News release

SRA tender to deliver the SQE

Update, Friday 11 August, 2017

We have decided that, to give all bidders a fair opportunity to submit their proposals, we will allow an additional three weeks for bidders to submit their outline solutions. This is in response to potential bidders experiencing logistical difficulties caused by the summer holiday.

We are writing to notify prospective bidders of this change to the timetable.

All final bids will now therefore have to be submitted in accordance with the process specified in the Invitation to Submit an Outline Solution (ISOS) by 12 noon on Friday, 22 September 2017.

We do not envisage further delays to the timetable and we remain committed to making the final contract award in April 2018.

The revised timetable – updating the information contained in paragraph 2.2 of the ISOS – is as follows:

Revised SQE tender timetable
Activity Original date New date
Closing date for return of ISOS responses 12 noon on Friday, 1 September 2017 12 noon on Friday, 22 September 2017
Meetings with bidding organisations 27 - 29 September 18 - 19 October 2017
Shortlisted bidders notified Wednesday 1 November 2017 Tuesday 28 November 2017
Launch of ISDS Thursday 2 November 2017 Friday 1 December 2017
ISDS launch meeting with bidders Friday 10 November 2017 Wednesday 6 December 2017
Closing date for return of ISDS response 12 noon on 12 January 2018 12 noon on Friday 2 February 2018
Contract award letter issued Thursday 1 March 2018 Friday 23 March 2018
Contract issued for signature Tuesday 13 March Thursday 29 March 2018
Contract start date Beginning April 2018 Monday 30 April 2018

We have today published the tender documents for the first phase of the sourcing process to appoint an assessment organisation to work with us to develop and deliver the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

Following a two-year period of extensive engagement, our Board agreed in April to the introduction of an independent assessment, the SQE, to make sure all solicitors meet consistent, high standards at the point of entry to the profession.

The tender materials can be found here:

Cover letter (PDF 1 page 43KB)
Invitation to Submit an Outline Solution (PDF 35 pages, 405KB)
SQE draft Assessment Specification June 2017 (PDF 99 pages, 1MB)
SQE Services Agreement (PDF 101 pages, 1MB)
Schedule 1 - Non-Disclosure Agreement (DOC 5 pages, 535KB)
Schedule 2 - Submission Checklist (DOC 2 pages, 529KB)
Schedule 3 - Organisational Details and Financial Standing (DOC 8 pages, 538KB)
Schedule 3 - Appendix 1- Consortia Qualification (Excel 22KB)
Schedule 4 - Outline Solution (DOC 4 pages, 889KB)
Schedule 4 - Appendix 1- Financial Model (Excel 87KB)
Schedule 5 - Compliance with SQE Services Agreement (Excel 14KB)
Schedule 6 - Confirmation (DOC 1 page, 548KB)  

The deadline for submission of outline solutions is 1 September 2017.

We will hold a launch meeting for interested bidders on 23 June 2017. Further details are provided in the tender pack.