Already started on the QLTS

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) has been replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This information is only for lawyers who have already started qualifying through the QLTS.

Find out more about becoming a solicitor through the SQE.

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 You will have to qualify through the SQE route. This means you have to:

  • have a degree that is the same level as a UK degree, or other qualification and/or experience that is equivalent to this
  • pass the SQE assessments which is made up of two parts:
    • SQE1 tests legal knowledge through a multiple choice test
    • SQE2 test practical skills through oral and written exams
  • meet our character and suitability requirements.

Find out more

You can still complete your QLTS qualifications and apply for admission by passing the SQE2.

Passed an OSCE

Find out what you need to do next.

Passed an SQE2

If you pass SQE2, you then need to apply for screening so we can assess your character and suitability to be a solicitor. You will have until 31 March 2024 (inclusive) to apply for admission.

If you fail your first SQE2 assessment, you will have two more attempts. If you fail all three, you will need to qualify through the SQE route and not QLTS. This means you would have to sit both assessments - SQE1 and SQE2.

SQE2 exemptions

If you have passed the QLTS MCT this is not equivalent to passing the SQE1 and you do not qualify for an SQE2 exemption.

If you have not passed an OSCE, you must sit the SQE2 assessment to complete your QLTS qualification.

Any SQE2 exemption is based on a candidate being assessed through SQE1 as well, and their practice rights being the same as a solicitor of England and Wales.

There are differences between the QLTS day one outcomes and the Functioning Legal Knowledge tested in SQE1. For example SQE1 includes the procedural subjects of Business Law and Practice Wills and the Administration of Estates, Property Practice, Dispute Resolution and Criminal Practice.

If you apply for an SQE2 exemption, and are successful, you will have to qualify through the SQE route, not QLTS. This means you would need pass the SQE1 assessment or apply for an individual exemption.

If you apply for an SQE1 exemption, you can ask us to take your MCT into account. This could be for the whole of SQE1 or just Functioning Legal Knowledge 1 (FLK1) or Functioning Legal Knowledge 2 (FLK2). Your MCT alone is not equivalent to all of FLK1 or FLK2.

We do not grant partial exemptions from either of the two SQE1 assessments – FLK1 and FLK2.  

Not passed an OSCE

If you have been granted a full exemption from the whole multiple choice test (MCT), you will have to qualify through the SQE route. Find out more

Passed an OSCE

If you had a full MCT exemption and passed the OSCE, the deadline for applying for admission (31 August 2021) has now passed and you may now only apply in certain limited circumstances.

QLTS exemptions do not transfer over to the SQE. You must apply for a new exemption even if you have an existing QLTS one.  

Candidates who have passed an OSCE (except the April 2022 sitting)

You must apply for screening so we can assess your character and suitability to be a solicitor. You then have until 31 August 2022 (inclusive) to apply for admission.

Candidates who passed the April 2022 OSCE

You must apply for screening so we can assess your character and suitability.

You will be able to apply for admission once you have completed your criminal record check. You will have until 31 January 2023 to do this provided you meet the conditions of our waiver. You do not need to apply for this waiver.

We are aware that some candidates may experience delays in obtaining criminal check documents and/or Certificates of Good Standing. To make sure you meet the deadline to apply for admission, we suggest you request all documents at the same time.

Lived outside of the UK for more than 12 months in the last five years

If you have lived outside the UK for more than 12 months in the last five years, you will need to provide a local criminal records check.

You still need to do this even if the whole 12 months does not fall in the last five years. For example, if you have lived in the UK for four years and six months, we will need a check for the full 12 months before this.

We are aware that these authorities do not provide criminal checks for our purposes:

  • Hong Kong
  • Kazakhstan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea

We will accept a completed copy of our statutory declaration in place of a criminal check for these authorities. You must contact us for a copy of this.

Please also contact us if you are having any difficulties obtaining a criminal check from another authoritiy.