SQE Update – December 2022

In this bulletin find out about our SQE candidate numbers survey, SQE2 April 2023 bookings, reviewing the SQE's functioning legal knowledge, and changes to the timings for SQE1 results. You can also learn more about our most recent webinars, which are now available on demand.

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Future SQE candidate numbers training provider survey

To help us plan operationally so that SQE candidates get the best experience possible, we are gathering information from training providers on potential candidate numbers for future SQE sittings.Some of the information may simply be an update of what providers have previously given us.

Please respond by 6 January.

Take our survey

SQE2 April 2023 bookings now open

Candidates can book for the next SQE2 assessment taking place in April. To sit this assessment, they must have either:

  • passed SQE1
  • passed the QLTS MCT
  • have the Legal Practice Course and be using SQE2 (as well as qualifying work experience) as an equivalent to a period of recognised training.

To secure a place, candidates must have first completed the registration and pre-booking processes. If they need any reasonable adjustments, they should make the request as early as possible as part of their pre-booking steps. As with all sittings, spaces are subject to availability.

If someone is looking to sit the SQE2 later in 2023, the next sitting will be in July.

Find out how to book for SQE2

SQE functioning legal knowledge annual review

Kaplan will shortly be carrying out the annual review of the functioning legal knowledge for SQE1 and SQE2 (the FLK). In January, Kaplan will invite stakeholders to submit questions or comments relating to the FLK on the SQE assessment website. This will also include more information about the review process. We expect the review to be completed by the end of April 2023.

Changes to the SQE1 results timeline

Following feedback from candidates and other stakeholders, we have changed when SQE1 results will be released so candidates receive results more quickly. They will now come out approximately five to six weeks after the assessment.

However, the timeline for a mitigating circumstances claim will remain approximately eight to nine weeks after the assessment. This means candidates will get their results before the outcome of their claim. This time is needed to make sure there is a full investigation, including evidence gathering, which helps ensure fairness to candidates.

We have also published further guidance on the SQE1 results timeline and the mitigating circumstance process, including the possible outcomes of a mitigating circumstances claim. As a reminder, a claim cannot increase or adjust a candidate's marks or the pass mark.

Find out more

SQE performance by practice area

Kaplan has published emerging information on trends from the assessments that took place between September 2021 and August 2022. This includes statistical tables, narrative and interpretation. This may help candidates and training providers in their preparation for the next SQE1 sitting in January.

This information will also form part of the SQE annual report, which will be published in March.

Find out more about what we have found

Devolved powers in Wales and Welsh law

All solicitors have the right to practise in both England and Wales, so it is important that all SQE candidates understand:

  • that Wales has devolved powers
  • that Welsh law may differ from English law
  • the main areas in which the law differs
  • the sources of Welsh law.

Where the law differs in an area covered by the SQE, candidates need to understand how and when to apply both English and Welsh law.

We are looking at the extent to which we need to amend the SQE assessment specifications and the functioning legal knowledge (FLK) to make this clearer. We will publish the outcome of our review in April 2023.

We will then update the assessment specification and FLK, as necessary, to reflect any developments in Welsh law in areas covered by the SQE. Any changes will apply to assessments taking place after September 2023.

We will provide more information on this in due course.

QLTS MCT candidates sitting SQE2

We've updated information for those who have passed the multiple choice test (MCT) and are looking to complete their QLTS qualifications by taking the SQE2.

Take a look at your options for sitting the assessment in 2023

Annual monitoring report for the transitional routes

We've published an annual report as part our quality assurance activities of other qualification routes, such as the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS). There is a transitional period during which some candidates can qualify through these routes.

This covers the academic year 2020-21 and includes data on:

  • the Legal Practice Course
  • the Common Professional Examination
  • periods of recognised training
  • equivalent means
  • Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme.

Read the report

Get involved

SQE2 - how the first assessment went

Hear from our assessment provider, Kaplan and the SQE Independent Reviewer, as well as the SRA about the first SQE2 results. This webinar covered:

  • how the first SQE2 assessment went
  • details on the results, such as pass marks, how candidates performed and standards setting
  • some of the key themes we learnt from the assessment.

Watch now

Also read our response to queries and feedback raised in the SQE2 results workshops with education and training providers that took place after this webinar.

SQE: What it means for employers

Last month we held a session on what the SQE means for employers.

Hear how three firms have taken different approaches in response to the SQE – covering everything from training to recruitment. Get tips around taking advantage of some of the opportunities while dealing with new challenges.

You can also hear from us about our view of the assessment one year in, as well as essential information on qualifying work experience.

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.