Last updated 9 April 2013
Minimum salary 2011/14
The minimum salary for trainee solicitors remains the same as last year. The minimum salary for trainee solicitors working in Central London is £18,590 pa. For trainees working elsewhere in England and Wales, it is £16,650 pa.
The Red Tape Initiative has brought in a number of changes to training contracts, for instance removing the need for our approval before seconding trainees to other organisations.
The content on this page will be updated shortly. In the interim, please rely on the Qualification Regulations and the Training Provider Regulations in version 7 of the Handbook, which contain the full regulatory requirements for trainees and training establishments.
What you need to know
We do not provide careers advice; however, when seeking a training contract place, you need to know that the number of employers able to offer contracts may be dictated by economic factors and can be significantly lower than the number of LPC graduates.
Summarising the key training requirements, this document briefs students and new trainees on what to expect during the training contract period.
Please note that we are no longer accepting student enrolment applications for those who are undertaking the 2012 LPC. However, if you require student enrolment for any other purpose, please supply a covering letter with your paper application detailing the reasons why you require student enrolment.
Training trainee solicitors
This 19-page document contains streamlined, must-have information for training establishments and trainee solicitors. With a browser-enabled table of contents and links to separate, detailed, topic-specific guidance, the document is your first port of call when checking the training contract requirements.
We recommend that you navigate the document using its in-text hyperlinks, along with the green 'next' and 'previous' buttons – located at the bottom centre of the Adobe® Reader® display. We strongly advise that you download and install the latest version of Adobe® Reader®. Regardless of the speed of your internet connection, you should be able to download Training trainee solicitors: the SRA requirements (PDF 166K) in less than one minute; you should also be able to download each of the supplementary forms and documents in a matter of seconds.
Forms and guidance
The information is organised under ten, self-explanatory headings:
- The training contract – full time (PDF 40K)
This contract is to be used where trainee solicitors have completed the LPC and are employed by the training establishment on a full-time basis.
- The training contract – part time (PDF 42K)
This contract is to be used for trainee solicitors who have completed the LPC and are employed on a part-time basis.
- The "part-time study" training contract (PDF 47K)
This contract is intended for use where trainee solicitors employed within a solicitor's office are completing – on a 'part-time study' basis – a law degree, the Common Professional Examination (CPE), the Legal Practice Course (LPC), or an exempting law degree.
- Training trainee solicitors: Guidelines on performance review and appraisals (PDF 84K)
Training establishments must conduct at least three formal appraisals with each trainee during their two-year contract. Training principals and supervisors are encouraged to consult our guidance on establishing an appraisal system for their trainees.
- Training trainee solicitors: Guidelines on recruitment and selection (PDF 45K)
Recruiting the best trainees is vital for training establishments, and operating good recruitment processes will help to accomplish this.
- Training trainee solicitors: Performance and development review – Sample appraisal form (PDF 50K)
Although we do not prescribe the form of the appraisal documentation, this sample form can be used unaltered or adapted to suit individual requirements.
- Training trainee solicitors: Guidelines on monitoring of training contracts (PDF 46K)
We monitor training establishments to ensure that they are providing adequate training. These guidelines include full details of the monitoring scheme and procedures.
- Training trainee solicitors: Sample offer letter (PDF 31K)
This sample letter of an offer of a training contract can be modified to suit the needs of individual training establishments. Training establishments can use their own form of offer letter.
- Training trainee solicitors: Guidelines on supervising trainees (PDF 45K)
These guidelines may assist supervisors of trainees (particularly supervisors who are new to the role) to deal with situations such as delegating work, offering feedback, coaching and improving performance.
- Training trainee solicitors: Voluntary code to good practice in the recruitment of trainee solicitors (PDF 48K)
This code operates for signatory training establishments that recruit undergraduates two years in advance of the start of the training contract.
- Training trainee solicitors: Application to recognise experience outside of a training contract (time to count) (PDF 2 pages, 54K)
Trainees, prospective trainees and applicants who have previous equivalent experience may wish to apply to a training establishment to reduce the duration of the training contract. Should they wish to do so, they must complete this application form.
- Training trainee solicitors: Guidelines for recognising previous experience (time to count) (PDF 46K)
These guidelines will be of assistance to training establishments if and when they are asked to consider applications from trainees, prospective trainees and training contract applicants to recognise previous experience gained outside of a training contract.
- Training trainee solicitors: Induction checklist (PDF 41K)
All trainee solicitors must have an induction. If a training establishment does not already run an induction programme, this checklist will be useful.
- Training trainee solicitors: Modular training contract guidelines (PDF 52K)
If a training establishment cannot provide trainees with experience in three separate areas of law, or experience in the range of contentious and non-contentious work required by the skills standards, it must arrange for the trainee to be seconded. Alternatively, the training establishment could consider offering a training contract jointly with another firm or organisation. These guidelines explain how this can be done.
- Training trainee solicitors: Training contract record (PDF 40K)
Training principals must ensure that trainees maintain an adequate record of their training throughout the period of the training contract. We do not prescribe the format of the training contract record, but recommends that it include several elements, all of which can be seen in this sample form.
Professional Skills Course
The Professional Skills Course (PSC) is offered exclusively by course providers approved by the SRA. The SRA decides the content of the course. Consult the accredited Professional Skills Course providers.
All approved course providers have demonstrated to the SRA that they can provide courses in compliance with appropriate standards. The course content and the criteria for authorisation as an approved provider are detailed in an extract from the latest version of the SRA's Professional Skills Course Guidelines (PDF 74K).
Please use www.sra.org.uk/training-contract to link to this page.