English or Welsh language competence

Updated 20 March 2023

If you are exempt from SQE2 you may need to demonstrate your English or Welsh language competence. This takes place after you are admitted as a solicitor and before you apply for your first practising certificate.

You will need to complete and submit the English Language Assessment application which is available in the SQE checklist section of mySRA.

You can demonstrate you are competent in English or Welsh in one of the following ways:

  • You have successfully passed an English or Welsh language assessment which fulfils the following core requirements:
    • The assessment is at a high level, ie The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Level C2.
    • You have been assessed on your reading, writing, listening and speaking ability.
    • There is a system of independent assessment report verification (ie a means by which we can independently check your results against the providers’ own records).
    • There is ID verification throughout the testing process to ensure the security of its tests and test results including established methods to deal with candidate identity fraud.
    • There is no restriction on how many times you can take the assessment in order to achieve a C2 result but the result must be no older than 2 years prior to the date of your application for admission.
    • In addition to the core requirements above, English or Welsh language assessment organisations will need to provide further evidence. This will include that they have an appropriate policy and process for reasonable adjustment requests and for ensuring the standard, validity and reliability of the assessments.
  • You can show that your degree has been taught in English or Welsh and is equivalent to a UK FHEQ Level 6 (eg bachelors) degree. (Please note that the Degree Validation Check undertaken by Atlantic Data prior to admission confirms that the degree is valid and equivalent to a UK FHEQ Level 6 qualification, but it does not confirm that the degree was taught in English or Welsh). You can show this by:
    • Obtaining written confirmation from your course provider which states that the medium of instruction and/or assessment for the degree was entirely in English or Welsh.
    • Providing a copy of your degree or transcript to us, if this confirms that the medium of instruction and/or assessment was entirely in English or Welsh.
    • Obtaining a Visas and Nationality (English proficiency) certificate provided by Ecctis.
  • You hold a FHEQ Level 6 degree or higher from a university recognised by ENIC-NARIC in a country which states on its ENIC-NARIC country page, or a link from that page, that all higher education takes place in English.
  • You hold a FHEQ Level 6 degree or above from a Government recognised UK university.

You will be able to upload the evidence as part of your English Language Assessment application when you make your application in mySRA.