What is a period of recognised training

November 2022

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

A period of recognised training (often known as a training contract) gives individuals supervised experience in legal practice. This is the final stage of the LPC route of qualification as a solicitor where they refine and develop their professional skills they will need to practice.

Trainees are employees of your firm and so you will need to consider any relevant employment law in relation to their employment.

Length of a period of recognised training

A period of recognised training must be for a duration of a total of at least two years full time or equivalent. We consider a minimum of 32 hours per week as the equivalent of a full time period of recognised training. The minimum 32 hours per week can be worked over fewer than five days.

If a trainee works for less than 32 hours during a week we would consider this a part time period of recognised training and the trainee will be expected to complete more than the minimum two year requirement.

Trainees may also train while they study the Qualifying Law Degree, Common Professional Examination, or Legal Practice Course, if it is possible for them to take these courses under our transitional arrangements for the SQE. If the trainee is working part time while studying, the same arrangements as above apply.

You may recognise previous work-based experience the trainee has undertaken as satisfying up to six months of the required period of recognised training.

Organising training

Under both sets of our regulations, your organisation must give trainees opportunities to apply and develop their skills as set out in the Practice Skills Standards. These skills include, among others, advocacy and oral presentation, dispute resolution, and planning, managing and progressing cases and transactions.

If your trainees started their period of recognised training on or before 24 November 2019, they need to meet the requirements within the SRA Training Regulations 2014. This means they will need to gain experience in at least three distinct areas of English and Welsh law (often known as seats). This will need to include both contentious and non-contentious work.

For trainees registered with us since 25 November 2019, they have to meet the requirements of the Authorisation of Individuals Regulations and the Education, Training and Assessment Provider Regulations. These trainees should work in various areas of law, but not specifically the three distinct areas. This must also include contentious work.

However your training is organised, you need to make sure that:

  • enough time is spent in each area of legal practice for the trainee to be trained properly in it. Although we do not specify the amount of time this would take, we anticipate that it could not be achieved in less than the equivalent of three months in an area of legal practice
  • the trainee is guided and tutored in professional conduct, ethics and client care
  • the level and complexity of the trainee's work is increased gradually during the training period
  • each trainee maintains their own training record, keeping track of the work they have done and the skills they have used
  • each trainee attends the Professional Skills Course.


You may arrange for a trainee to be seconded to another organisation. These do not have to be approved by us. However you remain responsible for their training and making sure that it meets our requirements.