Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme extending its reach
8 October 2012
The SRA's Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS) for international and intra-UK lawyers wishing to practise as solicitors in England and Wales is now available to lawyers from 84 jurisdictions throughout the world - including the recent additions of Peru and Egypt.
The growing numbers of countries who have successfully applied to join the Scheme since its introduction two years ago, include emerging new economies such as Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, as well as China, Russia and Japan. Previously lawyers from these jurisdictions would have had to go through the UK's full domestic route to gain qualification.
The QLTS, administered by Kaplan on behalf of the SRA, was launched in September 2010 following the first revision of the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Regulations (QLTR) and Test for 20 years and was designed to be a much more robust test of English Law and practice. It comprises three parts:
- The Multiple Choice Test (MCT)*
- The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)* - a practical assessment method adapted from the medical professions
- The Technical Legal Skills Test (TLST) which tests drafting, writing and research skills
Candidates must pass all three parts within the five - year validity period of their certificate of eligibility.They have a maximum of three attempts at each of the three parts within that five-year period.
SRA Policy Executive, Jenny Crewe said: "The assessments are pioneering in legal assessment terms, are very comprehensive, and ensure that candidates who apply undergo a robust test of their knowledge and practical skills before being admitted.
"Over the past year, we've seen increasing number of applications from jurisdictions from all over the world so this is opening up accessibility to lawyers wishing to practise in England and Wales. Initial uptake was rather slow because there were no ‘known' training providers in the market but this situation has now dramatically changed.
"More and more training providers are now coming on board including BPP, CLT and QLTS School. City Law School also has been providing assistance to QLTT applicants who we have allowed to take the OSCE and TLST assessments - instead of the work experience requirement they were obliged to complete under QLTT. We've also been encouraged to find that the results of the first rounds of the QLTS show that candidates from non-common law countries can perform equally as well as common law candidates.
"Now, with Kaplan, we are piloting the MCT element of the QLTS in New York in January 2013 and if the response is good, then we may extend it to other major centres around the world."
Note to editors
Candidates must pass the MCT before enrolling for either the OSCE or the TLST. The OSCE and the TLST may then be taken in any order.
The difference between QLTS (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme) and QLTR (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Regulations)?
QLTR pre-dated the Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme, which was introduced in 2010. QLTR closed to new applications on 31 August 2010. Those currently enrolled on QLTR have until the expiry of their certificates of eligibility to complete the SRA's requirements. All certificates will expire by 31 August 2013.
List of qualifying jurisdictions.