Education and training providers

May 2020

This information is for education and training providers, such as universities. It will help you understand more about the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), what it might mean for you and help you think through what you need to do to implement it.

What is the SQE?

A single, national licensing examination that all prospective solicitors will take before qualifying. From autumn 2021, subject to final approval from the Legal Services Board to qualify they will need to:

Get ready

  • Read the findings from our SQE1 and SQE2 pilots.
  • Look at the Statement of Solicitor Competence and SQE1 Functioning Legal Knowledge Assessment Specification.
  • Read the findings from our SQE1 pilot.
  • Find out how you can register as an SQE training provider.
  • Talk to local employers to understand how they are preparing for the SQE and what their training requirements are likely to be in the future.
  • Look at our admission as a solicitor regulations.
  • As set out in our common protocol, we will continue to validate qualifying law degrees (QLDs) and Common Professional Examination (CPE) courses that begin before or in the 2020/21 academic year (ending 31 August 2021). The validation remains in place until students have completed their course in accordance with the requirements of the SRA's academic stage handbook. Find out more on our transitional arrangements about what will happen with course due to start in 2021/22.
  • We plan, alongside the Bar Standards Board, to make changes to our Training Regulations. These changes will have an impact on QLD and CPE courses as part of the academic stage of training. We have agreed a Common Protocol with the BSB to explain the impact of the proposed changes on these courses.
  • Join our LinkedIn reference group. It will help you stay up to date with latest developments.

Keeping in touch

Talk to other legal practitioners about what they are doing. One way you can do this is by joining our LinkedIn reference group.

SQE: A fair assessment for all

We want our information about the content and administration of the SQE assessment to be as clear and accessible as possible.

If you are actively involved in training that aims to prepare candidates for the SQE assessments, you may find the questions and answers we post here useful. To ask a question, email us.

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The estimated cost of the two stages of assessment is between £3,000 - £4,500.

SQE1 will primarily test the application of legal knowledge. The fees range estimate is £1,100 - £1,650. SQE2 will test practical legal skills. The fee range estimate is £1,900 - £2,850.

The costs are based on an estimated 35 hours of assessment, including written tests, computer-based assessments and simulations such as mock client interviews. These costs are indicative, as we continue our work with Kaplan to develop and test the assessments.

SQE assessments timings are not yet available. When we know what the final examinations will look like, then we will be able to offer more detailed information.

In tort, the concept of trespass to land is intrinsic to the topics of nuisance and occupiers' liability.

A candidate answering a question on either of those topics could be required to demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to apply the principles governing when and whether a person is trespassing on land.

The Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) does not include every topic which a well-prepared SQE candidate should study.  For example, in a criminal context, we would expect candidates to understand the concept of trespass, in order to apply it in answering a question on s.9 Theft Act 1968.  Trespass is not listed as a topic in the section of the FLK which deals with core principles of criminal liability.  A similar point could be made about the concept of dishonesty.