The Advice Services Alliance is the umbrella body for independent advice services in the UK. Our are national networks of not-for-profit organisations providing advice and help on the law, access to services and related issues.
ASA promotes the development of high quality advice services and co-operation between advice organisations. We provide a forum for members and undertake policy work on their behalf, including responding to government initiatives relating to advice. ASA’s CLS Support Project provides help to advice organisations participating in the Community Legal Service.
On this site you can find out about our work and view our policy papers and briefings.
The Advice Services Alliance (ASA) was established in 1980, and is the umbrella organisation for independent advice services in the UK.
Our Aims are to:-
- champion the development of high quality information, advice and legal services
- ensure that people are not denied access to such services on account of lack of means, discrimination or other disadvantage
- encourage co-operation between organisations providing such services
- provide a forum for the discussion of issues of common interest or concern to advice organisations.
Membership of ASA is open to national networks of independent, not-for-profit advice services in the UK. Other organisations concerned with the provision of advice and legal services may affiliate to ASA as associate members. A list of current ASA and links to their websites are contained in the members page. Please contact us for more information on joining or affiliating to ASA.
ASA’s work focuses on:
- the role of the independent advice sector
- funding and development of advice services
- quality and standards of advice work
- methods of delivering advice services
- the impact of the legal system on clients of advice agencies
- relations with other providers of advice and legal services.
On behalf of members, we respond to government initiatives relating to advice and the legal system. We represent the advice sector in discussions with government bodies and other organisations. We produce policy and discussion papers, and undertake research. We host policy forums for our members and run occasional seminars and conferences. We provide training, information and guidance to members and advice agencies.
Our current areas of work include:-
- policy work on the legal aid scheme and Community Legal Service (CLS) in England and Wales
- representing the advice sector in connection with its involvement in legal aid and the CLS
- practical support to advice agencies applying for or operating legal aid contracts and the CLS Quality Mark – this service is provided through our CLS Support project
- work on quality and standards of advice, with the aim of developing a consistent and rigorous approach to quality by providers and funders of advice
- developing awareness of alternative methods of dispute resolution such as mediation and ombudsman services
- the development of electronic legal information services, through our Advicenow and ADRnow websites.
Our Management and Funding
ASA is a not-for-profit organisation and a company limited by guarantee. We are managed by a Board of Directors nominated by our members. Our activities are financed by members’ subscriptions with additional support from other organisations and individuals, including the Legal Services Commission and the Community Fund.