Background to the SQE

This information was published, as part of the SQE development process. This remains on our site for information purposes. Visit the main SQE page for the latest information.

Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)

Our Board have decided to introduce a single, rigorous assessment for all aspiring solicitors on 1 September 2021.

The SQE will mean everyone meets the same consistent, high standards at the point they become a solicitor.

An effective competence statement for solicitors

Our Statement of Solicitor Competence sets out what solicitors need to be able to do to perform their role effectively, and which provides everyone with a clear indication of what they can expect from their solicitor. This is what the SQE assessments will be testing.

This is supported by our Statement of Legal Knowledge and a Threshold Standard, both of which shows the standards for practising and using the title of solicitor.

What we have done

Final SQE design

Decision to proceed with final SQE design.

SQE pilots

We carried out three pilots to test the new SQE assessments.


We have carried out three public consultations relating to the SQE:

Research and reports