Become a member

If you are an organisation that either directly provides advice in a social welfare law category or sub-contracts an advice giving service in a social welfare law category, then you are eligible to apply to become a member of NCAN. Advice services must be free at the point of use.

If you are an organisation that does not offer social welfare legal advice but offers a different form of advice then you may be eligible to apply to become a partner of NCAN. Advice services must be free at the point of use. Please contact NCAN on ncan@ncls.co.uk to discuss.
 
NCAN members and partners could include:

  • 3rd Sector bodies involved in giving advice
  • Local Authority departments/services that give advice
  • Private solicitors’ firms offering limited free advice e.g. an initial half hour and/or Legal Aid
  • Organisations that sub-contract free advice services

Benefits of becoming an NCAN member:

  • Quality check (see below for further details)
  • Publicity and marketing – promote your organisation, events and updates through NCAN newsletters and website.
  • The opportunity to attend the bi-monthly NCAN Strategic Partnership meetings.
  • The ability to make and receive referrals through the NCAN common referral system.
  • Free or subsidised training opportunities – with the chance to influence topics.
  • Support with quality standard issues through workshops and information.
  • Practitioners’ forums and networking meetings – the opportunity to meet with others working in your field and exchange information, ideas and good practice.
  • Benefits of becoming an NCAN partner
  • Publicity and marketing – promote events and updates relevant to the network through NCAN newsletters and website.
  • The ability to make and receive referrals through the NCAN common referral system.
  • Subsidised training opportunities
  •  Practitioners’ forums and networking meetings – the opportunity to meet with others working in the advice field and exchange information, ideas and good practice.

Responsibilities of NCAN members and partners:

  • To refer and signpost clients appropriately, making use of the NCAN Common Referral System where possible.
  • Act on training and support provided.
  • Input evidence to NCAN for campaigning and research purposes.
  • Communicate experience of NCAN and the benefits of partnership working to other organisations.
  • Regular attendance at NCAN Strategic Partnership meetings (NCAN members only).

Quality marks – NCAN members:

If you wish to apply to become an NCAN member, some relevant externally awarded quality marks are:

  • Advice Quality Standard
  • Specialist Quality Mark
  • Lexcel (for law firms)
  • Matrix Quality Standard

If your organisation does not have a relevant quality mark you can still become an NCAN member but additional information must be provided:

  • Strategy or Development Plan for your service for the next three years
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Complaints and Feedback Policy and Procedure
  • Policies that ensure advice given is impartial, independent and confidential
  • A procedure for recording the advice given and action taken
  • A procedure for checking the quality of the advice
  • A Training and Development policy
  • A procedure to ensure advisors have access to the information they need and this is kept up to date
  • Details of Professional Indemnity Insurance

Click here to download the NCAN Members & Partners Policy