Decision-making criteria

This set of criteria was archived on 5 October 2012 as part of our Transformation Programme.

QLTT Test specification

Principles of regulatory decision-making, approved by the SRA Board, provide a set of standards applicable to decisions. The principles are supported by guidelines. The principles and guidelines are written, accessible to all staff and published on the website.

The reasons given by a decision-maker will normally include specific criteria applicable to the decision. SRA Policies relevant to decision-making are reflected in the criteria.

Scope of this document

The QLTT test specification applies to decisions to refer the conduct of a regulated person or firm to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.


The example below is illustrative and does not set any type of precedent. Each matter is considered on its own facts and merits.

 An overseas lawyer makes an application for a Certificate of Eligibility under the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulations 1990, Regulation 10, and pays the relevant fee of £400. The applicant requests exemption from having to gain any further experience requirement.

As an overseas lawyer they are required to demonstrate two years work experience; at least one year must be gained in the law of England and Wales, within an organisation regulated by us or have been under the direct supervision of a solicitor admitted in England and Wales. The remaining time (up to one year) may be gained in their own common law jurisdiction.

The individual supports the application with two ‘Evidence of experience’ forms completed by the supervisor from the two firms in which the work experience has been gained. The forms demonstrate the applicant has gained both contentious and non-contentious experience in three distinct areas of law. Eight months has been gained in a common law jurisdiction and the remaining 16 months was at a London based law firm under the supervision of an admitted solicitor of England and Wales. Both firms provide a covering letter confirming the detail of the experience gained. The applicant has worked on a full time basis.

We are satisfied the application is supported with sufficient information and verification to justify an exemption from the requirement to gain any further period of practical experience. A certificate of eligibility is granted with a requirement for the applicant to sit and successfully pass the relevant heads of the Test.