Brief History of NALP
NALP was established in 1987. Its mission - to re-enforce its position as the leading professional organisation catering for the ‘Career Paralegal’ not only within the legal profession but also within commerce, industry and the private and public sectors. Also, to strive to ensure the proper recognition of its Members as an integral part of the legal profession by the quality of its qualifications, professional development and the standards of behaviour and rules of membership laid down for its Members. Its aim is to encourage, promote and develop the role and practice of the Paralegal and represent the best interests of its Members.
NALP’s main benchmark qualification was introduced in 1988: The Higher Certificate in Paralegal Studies (now the Level 4 Diploma in Paralegal Studies). Since 1989 when the first examinations were held, over 10,000 people have sat for the qualification of Associate Member (A.NALP) - the NALP Level 4 Diploma in Paralegal Studies.
Continuing growth saw the introduction of further qualifications: The Level 7 Post Graduate Diploma in Paralegal Practice which was introduced in 1999, as a result of referrals by The Law Society, to assist law graduates, who were unable to obtain a training contract, to achieve the necessary knowledge and skills in procedural law to progress to the alternative career route as a career paralegal. Success in this leads to Graduate membership of NALP (Grad.NALP)
In December 2009, NALP became an Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and since 2010 both the Level 4 and Level 7 qualifications have been on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework). In 2013 NALP’s new Level 3 Qualifications were added to this framework.
NALP also works very closely with eight universities to offer a Joint Higher Diploma Programme
In 2013, NALP approached the Institute of Paralegals to work together to develop a Voluntary Regulatory Body for the Paralegal Profession. The Professional Paralegal Register was launched in December 2014 after consultation with the regulated sector bodies. The Regsiter itself went live in June 2015 and held its firt conference in April 2016.