Period of recognised training

Last updated 18 July 2017

This page, and those directly associated with it, are relevant to those trainees who commenced their periods of recognised training on or after 1 July 2014, or who are still waiting to secure a period of recognised training.

SRA Training Regulations 2014

The SRA has a statutory duty to ensure those who are admitted as solicitors have the knowledge and skills necessary for practice. We do this by specifying the education and training that an individual must complete. These requirements are set out in the Training Regulations 2014 - Qualification and Provider Regulations, which govern all aspects of qualifying as a solicitor. The 2014 Training Regulations have superseded the 2011 Training Regulations Part 1 and Part 2, becoming effective as from 1 July 2014.

If you are seeking a period of recognised training that will commence on or after 1 July 2014, or if you commenced a training contract prior to that date, but have agreed by mutual consent with your training establishment to adopt the 2014 Training Regulations, this page will summarise what is required and what you can expect during your period of recognised training.

If you have agreed by mutual consent with your training establishment to adopt the 2014 Training Regulations, your training provider must notify us of this in the Transition from 2011 to 2014 SRA Training Regulations (PDF 243K, 3 pages) form.

What you need to know

We do not provide careers advice; however, when seeking a period of recognised training, you need to know that the number of employers able to offer this may be dictated by economic factors, and can be significantly lower than the number of LPC graduates.

Character and Suitability

To be eligible to commence a period of recognised training, you must meet the outcomes of our Suitability Test. The information on this page will assist any of the following individuals, who need to make a disclosure:

  • Trainees who are applying for eligibility to commence a period of recognised training;
  • Students who wish to have their suitability assessed before commencement of the LPC;
  • Any individual who needs to make subsequent disclosures as part of their ongoing obligation to notify the SRA of any character and suitability issues.

When you disclose a character and suitability issue to us, the onus is on you to provide any evidence you consider necessary and appropriate to enable us to make a decision on your application. The nature of the issue that you are disclosing to us will dictate what supporting documentation you must submit.

You can check what information is required by choosing from four options: criminal offences, assessment offences, financial evidence and regulatory history.

You should not submit your application until you are able to submit all of the required information.

Please see the Suitability Test for further guidance on your application.

Consequences of failing to submit information with your application

If you do not submit the relevant information within the time limits provided by the SRA, your application is likely to be refused .

If your application is refused, you will have up to one month to appeal the decision.

Please note that, if your application is refused, you may make up to three further applications after intervals of not less than 12 months from the final determination of the previous application.

To find out what information you are required to submit with your application, please select the option below that relates to the issue you are disclosing.

Criminal offences

This information should be submitted with all applications where a criminal offence has been disclosed:

  • 1.

    A statement of events:

    • Please provide a detailed sequence of events leading up to the offence(s) being disclosed, including any mitigating circumstances which are relevant.
    • Please note that section 7 of the Suitability Test asks for your attitude towards the events.
     
  • 2.

    Two professional references:

    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are; solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to:  
    • Please also ensure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you are a student currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
     
  • 3.

    A criminal records check:

    • Once we have received your application we may deem it necessary for you to obtain a criminal records check.
    • If we consider a criminal records check is required you will be contacted with details of the process.
     
  • 4.

    Confirmation of no further issues:

    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which the SRA should be aware of, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
     
  • 5.

    Sentencing remarks (if applicable):

    • If your offence(s) resulted in you appearing before the Crown Court within the last six years, please submit a copy of the sentencing remarks applicable to your case.
    • The sentencing remarks can be requested from the court.
     
  • 6.

    Evidence of satisfaction of penalty (if applicable):

    • If you were fined as a result of the issue you are disclosing, we will need evidence that the fine has been satisfied. This should include the fine and any associated costs.
    • You can obtain this evidence from the Court where the fine was paid. A report showing a clear record against your name can also be requested.
    • In the event that the Court does not hold any record of your fine being satisfied, please present alternative evidence of satisfaction, such as a copy of a bank statement highlighting the transaction.
    • If you are unable to obtain any of the evidence above please provide a signed declaration that you have paid the fine confirming the amount paid, how the fine was paid (e.g. card payment), the date the fine was paid and why you are unable to produce evidence of payment.
     
  • 7.

    Motoring Offences:

    If you are disclosing any issues regarding motoring offences you will need to supply the following:

    • A copy of the paper counterpart of your driving licence. You should access this online and share it with us by following the instructions on the UK government website.
    • Evidence of satisfaction of the penalty imposed.
     
  • 8.

    Rehabilitation:

    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
     
  • 9.

    Any independent documentation in relation to the offence (if applicable):

    • These can be reports from the court, police, etc.
     
  • 10.

    Evidence of disclosure to professional body:

    • If you are a member of any professional bodies, you must provide evidence that the issue(s) you have included in your application were disclosed to them. Please provide a confirmation letter from the professional body stating that the issue(s) was/were disclosed.
    • If you were not required to disclose such an incident to the professional body you should provide confirmation from them that there was no requirement to disclose it.
     
  • 11.

    Period of recognised training

    • If you have either disclosed an issue before commencing any period of recognised training or have asked us to assess an issue before commencement of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) you are not eligible to commence a period of recognised training until we have determined that you satisfy the outcomes of the Suitability Test.
     
 

Assessment offences

This information should be submitted with all applications where an assessment offence has been disclosed:

  • 1.

    A statements of events:

    • Detailed statement of events surrounding the offence, including any mitigating circumstances.
    • Your attitude towards the offence.
    • The extent to which you were aware of the rules and procedures governing the reference of material, the use of group work or collaborative material.
    • The extent to which you could reasonably have been expected to realise that the offence did not constitute legitimate academic practice.
     
  • 2.

    Two professional references:

    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are; solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to:  
    • Please also ensure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • We will expect at least one reference to be provided from a tutor at the institute where the academic offence occurred.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family member.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate.
     
  • 3.

    Confirmation of no further issues:

    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which the SRA should be aware, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
     
  • 4.

    Independent documentation from your university:

    • Documentation produced by the university should be provided by you, to clarify the type of academic offence that was committed and include any minutes from meetings or hearings regarding the offence.
     
  • 5.

    Confirmation of the outcome of the investigation into your offence:

    • Please provide independent confirmation from your university of the outcome of any investigation, hearing or meeting in relation to the issue(s) you have disclosed.
    • If you lodged an appeal as part of the process, please provide details of the initial decision, your appeal and the final outcome.
     
  • 6.

    Sanctions that were imposed upon you:

    • If any sanctions were imposed upon you, please provide evidence from the university. Where applicable, please also provide evidence that any sanctions were satisfied. For example, if you were required to re-sit an assessment, please provide evidence produced by your university that the assessment has been completed successfully.
    • Please note, the SRA may verify the academic offence directly with your university.
     
  • 7.

    Copies of transcripts:

    • Please send certified copies of transcripts.
    • Transcripts can be certified by the university or a professional person.
    • Original copies of transcripts should not be submitted to the SRA as we can not take responsibility if they are lost or damaged.
     
  • 8.

    Rehabilitation:

    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
     
  • 9.

    Period of recognised training

    • If you have either disclosed an issue before commencing any period of recognised training or have asked us to assess an issue before commencement of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) you are not eligible to commence a period of recognised training until we have determined that you satisfy the outcomes of the Suitability Test.
     
 

Financial evidence

This information should be submitted with all applications where you have disclosed bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) or County Court Judgement (CCJ):

  • 1.

    A statement of events:

    • Please provide a detailed sequence of events leading up to the issue(s) being disclosed, including any mitigating circumstances which are relevant.
    • Please note that section 7 of the Suitability Test asks for your attitude towards your financial circumstances.
     
  • 2.

    Two professional references:

    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are; solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to:  
    • Please also ensure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional e-mail accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you are a student currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
     
  • 3.

    Confirmation of no further issues:

    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which the SRA should be aware, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
     
  • 4.

    Rehabilitation:

    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Details of how you have subsequently managed your finances.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
     
  • 5.

    County Court Judgment (CCJ):

    • Independent evidence that creditors’ agreements have been met or continued.
    • A copy of the judgment.
    • A certificate of satisfaction. This can be evidenced by a Registry Trust Limited report , which confirms there are no CCJ’s outstanding and that any previous CCJ’s have been satisfied.
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than 1 month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
     
  • 6.

    Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA):

    • Independent evidence that creditors’ agreements have been met or continued. Please advise the amount(s) per month/per week that is being paid. Independent evidence of the debt status must be provided to include bank statements and confirmation from the creditor.
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than 1 month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online and must be a colour copy. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
     
  • 7.

    Bankruptcy:

    • Bankruptcy petition - obtainable from the court or trustee in bankruptcy
    • Certificate of discharge
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than 1 month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
     
  • 8.

    Period of recognised training

    • If you have either disclosed an issue before commencing any period of recognised training or have asked us to assess an issue before commencement of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) you are not eligible to commence a period of recognised training until we have determined that you satisfy the outcomes of the Suitability Test.
     
 

Regulatory history

This information should be submitted with all applications where you have disclosed any previous adverse regulatory conduct:

  • 1.

    A statement of events:

    • Please provide a detailed sequence of events leading up to the issue(s) being disclosed, including any mitigating circumstances which are relevant.
    • Please note that section 7 of the Suitability Test asks for your attitude towards the events.
     
  • 2.

    Two professional references:

    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are; solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to:
    • For those applying for eligibility to commence a period of recognised training pre-admission@sra.org.uk.
      • For those applying for admission admissions@sra.org.uk.
      • Please also ensure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
       
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you are a student currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
     
  • 3.

    Confirmation of no further issues:

    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which the SRA should be aware, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
     
  • 4.

    Rehabilitation:

    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
     
  • 5.

    Confirmation of the outcome of the investigation:

    • Please provide independent confirmation from your regulatory body of the outcome of any investigation, hearing or meeting in relation to the issue(s) you have disclosed. Include any minutes from meetings or hearings regarding the issue.
    • If you lodged an appeal as part of the process, please provide details of the initial decision, your appeal and the final outcome.
     
  • 6.

    Sanctions that were imposed upon you:

    • If any sanctions were imposed upon you, please provide evidence from the regulatory body to confirm them. Where applicable, please also provide evidence that any sanctions were satisfied.
    • Please note - the SRA may verify events directly with your regulatory body.
     
  • 7.

    Period of recognised training

    • If you have either disclosed an issue before commencing any period of recognised training or have asked us to assess an issue before commencement of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) you are not eligible to commence a period of recognised training until we have determined that you satisfy the outcomes of the Suitability Test.
     
 

Training trainee solicitors

SRA requirements

The Authorised Training Provider information pack contains must-have information for training establishments and trainee solicitors, and should be your first port of call when checking training requirements.

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 structure, contents and criteria for authorisation as an approved provider are detailed in the Professional Skills Course Information Pack.