New Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) launched

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) today launched a new Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), strengthening the procedures for assessing internationally qualified lawyers and lawyers qualified in the UK seeking to practise as solicitors in England and Wales, and opening up a route to admissions to internationally qualified lawyers previously not eligible to apply.

Kaplan QLTS, part of education and training provider Kaplan, has been appointed as the sole assessment organisation to provide the QLTS assessments, following a rigorous tender exercise last month.

From 1 September, candidates applying to transfer will be considered under the new QLTS rules. As part of this, international applicants will need to show they have met the English language requirement. QLTS assessments are due to start in the new year, and will include practical exercises which will replace the previous Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulation (QLTR) experience requirement.

The aim of the new scheme is to ensure that all applicants satisfy the "Day One" outcomes, which are the standard for lawyers qualifying through the domestic route.

Antony Townsend, SRA chief executive, said: "The public need to have confidence in their solicitor wherever he or she may originally have qualified. This is the first fundamental change in the system of assessment of international lawyers for 20 years.

"We have seen a year-on-year increase in the number of applications which has now reached around 26 per cent of newly authorised solicitors annually. This system will ensure that everyone has a clear standard to achieve. We have also substantially increased the diversity of the eligible jurisdictions so we are opening up access to the profession while at the same time making sure that standards are met."

Peter Anderson, MD of Kaplan's legal training business, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the SRA to be the sole assessment organisation for the QLTS. We look forward to applying the rigorous intellectual approach of our academics and our relentless focus on quality to develop an assessment system that will safeguard the SRA's strict standards. We will also use our significant expertise in supporting students around the world to create a positive experience for all applicants."


The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) will continue to be available until 2013 when the last QLTT certificates of eligibility will expire. The existing providers will be invited to revalidate their authorisations to provide the QLTT at the end of September, with results being available by the end of October.

Kaplan delivers Nottingham Law School's Graduate Diploma in Law, Legal Practice Course and Barristers Professional Training Course in London for graduates seeking to qualify as solicitors. Kaplan also offers legal training and professional development for lawyers in the UK through Altior and Kaplan Hawksmere.

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