SQE Update – April 2021

In this bulletin find out about the confirmed SQE2 sitting dates for April 2022, answers to queries about future timings, SQE assessment exemptions for qualified lawyer and the latest report by the SQE’s independent reviewer. Plus, how you can get involved in our latest webinars.

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SQE2 assessment dates confirmed

The first sitting of SQE2 will start week commencing 11 April 2022. This includes the written assessments taking place from 11 to 13 April and then the oral assessments will be 19-20 and 21-22 April. More information on when bookings will open will be released later this year. Find out more about dates and venues

Future SQE assessment timings and follow up queries

Last month we published updated information on the assessment timings for the SQE. In case you missed this, visit our website to see the confirmed assessment timings. Below are some queries we’ve had about the timings and links to the answers:

Applying for an equivalence to a degree

SQE candidates can now apply to have their work experience and/or education recognised as equivalent to a UK degree. There is helpful information on our website about:

  • the kind of evidence candidates will need to give us
  • how someone can check if a non-UK degree is an equivalent
  • what we need from work experience referees.

Find out more about apply for an equivalence to a degree

SQE assessment exemptions for qualified lawyers

Qualified lawyers can now apply for SQE assessment exemptions. These can be based on either those we’ve already agreed for some legal professional qualifications and/or their own additional qualification and/or professional legal work experience. Only a qualified lawyer who holds a legal professional qualification which allows them to practise in England and Wales or another jurisdiction can apply for an SQE assessment exemption. No other groups can apply for this exemption. Learn more about how to apply

Qualifying work experience registration now available

Candidates only need to register their two years’ qualifying work experience (QWE) by the time they apply for admission as a solicitor. However, if they need to, a candidate can now register any completed period of QWE. This might be because they are due to leave a role shortly or because they want to use a past role as QWE. Take a look at how to register

Latest SQE independent reviewer report

We’ve published the latest report from the SQE’s independent reviewer, Geoff Coombe.

We are pleased that the review shows that we are on-track for introduction of the SQE in September, with preparations fit for purpose. We welcome the recommendations of the report and are taking action to make sure they are implemented. Read the report

SQE marking and standard setting policypublished

We’ve published more information to help people understand how the SQE will operate. This time it is how the assessments will be marked. Read the policy now

#SQEready – what employers are doing

We’re showcasing how law firms and other organisations are getting ready for the SQE. Our latest case study is now live and features law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Read more about their new SQE training programme.

If you are interested in getting involved in #SQEready, get in touch.

Get involved

Apprenticeships: what law firms need to know (YouTube)

When: 12.30 on 19 April

What: Is your law firm interested in taking on an apprentice solicitor? We are running a free webinar giving practical advice and information on what it could mean for your firm and how to go about it. Alongside the SRA, hear from the Government’s Education and Skills Agency and learn about:

  • the practicalities of taking on an apprentice including who and how to apply
  • the financial support and help available from the government
  • how hiring an apprentice can benefit your business
  • where the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination fits in with apprenticeships.
Who: Jeremy Barlow, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Karen Bailey, Bailey Wright & Co Solicitors, Catherine Knight, Eversheds Julie Brannan, SRA and Yiannis Chrysanthou, Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Kaplan SQE
Book now

Qualifying work experience - what law clinics need to know (5 May)

Keep any eye out on our events page and social media for more information on this shortly.

SQE assessments - practical information for training providers and employers

When: 11.00 on 17 May

What: Get all the latest information on the SQE to further help training providers and employers prepare for its September introduction. Find out about the new SQE website, assessment booking process and assessment timings

Who: Benedict Fisher, Director of Communications, SRA (Chair), Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training, SRA, Yiannis Chrysanthou, Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Kaplan and Zoe Robinson, Director of Learning and Qualifications, Kaplan
Book now

SQE assessments – practical information for candidates

When: 14.30 on 17 May 2021

What: Targeted at aspiring solicitors, get the facts ahead of its September introduction. Learn about the SQE registration and booking process, assessment timings and what to expect on the day

Who: Benedict Fisher, Director of Communications, SRA (Chair), Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training and SRA, Yiannis Chrysanthou, Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Kaplan
Book now

On demand webinars

Qualifying work experience - what aspiring solicitors need to know

This webinar offers candidates the latest information on what counts as qualifying work experience. This includes what getting QWE confirmed by a solicitor means and answers to other common questions.
Watch now

Qualifying work experience - what law firms need to know

This webinar offers law firms who currently offer training, and those who don’t, the latest information on what qualifying work experience (QWE) is and what it means for your firm. Learn more about what counts as QWE, how it fits into the qualification process, and what we expect of solicitors confirming QWE.
Watch now

Other ways to get involved

Join our LinkedIn reference group. It will help you keep up to date with the latest SQE developments and opportunities to get involved in our surveys and events.

If you are thinking about taking the SQE, or know someone who is, please follow Career in Law for the latest information aimed at aspiring solicitors.

If you have any questions, or want more information on how you can get involved, contact us.


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Find out more about the SQE.