessed
  • Paper submissions are not acceptable
  • Word limits must be observed
  • Sensitive identifying case information must not be included. Where sensitive information is contained in a supporting document it must be redacted. If sensitive information is included, the applicant will score 0 for the relevant section

Each applicant applying to join the Panel must submit an application via the online application portal and attach the relevant supporting material, where required to do so. Applicants must also ensure that the required number of completed references are submitted, as set out below. A separate application and reference is required for the RASSO List.

All successful applicants must sign up to use secure email as a condition of being appointed to the Panel. CJSM accounts should be accessed regularly to ensure they are not disabled allowing for communications from the CPS to be received.

Pre-Qualification Questions

All new applicants must answer pre-qualification questions as part of the application process. Further details can be found on the pre-qualification section of the website.

Applications to join at Level 1

Applications to join the current Panel at level 1 can be submitted any time, provided the applicant meets the qualification requirement and, for barristers, has reached the fifth month of the first six months of pupillage.  

An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 1 consists of the following documents:

  • Completed online application form, including equalities monitoring questions (not part of assessment)
  • A reference from an appropriate referee using the online system

Applicants for level 1 should provide one reference. An appropriate referee might be a pupil supervisor, head of chambers or a chambers advocacy trainer who has seen the applicant perform advocacy.

Applications to join the Advocate Panel at Level 2, 3 or 4

New applicants can apply to join the current Panel at levels 2, 3 or 4 during the annual application window each September using the online application portal. If unsuccessful at these levels, applications for Level 1 are accepted at any time throughout the year.

Level 2 - an application to join the Advocate Panel for the first time at Level 2 consists of the following:

  • Completed online application including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • References from two (2) appropriate referees using the application portal (not required for upgrade applications)
  • One (1) recent example of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages) to be attached to online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document

Level 2 applicants should provide two references. There is no requirement to submit a judicial reference in support of applications to join at Level 2. Please see the requirements below regarding upgrade applications.

Level 3 - An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 3 for the first time consists of the following:

  • Completed online application form, including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • References from two (2) appropriate referees using the application portal (not required for upgrade applications)
  • One (1) recent example of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages). Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.

Level 3 applicants should provide two references with at least one from a member of the full-time judiciary. Please see the requirements below regarding upgrade applications.

Level 4 - an application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 4 for the first time consists of the following:

  • Completed online application form, including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • References from three (3) appropriate referees using the application portal (one referee optional for upgrade applications)
  • Two (2) recent examples of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages per document) to be attached to online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.

Level 4 applicants should provide three references. At least one reference, but no more than two, should be from members of the full-time judiciary. Applicants with significant prosecuting experience should provide at least one reference from an instructing lawyer. However, if you have not undertaken a significant amount of prosecuting work and are unable to supply such a reference, this does not prevent you from applying. Please see the requirements below regarding upgrade applications.

B)    Upgrading - Applications for upgrading to levels 2, 3 or 4

Members of the Panel can apply to be upgraded by one level, to level 2, 3 or 4, during the annual application window by submitting an online upgrade application form.
Applicants who are successful in their upgrade applications will be permitted to apply to upgrade their level again the following year or thereafter if they feel they meet the selection criteria for the level to which they wish to upgrade.

An application to upgrade to Level 2, 3 or 4 consists of the following:

  • Completed and submitted online upgrade application including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • One (1) recent example of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages) to be attached to online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.
    Level 4 only - one (1) optional reference (using the online portal)

The online form has sections in relation to the five selection criteria and maximum words counts will apply.
The process for upgrading requires applicants to provide demonstrable evidence of improvement since being appointed to their current level and how they now meet the selection criteria for the next level in relation to:

  • Advocacy
  • Advisory work
  • Experience of dealing with PII issues and Disclosure of unused material
  • Other relevant knowledge, skills and experience
  • Appreciation of the role of a Panel advocate

Since applicants for upgrading will have met the application requirements for their existing level, an abbreviated application process will apply for the upgrade exercise. This removes the need for applicants to provide details of pre-qualification issues and reduces the requirement for references in support of the application.

C)    Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) List

Advocate Panel members applying to upgrade from level 2 to 3 may also consider applying to become a member of the ‘RASSO List’. In order to so, they should also complete the online ‘RASSO List’ application and provide the necessary evidence and ensure a reference is submitted to support their application using the online application portal.

Existing members of the Panel at levels 3 or 4 can apply to become a RASSO specialist by submitting an online ‘RASSO List’ application at any time during the year.

Applicants wishing to join the RASSO List must have undertaken RASSO Training within the last 3 years. The RASSO List Selection Criteria provides further information in relation to training.

Please note, unsuccessful applicants to the RASSO List will be permitted to re-apply but no sooner than six months from the date of the original assessment. Future applications should take into account any feedback provided.

Members of the ‘RASSO List’ should undertake CPS accredited RASSO refresher training at least every 4 years and dates of training should be clearly endorsed by the applicant on their application form.  Thereafter, once refresher training is completed, Panel members should email the Advocate Panel mailbox to confirm the date the training was completed. Please see the RASSO List Selection Criteria for more information.

D) Temporary Membership (General Crime Levels 2, 3 and 4 only)

In addition to the annual process, applicants can apply for temporary membership of the Advocate Panel between 1 November and 31 July each year. Temporary membership will automatically expire when results are announced following the next annual application window exercise. Applicants should submit full applications during the September application window to secure permanent membership to the current panel. Applicants will only be able to apply for temporary membership once during the 4-year currency of the Panel.

Temporary membership of the CPS Advocate Panel is open to solicitors and barristers who would ordinarily be eligible to apply to join the Advocate Panel.

Temporary membership is not open to advocates who had previously applied to join the Panel but were unsuccessful, to existing Advocate Panel members seeking temporary membership at a higher level or to advocates who have previously held temporary membership during the currency of the 2020 Panel.

The process provides eligible solicitors and barristers with the opportunity to join the Advocate Panel on a temporary membership basis until they can formally apply at the next annual application window. Applicants can apply for temporary membership to the Panel at levels 2, 3 or 4.

The temporary membership process is aimed at active criminal advocates who can demonstrate good cause to join the Advocate Panel at the level sought. In this context, the opportunity for temporary membership would generally apply to those advocates who can clearly demonstrate that they have been undertaking regular criminal advocacy at the level sought within the last 12 months but are changing roles and moving into self-employment, joining a solicitor’s firm or other organisation where access to the Panel is required.

Applicants for temporary membership will complete and submit a Temporary Membership Application using the online application portal providing evidence of their contact details, professional qualifications and pre-qualification issues. The applicant will provide evidence of their recent experience in advocacy and evidence to support the self-assessment of the advocacy level being sought.

Temporary membership will only be considered for applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for the Advocate Panel.

Applications for temporary membership will be assessed by a two-person panel consisting of a member of CPS and a representative of the Bar Council. Both members will need to agree that temporary membership is appropriate. There is no appeal against a decision not to award temporary membership.

A supporting statement or reference from a previous employer or advocacy assessor is desirable and can be attached to the online application. Applicants should take care to redact their name from any supporting documentation before submission. If necessary, the two-person panel can seek further information or references to support application for temporary membership.

The provision of temporary membership will have no bearing on any later assessment to join the Advocate Panel.

Persons appointed to the Advocate Panel on a temporary membership basis will be required to comply with the requirements of the Advocate Panel and meet the Advocate Panel Members’ Commitment.

E) Further Information

References

New applicants should secure and ensure referees submit references online in accordance with the guidance. Although not an exhaustive list, the table below provides examples of appropriate referees at each level.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 and 4 / RASSO List
  • Pupil Supervisor
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Chambers Advocacy Trainers
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Chambers Advocacy Trainer
  • Instructing Solicitors
  • Leading or opposing Advocates
  • Instructing members of the CPS or other prosecuting authorities
  • Advocacy Assessors
  • Current or retired members of the full-time judiciary
  • Members of the part-time judiciary
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Instructing Solicitors
  • Leading or opposing Advocates
  • Instructing members of the CPS or other prosecuting authorities
  • Advocacy Assessors

PLEASE NOTE: It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are submitted to the CPS in accordance with the guidance no later than the deadline date. The Advocate Panel team will not contact referees to request or chase references on behalf of the applicant. Accordingly, applicants should ensure that potential referees are given sufficient notice (28 days) of what they are required to provide and the date the applicant requires the reference.

An instructing member of the CPS may compose a reference for an Advocate Panel applicant. However, the draft reference must be referred to either the Chief Crown Prosecutor/Head of Casework Division, or someone delegated by the Chief Crown Prosecutor/Head of Casework Division, for approval and must not be submitted on the online portal without this approval.

Information for referees can be found in the Explanatory Note to Referees.

Submission of applications

The application form and all supporting documentation, including references, should be submitted using the application portal.

Number of Regional Lists

There will be six regional circuit lists which will form the 2020 Panel, as follows;

CircuitCPS Areas
Midland Circuit
  • CPS East Midlands
  • CPS West Midlands
North Eastern Circuit 
  • CPS North East
  • CPS Yorkshire & Humberside
Northern Circuit
  • CPS Mersey-Cheshire
  • CPS North West
South Eastern Circuit
  • CPS East of England
  • CPS London North
  • CPS London South
  • CPS South East
  • CPS Thames & Chiltern
Wales and Chester Circuit
  • CPS Cymru-Wales
Western Circuit
  • CPS South West
  • CPS Wessex

Applicants applying for a particular Circuit list should select one which best suits their practice.

Where there is good reason to do so, applicants can select a second Circuit when applying. For example, applicants might live on a border between two Circuits or may regularly undertake work on another Circuit.

For applicants applying to join the Wales and Chester Circuit list it is desirable, but not essential, to be able to speak Welsh and conduct proceedings in Welsh. The application process requires applicants to declare their ability to speak/conduct proceedings in Welsh.

Advocate Panel 2020-2024 Panel Invitation Response Form

The General Crime List

Below, you will find all of the currently published information and forms relevant to applications for the General Crime List for 2020

Selection Criteria, General Crime: Level 1 (updated June 2021)

Introduction

This entry level is intended to be a testing ground for the identification of suitable future prosecutors.

The criteria for level 1 are intended to be less onerous than for other levels. If it were otherwise, substantial numbers of applicants would be denied the opportunity to gain experience as prosecution advocates in order to progress to higher levels.

Applicants will generally be admitted to level 1 unless there is:

  • no evidence of advocacy ability,
  • no endorsement from a suitable referee, or
  • the presentation and content of the application is generally poor e.g. spelling, grammar, layout and content.

Entry to the Panel at Level 1 is through this application process and is open to barristers who have reached the fifth month of their first six months of pupillage/tenancy and solicitors who have a Higher Courts Advocacy qualification. Successful applicants will not receive notification of their result or be placed on the Advocate Panel until the start of their second six.

For entry to Level 1 applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to conduct competently a range of magistrates’ courts prosecutions up to and including a whole day’s list, straightforward Youth Court cases and to conduct simple mentions, guilty pleas, committals for sentence and appeals in the Crown Court. Applicants must provide evidence of up to date legal knowledge relevant to such prosecutions and demonstrate appropriate standards of oral and written advocacy. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they are able to work well with others in this range of prosecutions.

Application Requirements for Level 1

An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 1 consists of the following documents:

  • Completed Level 1 online application form including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment).
  • A reference from an appropriate referee

References

Applicants for level 1 should provide one reference. An appropriate referee might be a pupil master, head of chambers or a chambers advocacy trainer who has seen the applicant perform advocacy.  

With regard to the type of work Level 1 advocates will be expected to undertake, Referees should be able to state:

  • The extent of their knowledge of the applicant’s work
  • How they assess the applicant’s suitability to conduct prosecution work
  • How they assess the applicant’s ability in respect of advocacy and advisory work.

Evidence of competency

Applicants should provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience on the application form under each heading. They should provide relevant examples based on criminal casework.

When providing evidence to support their application, applicants should clearly state what role they played. For example, if they were led, what was their contribution to the case? Examples can be given of difficulties faced and how they were overcome.

Applicants should take care not to include sensitive information within their application or as a supporting document. Reference to sensitive material will result in a score of 0 for that section.

Selection Criteria for Level 1

The criteria for assessment will be:

  • Advocacy
  • Advisory Work
  • Other relevant knowledge, skills and experience (including relevant defence experience)
  • Appreciation of the role of CPS Panel Advocate

Applicants for Level 1 will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Advocacy criteria

  • Minimum of fifth month of their first six months of pupillage or a certificate to practice advocacy in the higher courts
  • The ability to conduct advocacy in respect of all magistrates’ court prosecutions; straightforward Youth Court cases; simple Crown Court mention hearings; plea and case management hearings; committals for sentence and appeals to the Crown Court.

Advisory Work

  • The ability to conduct advisory work in respect of all magistrates’ court prosecutions; simple Crown Court cases; committals for sentence, and appeals.

Other Relevant Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The ability to prepare, prosecute and progress cases confidently and securely using digital technology
  • Academic strength or compensating strength in other factors
  • Relevant defence or regulatory work of an equivalent level, if any

Appreciation of the Role of CPS Panel Advocate

  • A knowledge of ethical standards
  • A knowledge of CPS Values
  • A willingness to work as part of a prosecution team without compromising professional independence
  • Familiarity with, and understanding of, the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the Farquharson guidelines on the role of the prosecution advocate
  • An appropriate understanding of the professional relationship between the CPS, the police and the advocate  
  • An appreciation of the requirements in relation to speaking to victims and witnesses
Selection Criteria, General Crime: Level 2 (updated June 2021)

Introduction

Entry to the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 2 is through this application process and is open to appropriately qualified barristers and solicitors who have a Higher Courts Advocacy qualification.  

Applicants to Level 2 will generally have in the region of 12 months' trial advocacy experience, but please note this is a guide, not a criterion.

Application Requirements for Level 2

An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 2 consists of the following documents:

  • Completed Level 2 online application form including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment).
  • References from two (2) appropriate referees
  • One (1) recent example of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages) to be attached to online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.

Please note: The above requirements regarding references do not apply to upgrade level 2 applications. Please refer to the separate upgrade applications guidance for full details.

References

Reliance will be placed on the references and referees should be chosen with care. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are submitted to the CPS in accordance with the guidance by the deadline date for submission. Failure to submit the correct number of references will result in the application not being considered.

Level 2 applicants should provide two references. There is no requirement to submit a judicial reference in support of applications to join at Level 2.

References can be obtained from any person whom the applicant believes best supports their application and is prepared to stand as a referee. The table below provides examples of suitable referees for level 2.

Level 2
  • Pupil Master
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Chambers Advocacy Trainer
  • Instructing Solicitors
  • Leading or opposing advocates
  • Instructing members of the CPS or other prosecuting authorities
  • Advocacy Assessors

Evidence of competency

Applicants should provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience on the application form under each heading. They should provide relevant examples based on criminal casework.

When providing evidence to support their application, applicants should clearly state what role they played. For example, if they were led, what was their contribution to the case? In PII applications, what was the point they had to argue? Examples can be given of difficulties faced and how they were overcome.

Applicants should take care not to include sensitive information within their application or as a supporting document. Reference to sensitive material will result in a score of 0 for that section.

Selection Requirements for Level 2

Casework at Level 2

Level 2 advocates will be required to perform any of the work of a Level 1 advocate and, in addition, Youth Court cases, straightforward non-jury work in the Crown Court and jury trials including theft, deception, assault (ABH and Section 20 GBH), burglary (not in aggravated form), possession of drugs and non-fatal road traffic offences. Applicants must be able to demonstrate expert up to date legal knowledge relevant to such prosecutions and demonstrate appropriate standards of oral and written advocacy (including ability to deal with complicating factors such as special measures, expert evidence, disclosure/PII issues, and points of evidence or law) and should have demonstrated potential to appear as a junior in appropriate cases. They should be able to demonstrate that they are able to work well with others in this range of prosecutions. Applicants should also have sufficient knowledge of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to be able to deal with any confiscation issues raised in Level 2 prosecutions.

While experience in specialisms is referred to in the form, allowance is made for the fact that it will be more difficult for level 2 applicants to show experience in a particular specialism.  Applicants, are however, welcome to refer to specialisms in which they have an interest in gaining experience.

Assessment criteria

The criteria headings for assessment will be:

  • Advocacy
  • Advisory Work
  • PII and disclosure
  • Other relevant knowledge, skills and experience
  • Appreciation of the role of CPS Panel Advocate

In order to score very highly applicants will be expected to demonstrate excellent standards against a range of competencies in respect of the type of casework listed above in 'Casework at Level 2', including:

Advocacy

  • The ability to conduct trial advocacy efficiently and effectively in the range of cases identified above in 'Casework at Level 2'
  • Trial advocacy skills for jury trials in the Crown Court including opening, closing, witness handling and legal argument
  • Sound understanding of evidential and criminal procedure rules, hearsay, bad character etc.  
  • Appropriate use of language and questioning
  • Ability to deal effectively with complicating factors such as special measures, expert evidence and points of evidence or law
  • Acts appropriately to assist the court in the proper administration of justice, as required.

Advisory Work

  • Routinely exercises sound judgement
  • Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of law and practice and up-to-date knowledge of law relevant to prosecutions at this level
  • Presents clear and succinct written arguments citing relevant authorities
  • Able to develop a clear case strategy.

PII and disclosure

  • An understanding of the principles of PII and disclosure and ability to put those principles in practice in cases relevant to Level 2
  • Accurately identifies evidence that should be disclosed
  • Able to deal with sensitive PII issues.

Other Relevant Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The ability to prepare, prosecute and progress cases confidently and securely using digital technology
  • The ability to conduct confiscation hearings in any of the proceedings in which the applicant may be instructed at Level 2
  • Obtaining and using evidence from abroad, jurisdictional issues, human rights, restraint and confiscation
  • Relevant defence or regulatory work of an equivalent level, if any.

Appreciation of the Role of CPS Panel Advocate

  • Knowledge of ethical standards e.g. completion of the Advocacy & Ethics element of the New Practitioners Programme
  • Acts appropriately when handling issue of diversity or difference
  • A willingness to work as part of a prosecution team undertaking the type of work listed above in 'Casework at Level 2' without compromising professional independence
  • Familiarity with, and understanding of, CPS policy guidance including the Code, the Farquharson guidelines and policies in respect of victims and witnesses, hate crime and violence against women and girls
  • An appropriate understanding of the professional relationship between the CPS, the police and the advocate.
Selection Criteria, General Crime: Level 3 (updated June 2021)

Introduction

Entry to the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 3 is through this application process and is open to appropriately qualified barristers and solicitors who have a Higher Courts Advocacy qualification.

Applicants to Level 3 will generally have at least five years' advocacy experience, but please note this is a guide, not a criterion.

Application Requirements for Level 3

  • An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 3 consists of the following documents:
  • Completed Level 3 online application form including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • References from two (2) appropriate referees (at least one from a member of the full-time judiciary)
  • One (1) recent example of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice (maximum of five (5) pages) to be attached to online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, provided context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.

Please note: The above requirements regarding references do not apply to upgrade level 3 applications. Please refer to the separate upgrade applications guidance for full details.

References

Reliance will be placed on the references and referees should be chosen with care. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are submitted to the CPS in accordance with the guidance by the deadline date for submission. Failure to submit the correct number of references will result in the application not being considered.

References can be obtained from any person whom the applicant believes best supports their application and is prepared to stand as a referee. The table below provides examples of suitable referees for level 3.

Level 3
  • Current or retired members of the full-time judiciary
  • Members of the part-time judiciary
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Instructing Solicitors
  • Leading or opposing advocates
  • Instructing members of the CPS or other prosecuting authorities
  • Advocacy Assessors

Evidence of competency

Applicants should provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience on the application form under each heading. They should provide relevant examples based on criminal casework.

When providing evidence to support their application, applicants should clearly state what role they played. For example, if they were led, what was their contribution to the case? In PII applications, what was the point they had to argue? Examples can be given of difficulties faced and how they were overcome.

Applicants should take care not to include sensitive information within their application or as a supporting document. Reference to sensitive material will result in a score of 0 for that section.

Selection Requirements for Level 3

Casework at Level 3

Level 3 advocates will be required to demonstrate that they are able to competently undertake any of the work of a Level 2 advocate and jury trials in more serious and onerous prosecutions including fraud (non-special casework cases), serious assaults (Section 18), complex robberies, driving offences involving death, child abuse and trials involving child victims and witnesses, rape and indecency cases, video link cases and multi-handed prosecutions of up to four defendants. Level 3 advocates will also be expected to conduct straightforward appeals in the Divisional Court and Court of Appeal. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate expert up to date legal knowledge relevant to such prosecutions and appropriate standards of oral and written advocacy. They should be able to demonstrate that they are able to work well with others in this range of prosecutions. Applicants should also have sufficient knowledge of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to be able to deal with the confiscation issues raised in Level 3 prosecutions.

In order to score very highly applicants will be expected to demonstrate a range of competencies to excellent standards in respect of the breadth of casework expected to be undertaken at level 3, including:

Advocacy

  • The ability to conduct advocacy in the range of cases identified in 'Casework at Level 3' above, often attracting local media attention
  • Highly developed trial advocacy skills for jury trials in the Crown Court including opening, closing, sensitive witness handling and legal argument, quoting relevant key authorities
  • Ability to deal with complicating factors such as special measures, presenting or challenging complex expert evidence and difficult or sensitive issues of law and/or fact
  • Ability to undertake advocacy in complex multi-handed cases, and is able to effectively direct and manage a number of participants in the courtroom
  • Able to manage extremely sensitive cases reliably, including cases with child or vulnerable witnesses
  • Ability to be an effective led junior.

Advisory Work

  • The exercise of consistently sound judgement and case management strategies
  • Demonstrates a strong knowledge of law and practice and up-to-date knowledge of law relevant to prosecutions at this level
  • Up to date knowledge of the law relevant to prosecutions at this level, including criminal procedural rules and evidential rules
  • Presents coherent skeleton arguments even in complex cases or addressing complex law, evidence or procedure
  • Presents clear and succinct relevant written submissions demonstrating expertise.

PII and disclosure

  • In depth understanding of the disclosure regime and principles of Public Interest Immunity
  • Ability to handle sensitive matters in relation to investigation techniques
  • Understands disclosure requirements even in the context of complex investigations and evidential situations.

Other Relevant Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The ability to prepare, prosecute and progress cases confidently and securely using digital technology
  • The ability to conduct confiscation hearings in any of the proceedings in which the applicant may be instructed at Level 3
  • Obtaining and using evidence from abroad, jurisdictional issues, human rights, restraint and confiscation
  • Sufficient knowledge of confiscation and POCA 2002 to be able to handle confiscation as it may arise in any of the cases which fall within their competency
  • Relevant defence or regulatory work of an equivalent level, if any.

Appreciation of the Role of CPS Panel Advocate

  • A knowledge of ethical standards e.g. completion of the Advocacy & Ethics element of the New Practitioners' Programme
  • Understanding of diversity and cultural issues and proactive in addressing the needs of people from all backgrounds
  • A willingness to work as part of a prosecution team undertaking the type of work listed in 'Casework at Level 3' without compromising professional independence
  • Familiarity with, and understanding of, CPS policy guidance including the Code, the Farquharson guidelines and policies in respect of victims and witnesses, hate crime and Violence Against Women and Girls
  • An appropriate understanding of the professional relationship between the CPS, the police and the advocate
  • Able to lead a prosecution team and manage the strategic direction of the case.
Selection Criteria, General Crime: Level 4 (updated June 2021)

Introduction

Entry to the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 4 is through this application process and is open to appropriately qualified barristers and solicitors who have a Higher Courts Advocacy qualification.

Applicants to Level 4 will generally have in the region of ten years' advocacy experience, but this is a guide, not a criterion.

Application Requirements for Level 4

An application to join the Advocate Panel at Level 4 consists of the following documents:

  • Completed Level 4 online application form including equalities monitoring questions (not part of the assessment)
  • References from three (3) appropriate referees (At least one reference, but no more than two, should be from members of the full-time judiciary. Applicants with significant prosecuting experience should provide at least one reference from an instructing lawyer. However, if you have not undertaken a significant amount of prosecuting work and are unable to supply such a reference, this does not prevent you from applying)
  • Two (2) recent examples of drafting e.g. skeleton argument, advice. Each document should be no more than five (5) pages and should be attached to the online application. Applicants can use extracts from longer documents, as long as context is provided. Supporting documents must not include the applicant’s name. Applicants should take care to ensure this is removed from the bottom of the document.

Please note: The above requirements do not apply to upgrade level 4 applications. Please refer to the separate upgrade applications guidance for full details.

References

Reliance will be placed on the references and referees should be chosen with care. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are submitted to the CPS in accordance with the guidance by the deadline date for submission. Failure to submit the correct number of references will result in the application not being considered.

References can be obtained from any person whom the applicant believes best supports their application and is prepared to stand as a referee. The table below provides examples of suitable referees for level 4.

Level 4
  • Current or retired members of the full-time judiciary
  • Members of the part-time judiciary
  • Heads of Chambers
  • Instructing Solicitors
  • Leading or opposing advocates
  • Instructing members of the CPS or other prosecuting authorities
  • Advocacy Assessors

Evidence of competency

Applicants should provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience on the application form under each heading. They should provide relevant examples based on criminal casework.

When providing evidence to support their application, applicants should clearly state what role they played. For example, if they were led, what was their contribution to the case? In PII applications, what was the point they had to argue? Examples can be given of difficulties faced and how they were overcome.

Applicants should take care not to include sensitive information within their application or as a supporting document. Reference to sensitive material will result in a score of 0 for that section.

Selection Requirements for Level 4

Casework at Level 4

Level 4 advocates will be required to demonstrate that they can competently prosecute all cases where a junior advocate alone is instructed in the Crown Court and beyond, whatever the issues and whatever the number of defendants. They will be expected to handle serious, novel and difficult points of law and fact, sometimes in opposition to leading counsel for the defence. They will be expected to demonstrate a consistently high quality of work whether working alone, with a second junior, or when led. In addition, they will have shown their ability in relation to sensitive witnesses (e.g. where special measures employed) and in handling complex witness issues. They must demonstrate expert up to date legal knowledge relevant to such prosecutions and appropriate standards of oral and written advocacy. They will be expected to handle a wide range of Appellate and Administrative Court work. They should be able to demonstrate that they are able to work well with others in this range of prosecutions. Applicants should also be able to deal with the most complex issues involving confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

In order to score very highly applicants will be expected to demonstrate a range of competencies to an excellent standard in respect of the breadth of casework expected to be undertaken at level 4, including:

Advocacy

  • The ability to conduct highest quality advocacy in the range of cases identified in 'Casework at Level 4', often of the utmost gravity
  • A superior grasp of trial advocacy skills for sensitive, high profile jury trials in the Crown Court including opening, closing, witness handling and legal argument often in complex multi-handed cases
  • Ability to deal with highly complicating factors such as special measures, presenting or challenging complex expert evidence and difficult or sensitive issues of law and/or fact
  • Presents highly proficient submissions to a standard of excellence before any tribunal including the Crown Court and Higher Courts
  • Able to lead a prosecution case with skill and diplomacy in the face of hostile opponents
  • A fluid, articulate and intuitive advocate.

Advisory Work

  • Able to present highly proficient written submissions to a standard of excellence
  • The exercise of consistently sound judgement
  • Demonstrates expertise in law and practice and up-to-date knowledge of law relevant to prosecutions at this level
  • Assimilates the relevance of evidence quickly, even when working with voluminous or complex evidence

PII and disclosure

  • In-depth understanding of the disclosure regime and principles of Public Interest Immunity
  • Ability to handle complex and sensitive PII issues
  • Able to lead disclosure lawyers/officers and to plan and implement an effective disclosure strategy
  • An ability to deal with complex investigative techniques

Other Relevant Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The ability to prepare, prosecute and progress cases confidently and securely using digital technology
  • The ability to conduct confiscation hearings in any of the proceedings in which the applicant may be instructed at Level 4
  • Obtaining and using evidence from abroad, jurisdictional issues, human rights, restraint and confiscation
  • Sufficient knowledge of confiscation and POCA 2002 to be able to handle confiscation as it may arise in any of the cases which fall within their competency
  • Relevant defence or regulatory work of an equivalent level, if any.

Appreciation of the Role of CPS Panel Advocate

  • Acts as a role model for others
  • Knowledge of ethical standards and a leader on issues of diversity and difference
  • Comprehends and successfully leads cases of the utmost gravity, complexity and sensitivity
  • Familiarity with, and understanding of, CPS policy guidance including the Code, the Farquharson guidelines and policies in respect of victims and witnesses, hate crime and VAW
  • An appropriate understanding of the professional relationship between the CPS, the police and the advocate, particularly in cases where there has been lengthy and complex police investigations.
General Crime List Appeal Process Overview (updated June 2021)

Applicants who have received the outcome of their application will have been advised whether they were successful or unsuccessful for the level applied for. Where the applicant was unsuccessful for either the level applied for or the next level down they may appeal.

Documents:

The Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (‘the RASSO List’)

Below, you will find all of the currently published information and forms relevant to applications for the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (‘the RASSO List’) for 2020

Selection Criteria: The Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List (‘the RASSO List’) (updated June 2021)

Introduction

Entry to the Advocate Panel specialist RASSO List is restricted to Level 3 and 4 advocates through an application process and is open to appropriately qualified barristers and solicitors who have a Higher Courts Advocacy qualification.

The RASSO List

This specialist list is reserved for advocates at level 3 or 4 who have received CPS accredited training within the last 3 years in respect of rape and serious sexual abuse casework and can demonstrate the experience and ability to undertake cases which exhibit the characteristics of this type of offending.

Applicants will have demonstrated a high standard of ability of criminal advocacy to reach level 3 or 4. In addition they will have experience of conducting sensitive cases with vulnerable witnesses in the Youth Court and Crown Court. They will have developed a good understanding of the issues concerned with rape and serious sexual offence prosecutions to enable them to deal with the sensitivities of these cases to the highest professional standards.

RASSO List advocates will have established a reputation for excellence among court users, including the bench, in dealing with sensitive casework involving vulnerable victims. Applicants will usually have had experience of conducting sensitive or other difficult cases with a sexual element with objectivity, sound judgement and with an excellent approach to victim and witness care. Applicants will have handled prosecutions involving vulnerable victims in a contested trial. Applicants will almost certainly have had experience of defending cases of this nature and will have conducted them to a standard commanding respect.

Applicants will already have demonstrated a range of competencies to an excellent standard to have been appointed at level 3 or 4.

In addition, in order to score very highly for the RASSO List, applicants will need to demonstrate a range of competencies specific to rape and serious sexual abuse casework to a high standard, including:

Consent, Myths and Stereotypes

  • Good awareness of the experience of victims and the impact of rape including the neurological impact of trauma on memory
  • Rape myths and stereotypes: understanding of the latest advice on rape myths and stereotypes in the context of the changing nature of sexual behaviours and encounter, including changes related to the use of technology
  • Rape myths and stereotypes: understanding what evidence might be relevant to the accuracy, reliability and credibility of a complainant’s or defendant’s evidence; and how this can be best handled and presented during a trial;
  • Knowledge of consent issues.

Awareness of CPS Policy in relation to Rape

  • An appropriate understanding of CPS policy on rape and serious sexual abuse relevant to their level
  • The substantive law as contained in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and other relevant legislation
  • CPS commitments to victims and witnesses Including Speaking to Witnesses at Court and the use of intermediaries
  • Recent developments in case law
  • Familiarity with the CPS/Police joint national rape protocol
  • Disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings
  • Familiarity with key areas of disclosure, including reasonable lines of enquiry, and awareness of guidance relating to digital communications evidence
  • An ability to deal appropriately with vulnerable child and adult victims and witnesses, to include:
    • Use of appropriate questioning techniques
    • Full compliance with Ground Rules Hearings, acknowledging that the Rules are sacrosanct and must be adhered to by all participating advocates.
    • Identification of the key issues, resulting in the formulation of focussed, concise and direct questions.
    • Awareness that questions should be pre-drafted for vulnerable and child witnesses and in cases of pre-recorded cross examination (s28 YCJEA 1999).

Medical and Forensic Evidence

  • Good knowledge of forensic science in relation to DNA and rape
  • The role of Sexual Assault Referral Centres
  • The use of medical and forensic evidence in sexual assault cases

Evidence of competency

Applicants should provide details of their knowledge, skills and experience on the online application form under each heading. They should provide relevant examples based on sensitive sexual offence related criminal casework.

When providing evidence to support their application, applicants should clearly state what role they played. For example, if they were led, what was their contribution to the case? Examples can be given of difficulties faced and how they were overcome.

References

Applicants for the RASSO List should have one reference. Applicants will notify a referee via the online application portal. Referees will be asked to consider the competencies of the applicant against the RASSO List selection criteria under the following headings:

  1. Their role and knowledge of the applicant’s work
  2. Legal decision making and case strategy  
  3. Advocacy
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Additional information

Training

Applicants should provide evidence that they have undertaken sufficient and relevant CPS accredited training courses in relation to the prosecution of rape and sexual offences. The training should have been completed within the last three years to be relevant for new applicants.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the postponement of RASSO training events on a number of the Circuits due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the training requirement has been temporarily amended. Accordingly, members of the Advocate Panel wishing to apply for the RASSO list who have not attended a face-to-face course within the past three years must instead confirm they have viewed a recording of an accredited seminar which has been approved by the Circuit Leader. Attendance at a face-to-face training event is not expected at this time but should be completed as soon as face-to-face training becomes available by all members of the RASSO list.

It is the responsibility of individual advocates to ensure they have completed accredited training in accordance with these requirements.

Advocates must undertake accredited refresher training every 4 years. If this does not occur, the relevant Circuit Advocate Liaison Committee will be informed for appropriate action to be taken. Advocates may lose their ability to prosecute RASSO cases.

Accredited training can be completed in one of the following ways:

  • Attendance at a training seminar that has been accredited by the CPS;
  • Attendance with colleagues at an event where a recording of an accredited training seminar is viewed and discussed and the event has been approved by the Bar Council (and CPS) for the purpose of Continuing Professional Development;
  • Attendance at a Serious Sexual Offences seminar organised by the Judicial College;
  • Exceptionally, and with the specific approval of a Circuit Leader, viewing a recording of an accredited seminar in circumstances where it is unreasonable to expect attendance at an organised event or seminar.

Please note, the following courses do not count as RASSO Refresher training:

  • Vulnerable Witness/Advocates Toolkit Training
  • Section 28

Process of Accrediting a Course

For a course to be accredited, the following must occur:

  • The Advocate Panel Team must be contacted prior to the holding of the seminar/course, and a copy of the timetable and any pre-reading, or presentations will be sent to the relevant Policy lead on rape for approval;
  • If the course meets the criteria, then it will be accredited;
  • If the course doesn’t fulfil the criteria, the CPS will inform the course providers with details on where the course can be improved;
  • In such circumstances, once amendment has been made, the course can be re-submitted for accreditation;
  • A member of the CPS must attend any live event for the purposes of quality assurance;
  • If, after attending an event, the CPS believes that the content of the course fell below the required standard, then the course organisers will be informed immediately in order to consider how matters can be rectified;
  • Once a course has been held, a list of attendees must be sent to the Advocate Panel mailbox. The Advocate Panel Team maintains a training schedule which records attendance at RASSO Refresher training.
  • CPS accreditation will be valid for four years. After that, the course must be re-evaluated.

Mandatory areas for inclusion in seminars - 2020/21

  • The substantive law as contained in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and other relevant legislation;
  • Recent developments in case law
  • The experience of victims - neurological impact of trauma on memory and dealing with vulnerable victims
  • The latest advice on rape myths and stereotypes, including in light of the changing nature of sexual behaviours and encounters
  • CPS policy including the CPS/Police joint national rape protocol, CPS commitments to victims and witnesses
  • Best practice re: out of court work; digital prosecuting
  • Section 41 YJCEA 1999;
  • Dealing effectively with rape myths and consent issues at court
  • Reasonable lines of enquiry and communications evidence

Completion of CPS e-learning on Consent in Sexual Cases and Coercive and Controlling Behaviour is also required, but can be undertaken as separate training courses. These courses can be accessed via the CPS Prosecution College.

Policies and Protocols

Counsel will be expected to be familiar with the following polices and protocols which can be accessed via the following links. Pre-course instructions should contain links to these documents, available from the 'National protocols and agreements with other agencies' page on the CPS website:

Other guidance

Policy for prosecuting rape
Speaking to Witnesses at Court
CPS Errant Conduct and Poor Performance Guide

Prosecution Guidance

CPS toolkits

Other toolkits

Toolkits developed by The Advocates Gateway (TAG) which provide advocates with general good practice guidance when preparing for trial in cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

Training video

  • Understanding the impact of trauma, rape and sexual assault on a vulnerable victim

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