SQE Update – October 2020

This bulletin covers the recent Legal Services Board approval, our upcoming annual SQE Conference for education training providers, the qualifying work experience training template, how we’ll review the Assessment Specifications and our recent webinars now available on demand.

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Legal Services Board approve the introduction of the SQE

We have welcomed the Legal Services Board’s decision to approve in full the introduction of the SQE, after a nine-year process of development and consultation by the SRA. Find out more

SQE Conference 2020

We’ll be holding our annual SQE conference for education training providers on 15 December. Due to the pandemic, it will be a virtual event and offer a variety of sessions covering key SQE-related topics. These include a round up of where we are with one year to go to introduction, how providers and firms are preparing for SQE, logistics for sitting the assessment and more on qualifying work experience. Bookings are now open

New qualifying work experience guidance coming soon

We’ll be publishing further guidance on qualifying work experience, including good practice and how to maximise the benefits for trainees and employers. We will also include additional guidance on what a solicitor and candidate need to consider when work experience is confirming.

In the meantime, we have information on our website about what counts as qualifying work experience and what it is that solicitors are confirming. Learn more

Qualifying work experience training template

Our training template can help trainees record their work experience, such as those who are ‘banking’ their experience now. It includes the competencies they need to develop and how to show they have done this, as well as the information they need about the solicitor signing it off. It’s not mandatory to use the template, but you may find it useful, both as a record for yourself and in case any question was raised about your work experience. Take a look

Guidance on the Assessment Specifications and review process

We have published some general guidance about the Assessment Specifications and the Functioning Legal Knowledge required for SQE. This guidance also explains the process for questions from stakeholders and the reasons behind this process.

We will be reviewing the Functioning Legal Knowledge in the Assessment Specifications annually and we will discuss this with education training providers at our upcoming SQE conference. This is an opportunity for us to understand how and when providers create their teaching materials and take that into account. A video of this discussion will be available on demand after the event.

At the same time, we would also like to discuss whether we should introduce an appropriate cut-off date for changes to the law before the assessment sittings, or whether we assess the law in force when it takes place.

Learn more about the new guidance

Career in Law now on Instagram

We’ve launched a second Career in Law resource offering information for aspiring solicitors. Building upon our successful Facebook page, we are now also on Instagram telling people what they need to know about qualifying now and in the future. Take a look at Career in Law and tell any aspiring solicitors to follow us.

Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme transitional arrangements

We recognise that the pandemic has affected some candidates' ability to sit the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) assessments. We have therefore reviewed our transitional arrangements for QLTS candidates who will have passed the multiple choice tests or have an exemption from this. Find out more about what the SQE’s introduction means for QLTS candidates

Get involved

SQE final design: what the SQE tests? (On demand webinar, YouTube)

What does the final SQE design look like? This webinar explains at a high level what each assessment will test, the areas of law covered and the different formats the assessments will take. It is aimed at people who are new to the SQE. 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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