Authorisation and monitoring activity September 2015 to August 2016

Introduction and overview of 2015–16

We have a statutory responsibility for the education and training of solicitors, as set out in the Solicitors Act 1974 and the Legal Services Act 2007. Education and training requirements are a key regulatory tool to protect consumers of legal services. The purpose of this report is to tell our stakeholders about the outcomes of our quality assurance activity in relation to education and training. Unless otherwise stated, it relates to the period 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016.

We continue to develop a new, national Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Following extensive consultation, our Board approved proposals to introduce the SQE in April 2017.

In June 2017, we consulted on draft regulations for the new route to qualification and proposals for admitting qualified lawyers. In autumn 2017, we consulted on the transition between the current routes to qualification (described in this report) and the new arrangements for the SQE.

The SQE will be introduced at earliest in autumn 2020. In the mean time, we continue to monitor education and training requirements under our current regulations (Training Regulations 2014 and Qualified Solicitors Transfer Regulations 2011).