The New Alternative to PCOL

An interesting meeting at the Ministry of Justice was held to review the online claims procedure and in particular the PCOL system.


The Government website states “Government Digital Strategy and Departmental Digital Strategies commit us to the redesigning and rebuilding of 25 significant ‘exemplar’ services. We’re going to make them simpler, clearer and faster to use. All these are to meet the Digital By Default Service Standard by April 2014 and be completed by March 2015.

The 22nd exemplar in the transformation process is civil claims. Further information can be found at:

Discussion Group

The purpose of the discussion group was for members to provide information in respect of users requirements of PCOL so a completely new system can be produced rather than an improvement to the existing one. It appears at present that courts are still reliant on papers files as the current functionality of the system means a large proportion of contact with the court is still via paper and telephone calls.

It was interesting to hear the views of others on how the system could be improved and in particular the need to eradicate the use of paper claims. Currently PCOL is limited in its function and therefore a new system will need to be able to deal with a variety of scenarios such as deceased and term expired possession claims.

Another interesting feature discussed was the possibility of adding a Title Number to the property address details to assist with identification of the property which would be of use in respect of properties with garages or additional land.

Going forward

The meeting really showed how much needs to be discussed, as the allotted time passed so quickly, but hopefully further discussions will be held to ensure the success of the new system.

Further feedback from members on any functions they would like to have available on the system would be beneficial to all concerned and ensure the CCUA is at the forefront of promoting a user friendly, time saving, modern claims system.

Now time for summer hols and sunshine (I hope!).

Author – Christine Power FCILEx – specialising in Debt Recovery at Lightfoots LLP


About The CCUA's Chairman's review blog
Our purpose is to promote a better Court Service for our Members and all other court users, by liaison with the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service.

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