CLS Direct - Home Page

Site Map | Feedback | Key Shortcuts | Help   

The Community Legal Service Quality Mark

The Quality Mark

The Quality Mark shows that an organisation meets the quality standards set by the Legal Services Commission.  To find these organisations look for the CLS logo shown below or look in the CLS Legal Adviser Directory.

 Community Legal Service Logo

There are three different Quality Marks: Information, General Help and Specialist Help. The levels of service they are able to provide are set out below.


You should use a CLS information point when you want to know more about your legal rights and responsibilities and where to get further advice. Information points are typically found at local council offices and libraries.

What will they do?

They can:

  • supply you with information such as leaflets and other reference material; and
  • give you access to the CLS Legal Adviser Directory via this website or the CLS Direct national helpline on 0845 345 4 345.

CLS information points do not give legal advice.

General help

You should use a general help provider when you want someone to help you identify the major elements of your problem and provide information, advice and help to resolve your basic problems. General help providers are typically Citizens Advice Bureaux and other advice agencies.
What will they do?

They will:

  • diagnose your problem
  • explain the options available to you
  • help you identify further action you can take
  • give you basic assistance
  • fill in forms and draft letters; and
  • contact other organisations for further information if necessary.

General help with casework

Some organisations at this level also offer casework. This means:

  • they can take action on your behalf
  • they can put your case to someone else to persuade them to make a decision in your favour
  • they can negotiate by telephone, by letter or face to face; and
  • they may provide advocacy services.  This means speaking for you at formal proceedings, for example at some tribunals.

Organisations can offer casework in different areas of law - for example, housing or issues affecting older people. You should check in the CLS Legal Adviser Directory to see which organisations offer the type of casework you need.

Specialist help

You should use a specialist help provider when you want someone to advise you on a complex legal problem and carry out the full range of legal services including representation. The Community Legal Service Fund helps people who cannot afford representation, as long as they meet certain conditions – see our Charges page for more information. Specialist help providers are typically solicitors, Law Centres, and some Citizens Advice Bureaux.

What will they do?

  • They will offer advice and legal help on complex matters in specific areas of law; and
  • They can represent you in court, where this is permitted.

Specialist providers advise on different areas of law - for example, housing, debt, immigration, and crime. View Categories of Law for full details.

Do you want to know more?

Download information about the Legal Services Commission's Quality Mark in Quality Mark standards and information on applying for the Quality Mark.

Please note:
The LSC are currently focussing audit resources on our contracted suppliers and those whose funding is dependent on the award of the Quality Mark.  If your organisation does not fall into these categories it is unlikely your application will be accepted or your organisation audited. We recommend you contact your LSC regional office to check the local position. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and if you would like to comment please write to the Supplier Development Group at 85 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8TX or email


go to top of page
CLS Legal Information Leaflets Legal Factsheets CLS Fund & Charges Legal Aid Calculator Other Links Using Advice Search Topics Using the Directory Nationals & Helplines Categories of Law Charges Complaints News Quality Mark Information for Providers