Toward a new assessment framework for admission as a solicitor

Statement of transitional arrangements

2 October 2015

  • 1.

    The current route to qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales is set out in the SRA Training Regulations 2014 (the Regulations). Amongst other matters, and as set out in Part 2 of the Regulations, under the existing assessment framework, we will only admit an individual as a solicitor if that individual has completed the requisite academic and vocational stages of training.

    To meet the academic requirement of the Regulations, an individual must hold a Qualifying Law Degree or have passed the Common Professional Examination (sometimes referred to as the Graduate Diploma in Law).

    To satisfy the vocational element of the Regulations, an individual must have successfully completed: (i) the Legal Practice Course (LPC); (ii) the Professional Skills Course (PSC); and (iii) a Period of Recognised Training (PRT).

  • 2.

    We are proposing to introduce a new assessment framework for intending solicitors that will be aligned to our new Statement of Solicitor Competence. The Regulations would be revised to reflect any new assessment framework that is introduced. The date for implementation of any new Regulations would be no earlier than the start of the 2018/19 academic year.

  • 3.

    We know that some aspiring solicitors might be part way through their route to qualification at the time when any new assessment framework and regulations come into effect. If that is the case, we will establish transitional arrangements for those who are affected.

  • 4.

    In December 2015, we will consult formally on the proposed new assessment framework. Until that process has been completed and any decision made, we cannot set out full details of what any transitional arrangements will be.

  • 5.

    We can, however, set out the principles 1 which will underpin our approach to any transition. These principles are stated below.

    • a. There will be a cut-off date for admission as a solicitor under the existing Regulations and we will consult in December 2015 on what that date will be.
    • b. Candidates will not have to repeat a stage of training they have already completed. We will develop guidance showing how any new regulations and assessment requirements compare to the existing Regulations and assessment framework.
    • c. At the point that any new regulations are introduced:
      • candidates who have started or are part way through a QLD or CPE will be able to finish those qualifications and so complete the academic stage, but must then follow any new assessment framework to complete their training.
      • candidates who have started or are part way through their LPC, or PSC and PRT, will be able to either complete their vocational training stage and qualify under the existing assessment framework, or transfer to any new assessment framework. This also applies to candidates who have started or are part way an exempting law degree 2.
      These arrangements will also apply to candidates who have not started their training but who have a contractual or financial commitment to a QLD (including an exempting degree), LPC or PRT at the point that any new regulations are introduced.
    • d. Subject to the outcomes of the SRA consultation, 'Improving Regulation: proportionate and targeted measures', our 2014 Regulations will permit qualification as a solicitor through an apprenticeship route. Candidates who have started or are part way through an apprenticeship route, at the point any new training regulations are introduced, will be able to complete their apprenticeship to qualify as a solicitor.


1. These principles apply to the domestic route for qualification.

2. An exempting law degree meets the requirement for a QLD and the LPC.

Questions and Answers on the transitional arrangements