Applying for Professional Skills Course exemptions

You can only qualify through this route if you meet our transitional requirements. If you do not meet these, you will need to qualify under the SQE.

Unfortunately, some people are experiencing a problem with our application form. In some cases, applicants have been unable to complete some of the fields in section 1. If this happens to you, please add this evidence to a separate Word document and upload it with your application.

This is an application for exemption from any or all three of the core modules of the Professional Skills Course (PSC).

You will need to complete the electives at an approved PSC provider.

What you need

Advocacy and Communication Skills

You need experience of both civil and criminal advocacy which should have been gained over a period of 5 years or more.

Client care and Professional Standards

You need to have experience of the issues in the subject areas at an appropriate level, over a period of 8 years or more.

Financial and Business Skills

You must have been successfully examined on a similar syllabus recently.

You must be able to provide references from your supervisors to corroborate your application and supporting evidence.

Additional requirements

For work-based learning, your evidence will need to confirm the work carried out and how it meets the requirements of the core PSC modules. This must be corroborated by your supervisor. They should be a solicitor or another individual who has knowledge of the PSC written standards and legal practice.

For certificated learning we will only recognise academic credit that has led to a qualification or certificate.

If you are claiming an exemption based on an award obtained outside the UK, the awarding body must be recognised by  UK ENIC.

Completion of the following cannot be used as a basis to apply for the PSC exemptions.

  • Common Professional Exam (CPE)
  • Qualifying Law Degree (QLD)
  • Legal Practice Course (LPC)
  • Period of Recognised Training (PRT)

There is a progressive element as the PSC is designed to build on these.

Making your application

You will need to make your application by applying online in mySRA. First, you will need to create an account to log into mySRA. 

You may find it useful to have this guidance open in a separate device or browser window to help you complete all the steps. You will need to download the application and document index on the ‘Getting Started’ page in mySRA, before you can start to complete it.  

You may be completing this application over several weeks or months.

When you are ready to submit your application click START APPLICATION on the Getting Started page to upload it along with the index and all supporting documents. The application fee is £210, you will need to pay by debit or credit card at the end of the process to complete the application. 

We aim to provide you with a decision within 90 days of receiving your application. 

How to complete the EQ PSC exemption application

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Section 3 requires you to enter details of degrees, diplomas and other qualifications you have been awarded.

If you are applying for exemption from the Financial and Business Skills core module you must make sure that you provide certified copies of the: syllabus, module descriptors, award certificate and transcript for the course you have been recently examined on, which covers the same areas as this module.

Section 4 requires you to enter details of other professional qualifications or completed courses. For example, relevant qualifications you have undertaken within your employment. If you are using these to support your application include certified copies of your certificate(s), transcript(s) and module descriptor(s).

We do not grant exemptions based on study you have completed on the CPE/LPC.

Section 5: If you are applying for exemption from the Advocacy and Communications Skills core module, you need to demonstrate experience of both civil and criminal advocacy which should have been gained over a period of five or more years.

If you are applying for exemption from the Client Care and Professional Standards core module, you need to demonstrate work experience in the subject areas, at a suitable level, over a period of eight years or more.

Tell us where you completed your experience (only including those which you are relying on):

  • The organisation's name, address and SRA ID (if applicable)
  • Job title
  • Average number of hours worked per week
  • Start and end date in this role
  • Supervisor's name, qualification and SRA number (if they have one)
  • If your supervisor is not a solicitor, then we need to know their professional qualification.

Section 6 is a key part of your application. You must complete this table.

To grant your application, we must be satisfied that you have achieved all the outcomes listed against each of the core modules you claim.

Before you start to complete this section you must read and understand the Professional Skills Course – Written Standards.

When completing the assessment table:

  • set out specific, detailed examples showing how you achieved each outcome 
  • specify where you gained your professional experience 
  • cross reference your evidential documents to the outcomes 
  • update the document index with your evidential documents
  • every page must be numbered
  • all evidence must be corroborated by references from your supervisor(s) in each period of experience claimed. 

Supporting evidence

While everyone's experience is unique, you must include the following evidence within your application:

  • detailed references from your supervisors to corroborate your claim for work experience
  • redacted samples of your work 
  • certified copies of your syllabus, module descriptors, award certificate and transcript if you are applying for exemption from the Financial and Business Skills module.  

Guidance for referees 

Please make sure that your referee(s) have read this information.

All references must:

  • be provided for each period of experience claimed 
  • be written for the purposes of this application and be dated within the last 3 months 
  • be submitted on letterheaded paper. 

Referees must:

  • have read your application and reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference. 
  • familiarised themselves with the Professional Skills Course – Written Standards and refer to these when providing their reference(s). 
  • confirm that they have supervised your work. 
  • include examples from their direct observation of you and your work. 

If your referees are not solicitors, ask them for a statement outlining their skills, experience and qualifications.

Find out more information about the Professional Skills Course Written Standards.

It is essential that the document index is completed correctly and uploaded as part of your application.

How to complete the document index

Please makes sure that:

  • When you save your documents, and before uploading them to your application, you name each one with the document number at the start. This means that your documents will be uploaded in the order that you have chosen (see example below)
  • there are no spaces in any part of the document name
  • the same document numbers are entered in section 6 of your application in the final column headed - Evidence to support your application.

Here is an example of a completed document index.

Doc no Description (document name) Date No of pages
1 1referenceABC 01/01/2020 3
2 2appraisalABC 31/01/2019 8
3 3worksamplesABC 01/03/2019 25
4 4referenceSmith&co 14/01/2020 2
5 5appraisalSmith&co 01/05/2018 6
6 6worksamplesSmith&co 15/04/2018 20

We suggest that you complete the index as you progress through the application. Please make sure that each piece of evidence is included in the final index.

The number of lines is not an indication of the volume of documents you need to send. It is for you to decide on what you think is relevant to show your work knowledge. You may continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

How we use your document index

This index will be used by your caseworker and the assessor as part of their assessment of your application. They will cross reference your evidence to each of the outcomes, so clear alignment is vital.

We may not accept your application if this index is not included with your evidence, or not completed correctly.

Ready to apply

You can pay via credit or debit card. The application fee is £210.

We aim to provide you with a decision within 90 days of receiving your application.

If you have read our step by step guide and meet the relevant criteria, you are ready to make your application. 

Assessment of your experience against modules of the Professional Skills Course Equivalent Means

Log in to mySRA to apply, go to start a new application