Authorisation and monitoring activity

January 2019

Introduction and overview of 2016/17

  1. We have a statutory responsibility for the education and training of solicitors, as set out in the Solicitors Act 1974 and the Legal Services Act 2007. These education and training requirements play a key part in helping us to protect consumers of legal services. This report concerns our quality assurance activity in relation to education and training. Unless otherwise stated, it relates to the period 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017.
  2. During this time, we have continued to develop the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which all aspiring solicitors in England and Wales would need to take to qualify. Following extensive consultation, in April 2017 our Board approved proposals for the introduction of the SQE. The Legal Services Board then also approved the proposals. We also appointed Kaplan as the assessment organisation for the SQE in July 2018, after a lengthy tendering process. The SQE will not be introduced before September 2021.
  3. Between May and July 2017 we consulted on the draft regulations for the new route to qualification and the proposals for the admission of lawyers who are already qualified (other than as solicitors of England and Wales).
  4. Between September and December 2017 we consulted on the transition between the current routes to qualification described in this report and the new arrangements for the SQE.
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  1. The SRA Training Regulations 2014 – Qualification and Provider Regulations require the completion of the academic stage of training and the vocational stage of training.
  2. In this context "referred" means students who have failed one or more assessments and may re-sit, and "deferred" means students who have postponed their assessments (eg because of exceptional circumstances such as illness or bereavement).

  3. 2 granted equivalence to the academic stage only and 2 granted equivalence to academic stage and the LPC only