Accreditation of prior learning (APL)

Published 11 May 2012

Why has the SRA introduced a policy on APL?

The introduction of a policy on APL in relation to the LPC has been under consideration for some time, in particular because of the impact that such a policy could have on achieving our regulatory objective of increasing access to the profession.

Why does the policy only apply to BVC/BPTC graduates?

Any policy on APL must be robust, transparent and practical for applicants, the SRA and providers. The SRA has therefore decided to trial our approach to APL with BVC/BPTC graduates, as there is particular interest from this group since the introduction of the QLTS. Under the QLTS, barristers who have not completed pupillage are no longer eligible to apply for admission, because they are not fully qualified.

What exemptions are available for BVC graduates?

Successful BVC graduates may, if the LPC provider determines, be granted exemption from attendance and assessment in the following areas of the LPC:

  • Stage 1 – Litigation, advocacy, drafting, practical legal research
  • Stage 2 – Two vocational electives

What exemptions are available for BPTC graduates?

Successful graduates of the BPTC may, if the LPC provider determines, be granted exemption from attendance and assessment in the following areas:

  • Stage 1 – Litigation, advocacy, drafting
  • Stage 2 – Two vocational electives

Are there any time restrictions?

The exemption may only be awarded where the students have completed the BVC or the BPTC no earlier than five years prior to the date of his or her enrolment on the LPC course.

Who decides whether an exemption should be granted?

The LPC provider will make the final decision whether to exempt a student from parts of their LPC curriculum. The SRA is permitting LPC providers to grant these exemptions, rather than requiring them to grant exemptions. Students should contact their preferred LPC providers to discover their policy on APL for the LPC.

When will I be able to claim exemptions?

This is for your LPC provider to determine and we would recommend that you raise this with potential providers before you decide which course to embark on.

Do these changes affect the training contract stage?

A BVC/BPTC graduate seeking an exemption must still complete a training contract to qualify for admission. These changes do not extend to granting exemption from any part of the training contract.

Will these changes make the LPC any shorter or cheaper for BVC/BPTC graduates?

This is for each LPC provider to determine.