Applying for Period of Recognised Training exemption

Updated August 2020

What you need

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

Two years' experience

  • You need to demonstrate at least two years' experience as 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

Rule1 of the SRA Application, Notice, Review and Appeal Rules state that an application must be made in the prescribed form. We will not be able to accept your application if it is not completed on the correct form.

You will need to make your application by applying online in mySRA. First, you will need to create an account to log into mySRA.

You may find it useful to have this guidance open in a separate device or browser window to help you complete all the steps.

You will need to download the application and document index on the Getting Started page in mySRA, before you can start to complete it.

You may be completing this application over several weeks or months.;

When you are ready to submit your application click START APPLICATION on the Getting Started page to upload it along with the index and all supporting documents. The application fee is £600, you will need to pay by debit or credit card at the end of the process to complete the application.

We aim to provide you with a decision within 180 days of receiving your application.

Step by step guide

Do not start the application until you have read the step by step guide thoroughly. Section 1 and 2 will require you to fill in your personal details and correspondence address.

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Section 3 requires you to give details of degrees and diplomas including the name of the institution, title of qualification and course dates.

Section 4 requires you to give details of degrees and diplomas including the name of the institution, title of qualification and course dates. Enter details of 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. Please upload 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) or the LPC.

Add details of your work placements (only include those which you are relying on to support your application).

  • 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, then we need to know their professional qualification.

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
  • update the document index with your evidential documents
  • every page must be numbered, all evidence must be corroborated by references from your supervisor(s) in each period of experience claimed.

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 make sure 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.

Additional documents

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.

It is essential that the document index is completed correctly and uploaded as part of your application.

How to complete the document index

Please makes sure that:

  • When you save your documents, and before uploading them to your application, you name each one with the document number at the start. This means that your documents will be uploaded in the order that you have chosen (see example below)
  • there are no spaces in any part of the document name
  • the same document numbers are entered in section 6 of your application in the final column headed - Evidence to support your application.

Here is an example of a completed document index.

Doc no Description (document name) Date No of pages
1 1referenceABC 01/01/2020 3
2 2appraisalABC 31/01/2019 8
3 3worksamplesABC 01/03/2019 25
4 4referenceSmith&co 14/01/2020 2
5 5appraisalSmith&co 01/05/2018 6
6 6worksamplesSmith&co 15/04/2018 20

We suggest that you complete the index as you progress through the application. Please make sure that each piece of evidence is included in the final index.

The number of lines is not an indication of the volume of documents you need to send. It is for you to decide on what you think is relevant to show your work knowledge. You may continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

How we use your document index

This index will be used by your caseworker and the assessor as part of their assessment of your application. They will cross reference your evidence to each of the outcomes, so clear alignment is vital.

We may not accept your application if this index is not included with your evidence, or not completed correctly.

You can pay via credit or debit card. The fee for this application is £600.

How to

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You will need an account with us, so if you don't have an account, watch our video to find out how.

To return to your application once you have started it, go to 'my applications and documents.'

Ready to apply

If you have read our step by step guide and meet the relevant criteria, you are ready to make your application.

Apply for assessment of your qualifications against a period of recognised training

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