Applying for Period of Recognised Training exemption

Updated 24 March 2020

During the coronavirus outbreak, we encourage you to send your Equivalent Means application to us by email rather than in the post. This will allow us to consider your application during this time.

If you have supporting documentation to send us that is too big for email, we can provide you with a secure link for this to be uploaded.

Please email your form and any relevant documentation, or a request for a secure link, to SRAAdmissions@sra.org.uk.

To pay, please complete the relevant sections of the methods of payment form and send it with your completed application once you have instructed your bank to send payment direct.

If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing SRAAdmissions@sra.org.uk.

Criteria

You will need to demonstrate the equivalent skills and experience gained through a period of recognised training (PRT), set out in our regulations. These in turn, refer to the Practice Skills Standards.

Pre-requisites

You must be able to evidence the following in order to make an application:

  • two years' experience
  • how you have met the Practice Skills Standards
  • supervision of all your work experience
  • references from your supervisors to support your application and evidence of regular appraisal of your work.

Important information

Two years' experience

  • You need to demonstrate at least two years' experience set out in our regulations.
  • You can gain experience in voluntary or paid roles.

Practice Skills Standards

  • You need to show us that you have developed and applied the practical skills that a trainee solicitor would have acquired at the point of qualification as a solicitor.

Supervision

All experience you rely on must have been supervised. All experience must also be corroborated by references from your supervisors.

You must demonstrate that you have been supervised by solicitors and other individuals who have the necessary skills and experience. Your supervisors must have made sure that you have the opportunities and support needed to satisfy the Practice Skills Standards.

If your supervisors are not solicitors, ask them for a statement outlining their skills, experience and qualifications. These must be relevant to supervising your legal work.

Making your application

The application fee is £600.

We aim to decide within 180 days of receiving your application.

Apply Now
Download application form (DOC 18 pages, 101KB)

You must send two copies of your application and evidence to us. Please keep a copy for yourself.

Section 1 and 2 – Personal details

Enter your personal details including:

  • First name/middle name/last name
  • Telephone (Day/Mobile)
  • Email address
  • Passport/identity card number
  • Home address (for our records)
  • Correspondence address (if different from your home address)

Section 3 – Degrees and diplomas

Enter details of degrees, diplomas and other qualifications you have been awarded.

Section 4 - Professional examinations and courses

Enter details of other professional qualifications or completed courses. For example, relevant qualifications you have undertaken within your employment. If you are using these to support your application include certified copies of your certificate(s), transcript(s) and module descriptor(s).

If you have completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Professional Skills Course, you can list these below. Please include certified copies of your certificate(s) and transcript(s).

We do not grant exemptions based on study you have completed on the Common Professional Examination (CPE)/LPC.

Section 5 – Professional experience and employment

  • The organisation's name, address and SRA number (if applicable)
  • Job title
  • Average number of hours worked per week
  • Start and end date in this role
  • Supervisor's name, qualification and SRA number (if they have one)
  • If your supervisor is not a solicitor, describe their skills, experience and qualifications.

Section 6 – The assessment table

This is a key part of your application. You must complete this table.

To grant your application, we must be satisfied that you have achieved all the Practice Skills Standards. We cannot grant partial exemption.

Before you start to complete this section You must read and understand the Practice Skills Standards to complete the assessment table.

When completing the assessment table:

  • set out specific, detailed examples showing how you achieved each of the skills
  • specify where you gained your professional experience and in which area of law
  • cross reference your evidential documents to the outcomes
  • every page must be numbered, and an index should also be provided
  • all evidence must be corroborated by references from your supervisor(s) in each period of experience claimed.

We do not accept successful completion of the CPE or LPC as evidence in support of your application.

We only recognise other academic credit that has led to a qualification or certificate.

Supporting evidence

While everyone's experience is unique, you must include the following evidence within your application:

  • detailed references from your supervisors to corroborate your claim to experience
  • appraisals
  • redacted relevant samples of your work.

Guidance for referees

You must ensure that your referee(s) have read this information. References must:

  • be provided for each period of experience claimed
  • be written for the purposes of this application and be dated within the last 3 months
  • be submitted on letterheaded paper.

Referees must:

  • have supervised you directly and make it clear in their reference what the supervision arrangements were
  • have read your application and reviewed all supporting evidence before corroborating your experience and confirm that they have done so in their reference
  • familiarised themselves with the Practice Skills Standards and the SRA Principles and refer directly to these when providing their reference(s)
  • include examples from their direct observation of your work
  • confirm the dates they supervised you.

Details of supervisory arrangements

We assess how effectively you have been supervised.

The application form asks you to give details about the supervisory arrangements in place during each period of experience claimed. We also require your supervisors to provide details about the supervisory arrangements in their references. They should include the following:

  • When and how your work was reviewed
  • When and how you received feedback.

You must demonstrate that you have been supervised by solicitors and other individuals who have the necessary skills and experience. Your supervisors must make sure that you have the opportunities and support needed to satisfy the Practice Skills Standards.

If your supervisors are not solicitors, ask them for a statement outlining their skills, experience and qualifications. These must be relevant to supervising your legal work.

Regular appraisal

We assess whether your performance has been regularly appraised. We are looking to see a development in your skills and knowledge. The application form asks you to give details about this.

You also need to provide evidence in support for example, appraisal records and performance reviews.

How to document your experience and provide work samples

Here is a suggestion for how you could complete the outcomes, taking the advocacy and oral presentation outcomes as an example.

Outcome to be demonstrated Knowledge and skills claimed and how achieved Areas of law and practice in which outcome achieved Where did you gain this professional experience? Evidence in support (eg reference, appraisal document, example of work, job description.)
Advocacy and oral presentation
1.1 be able to prepare effectively by identifying and mastering relevant facts and legal principles. Organising facts to support the argument or position and identifying strengths and weaknesses from different parties’ perspectives.

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed against the outcome, and provide two specific examples to illustrate: Make sure that you explain:

  • the scenario
  • your involvement
  • the skills you demonstrated
  • the final outcome.
State which distinct area of law and practice you achieved the outcome. For example, Criminal law. Eg ABC & Co

Evidence in support eg reference, appraisal document, sample.

For example, redacted emails to supervisor, page 16.

Document 33 record of telephone call with client

Document 35, page 4, letter to other parties’ solicitor.

1.2 the ability to make appropriate reference to legal authority, complying with formalities.

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed against the outcome, and provide two specific examples to illustrate: Make sure that you explain:

  • the scenario
  • your involvement
  • the skills you demonstrated
  • the final outcome.

State which distinct area of law and practice you achieved the outcome.

For example, Commercial law.

Eg ABC & Co

Evidence in support eg reference, appraisal document, samples of work.

For example, appraisal document evidencing this outcome, page 55.

Paragraph 10 of the reference letter from J Bloggs & Co.

1.3 the ability to deal with witnesses appropriately, responding effectively to questions or opposing arguments and presenting a reasoned argument in a clear, logical, succinct and persuasive way.

Give a broad overview of your knowledge and the skills you have developed against the outcome, and provide two specific examples to illustrate: Make sure that you explain:

  • the scenario
  • your involvement
  • the skills you demonstrated
  • the final outcome.
State which distinct area of law and practice you achieved the outcome. EG ABC & Co Evidence in support eg reference, appraisal document, samples of work

The samples of work you provide should support the knowledge and skills examples that you have given.

You must redact all samples of your work to remove sensitive or identifying information.

We will not accept non-redacted documents and will destroy them.

You may also wish to include the following documents:

Job descriptions

Provide job descriptions offering an overview of your role and responsibilities.

Courses and training

Include certificates of attendance and course syllabuses as evidence of courses attended and relevant training completed. All certificates must be certified copies.

Training records

Include training records for any completed period(s) of a training contract or PRT. They must be signed by you and by your supervisor or Training Principal.

Section 7 – Declaration

  • Read the declaration and tick all relevant boxes.
  • Give your full name, signature, SRA number and the date.

Section 8 – Returning the form

Follow the instructions for making payment and sending your application.