Character and suitability

November 2020

We treat your integrity to be a solicitor as seriously as your knowledge and skills. If you do not meet our requirements for character and suitability, we will not admit you as a solicitor.

Our rules apply to anyone looking to qualify as a solicitor, whether it is through the current routes or the SQE once it is introduced in September 2021.

Under these rules, you do not have to tell us about any character and suitability issues at the start of your studying or training/qualifying work experience. You only need do so when you apply to be a solicitor.

However, if you want to check any potential problems before then, you can complete an early character and suitability assessment at any time. We are not bound, in any subsequent application for admission, by any decision made at this stage.

Whenever you tell us about an issue, it is up to you to provide any evidence necessary so we can decide on your application. The nature of the issue will dictate what you need to give us.

You can check what information is needed by reading our rules.

You should not submit your application until you are able to give us all the required information.

Get ready to apply for an early character and suitability assessment

Pre-admission applicant screening.

Everyone applying for their character and suitability assessment will need to complete the screening process which involves a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service, before submitting their application. This costs £39.

Find out how to apply for screening

What you can expect from us

Once we have all the information we need, we will consider your application.

We will look at it carefully, requesting any missing information and then preparing a report with our decision. You will be given the opportunity to respond to the draft report, if we are considering refusing your application.

We aim to decide on an application within six months.

We will usually decide within 30 days, once we have all the information we need.

You can withdraw your application at any time before we decide.

Consequences of failing to submit information with your application

If you do not submit the relevant information within the time limits provided by us, your application is likely to be refused.

If it is refused, you will have 28 days to apply for a review of the decision.

Please note that, if your application is refused, you may only make another one where there has been a material change in your circumstances relevant to your application.

To find out what information you need to submit with your application, please read our rules relating to the issue you are disclosing.

Appeals

You can apply for a review of our decision within 28 days of the date we notify you of the decision.

Under section 41(3) of the Solicitors Act 1974, you can appeal to the High Court if you are not satisfied with any appeal decision we take.

Publication

We publish application outcomes in line with our guidance on publishing regulatory and disciplinary decisions.

Making your application

You will need to make sure you have a mySRA account. If you don’t already have one go to get a mySRA account.

Please make sure you have completed the pre-admission screening process before making your application.

There is no fee for the early character and suitability assessment.

You should upload the completed application and any supporting documents at least six months before you need a decision. References should be on letterheaded paper and uploaded as part of your application.

Character and suitability assessment

Log in to mySRA to apply, go to start a new application