SQE Update – March 2023

In this bulletin find out about our first SQE annual review reports, future exam sittings in April and July, and a fee increase from September. You can also book for our annual SQE Virtual Conference and watch our SQE candidate webinar on demand.

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SQE one year review reports

We've published a suite of reports reviewing the first year of the SQE showing that overall implementation of the new assessment has gone well. The reports also detail initial trends on candidate performance and findings from our initial perception survey.

Read our reports:

SQE assessment fees to rise

Our contract with our assessment provider Kaplan allows for an annual inflation linked increase in fees. This means they will increase by around 11% from September 2023 to:

  • SQE1: £1,798 (£1,622 – 2022/2023)
  • SQE2: £2,766 (£2,493 – 2022/2023)

Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive said: 'We realise any increase in fees won't be welcome, and the impact of high inflation has resulted in a more significant rise this year. We will continue to do all we can to make sure the SQE delivers value for money, and that there continues to be a range of affordable ways to prepare for it.'

Booking SQE2 for April or July 2023

Candidates can still book for the next SQE2 assessment taking place in April, closing on Thursday 23 March. Then bookings will open for the July sitting on Wednesday 29 March.

To sit the SQE2 assessment, candidates 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 October.

Find out how to book for SQE2

SQE1 July 2023 bookings open soon

Candidates can book for the next SQE1 assessment taking place in July from 10.00 (UK time) on Wednesday 22 March.

To book 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.

The next SQE1 sitting after this will be in January 2024.

Find out how to book for SQE1

Apprentice standards consultation coming soon

First introduced in 2015, we are now working with the Trailblazer group to update the Solicitor Apprenticeship standard. The are no proposed changes to the assessment plan, instead the revised standard will reflect the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education's current format.

Just as they are now, solicitor apprentices will continue to be assessed against the Statement of Solicitor Competence as set out in the SQE Assessment Specifications.

We will be in touch later this month when this launches,

Get involved


SQE Virtual Conference 2023 (YouTube)

When: 23 March 2023, 09.30 – 15.15

Since the SQE was introduced, multiple assessments have now taken place and more than 700 solicitors have been admitted through the new route.

Join us for our latest virtual SQE Conference. It is aimed at education and training providers, as well as employers and organisations offering qualifying work experience.

At this free event you can hear about:

  • the headlines from the first SQE annual reports from our assessment provider, Kaplan and our SQE Independent Reviewer
  • the findings from our first SQE and qualifying work experience perception survey
  • insights from the assessments, including how candidates performing in the different practice areas
  • answers to common questions from candidates
  • the latest insights on qualifying work experience and the opportunities it offers employers.

Book now

Qualified lawyers - qualifying through the SQE (YouTube)

When: 17 May 2023, 12.30 - 13.15

Are you an overseas or UK qualified lawyer? This free webinar will give you the facts on:

  • becoming a solicitor through the SQE
  • what we mean by a qualified lawyer and who it includes – both internationally and in the UK
  • what legal work international lawyers can do if already based in England or Wales
  • what qualified lawyers will need to do, including lawyers qualified in the UK and The Republic of Ireland, barristers and Chartered Legal Executives to dual qualify
  • how you can apply for SQE exemptions
  • tips for a good exemptions application and common queries.

Who: Maxine Warr, Head of Education and Training (Chair), Wayne Allsopp, Authorisation Officer, Carol Cook, Policy Manager, Natalie Darby, Policy Manager

Book your place now

On demand webinar

Becoming a solicitor through the SQE (webinar)

Looking to take the SQE to become a solicitor? Watch our free webinar on demand to hear from those who have recently qualified or are on their way to becoming a solicitor.

Our four speakers offer insights into the different ways there are to study and train, including apprenticeships, and helpful SQE exam tips.

Feedback on the webinar includes:

  • The webinar was amazing!
  • Very good speakers. Content was relevant, great insights and tips given.
  • All the speakers were very well selected. All inspiring and differing enough in their journeys so that, together, they could offer a very comprehensive perspective.

Watch it on demand 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.