A task force made up of advice and funding groups such as the Legal Aid Board and Law Centres Federation is about to begin work on drawing up a kite mark standard for all legal services agencies
The Lord Chancellor's Department's plan - which is outlined in the Government's White Paper, Modernising Justice - is to draw up quality criteria for advice and help bodies which will be universally accepted by funders of legal advice such as the Legal Services Commission, local authorities and the National Lottery Board.
The White Paper points out that the scheme will benefit providers and funders alike.
The former need not waste cash complying with the separate quality requirements imposed by different funders, and the latter can save time on developing and monitoring quality criteria of their own.
The task force meets on 4 February and is due to report back by the end of 1999.
Advice Services Alliance policy and development officer, Becky Nixon says: "We welcome the task force, provided that kite mark recognises different levels of services, from information and signposting, through to representation."