News release

Apprenticeship standards will benefit the legal profession, says the SRA

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) says the Apprenticeship Standards in law, confirmed as ready for delivery today by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will drive up quality and improve access to the legal profession.

The Apprenticeship Standards to qualify as solicitors, paralegals, or chartered legal executives are part of a package of 59 apprenticeship standards announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last month. The Standards have been developed by groups of Trailblazer employers and businesses with support (for the solicitors’ apprenticeship) from the SRA.

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: "It’s very good news that the Solicitors' Apprenticeship Standard and assessment plan have been approved by BIS. Opening up the profession through improving alternative routes to qualification can make an important contribution to increasing diversity, so we see this as a positive step forwards."

The first legal trainees could join the Trailblazer scheme by as early as September 2016.

Gun Judge, Chair of the Trailblazers Legal Committee, and Resourcing Manager at Addleshaw Goodard said: "There's never been a better time to start a law apprenticeship. The Legal Trailblazer Scheme enhances the alternative to the traditional route into law - opening the doors to a more diverse talent stream entering the profession. Our apprentices create a huge contribution to the firm, and we will be looking to hire more."

The Standards correspond to the competences set out in the SRA's Competence Statement for solicitors, published on 1 April 2015. The assessment plan requires that all apprentices demonstrate the competences set out in the SRA's Competence Statement.

 

Note to editors

The SRA Board will need to approve the necessary changes to solicitors' training regulations to enable the scheme to be adopted. The Board meets on 9 September.