Becoming an Education Provider Q & A

The LPC route of qualifying as a solicitor, consisting of an academic stage and a vocational stage, has now been replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

Candidates can only qualify through the LPC route if they meet our transitional requirements.

The SRA will  no longer be involved in the approval or recognition of new QLD/CPE courses that start after 31 December 2021.  Find out more on our position in the Common Protocol on the Academic Stage of training.The information below is for exisiting providers or for those seeking to become a new LPC or PSC provider under the LPC route.

Organisations wishing to become authorised as a new LPC or PSC provider will need a strong business case, given that this route to admission has been replaced by the SQE.

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We are no longer taking applications for new QLD providers. This is because we will only validate QLDs and ELDs where an offer was accepted by 21 September 2021 inclusive.

To make changes to existing validated courses, existing QLD providers,  must self-certify compliance with the Joint Statement.

There is an annual fee of £200 paid per academic year. 

Organisations should apply their admissions policies and regulations in order to consider enrolling applicants and recognising academic credit achieved in previous study elsewhere – or in another programme at their own organisation.

There is a time limit of six years for students to complete the QLD, irrespective of the normal time limit set by an organisation. This six years applies to all modes of attendance.

If an organisation receives medical or other evidence of exceptional circumstances that will lead to a student being unable to complete their programme of study within the time limit, they should apply their assessment policy and regulations in order to consider granting an extension of time. The grounds for granting any extension should be recorded in the relevant exam board minutes.

The Common Professional Examination (CPE) is the title given by the regulatory bodies, and is the professional name of the course. However, organisations are permitted to embed this within their academic award frameworks by giving it a academic title. Many organisations choose to use the title Graduate Diploma in Law, but this is a discretionary decision for each organisation.

 

We are no longer accepting applications from potential new CPE providers as to qualify under the LPC route, offers on a CPE course must have been accepted by students by 1 September 2021.

There is an annual fee of £200 paid per academic year. 

Since the introduction of the SQE, students are no longer granted full or partial exemptions from the CPE, unless they fall under the transitional arrangements because they have accepted an offer to start the LPC or a period of recognised training. 

Details for LPC providers and the requirements of the LPC can be found in the LPC information pack.

Read the LPC information pack

Applications for authorisation as a provider and for the validation of specific courses will be considered by a panel appointed by the SRA. Applications will be considered against published criteria. 

For further information go to the LPC information pack.

The organisation will be charged a fee for authorisation and validation. This fee will be determined from time to time by us.

 

There is an annual registration fee for each student enrolled on the LPC, the registration fee is £15 per student enrolled on the LPC.

At the close of every academic year, you should submit to us a 'Pass List' that records all students who successfully completed the LPC.

 

Graduates of either the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) are permitted exemptions from attendance and assessment. LPC providers are not required to grant exemptions. 

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

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

Graduates should have successfully completed the BVC/BPTC not more than five years prior to their enrolment on the LPC.

To ascertain whether or not an award is a qualifying law degree (QLD) or CPE, access the SRA's definitive records of current QLD providers and programmes or CPE providers. 

Read QLD providers and programmes or CPE providers

Note that these SRA records are of current providers and programmes. Because providers occasionally stop running certain programmes, or radically revise them, resulting in new award titles, it is possible that an applicant may have a QLD / CPE that is no longer provided. It will therefore not be listed in the current record. If an applicant is claiming that this is the case, or if you suspect that it may be the case, contact us for advice on the historical record.

There are a number of ways to verify that an applicant has achieved a QLD. LPC providers can ask to see the original transcript, diploma supplement or a letter from the awarding institution confirming the award. We are aware that there is some uncertainty as to what constitutes a qualifying law degree (QLD), and we will provide a checklist against which they can assess the transcript.

Since the introduction of the SQE, students must provide evidence of the date on which an offer was accepted and the date the course started to demonstrate that their QLD/CPE falls within our requirements for qualifying under the LPC route . LPC providers will need to check this to ensure that a QLD or CPE is within the transitional arrangements.

Decisions as to the significance of a period of elapsed time between the completion of a QLD / CPE and enrolment on the LPC are made at the discretion of the LPC provider.

 

If the provider's accreditation of prior learning policy permits this time frame, exemptions may be granted by the provider.

 

If the provider's accreditation of prior learning policy permits this time frame, exemptions may be granted by the provider. 

All Stage 1 assessments should be completed with the same LPC provider.

The PSC assumes knowledge from the LPC, and therefore students should be advised to commence it after completing the LPC.

 

The obligation to provide evidence that the academic stage of training has been successfully completed rests with the student. However, there is a requirement that the LPC provider verifies the authenticity of the evidence provided.

 

We will not check the character and suitability of a student before they enrol on the LPC, because it is not a requirement for enrolment. We do however require students to disclose to us issues relating to character and suitability when applying for admission as a solicitor.

We appreciate that students who have character and suitability issues may want an early assessment before they embark on the LPC and/or a period of recognised training,

They can have their character and suitability assessment assessed at any time by completing the screening process and submitting the character and suitability form.

Details for PSC providers and the requirements of the PSC can be found in the Professional Skills Course information pack. 

Professional Skills Course information pack.

We appreciate that students who have character and suitability issues may want an early assessment before they embark on the LPC, and we have retained the power to undertake these early assessments.

The PSC assumes knowledge from the LPC, and therefore students should be advised to commence it after completing the LPC.

Yes, if they can demonstrate that the knowledge and skills outcomes (and the standard at which they must be acquired) have been achieved through other assessed learning and supervised work-based learning. Where this is the case, we may grant exemption from some of the modules on the PSC.