Period of recognised training (2019 regulations)

Updated 25 November 2019

This page is relevant to trainees who started their period of recognised training on or after 25 November 2019, or who are still waiting to secure a period of recognised training.

If you started your training before this date, please see our 2014 regulations page.

Access the new SRA Standards and Regulations

We have a statutory duty to make sure those who are admitted as solicitors have the knowledge and skills necessary for practice. We do this by specifying the education and training that an individual must complete.

Authorisation of Individuals Regulations 2019

From 25 November 2019, our requirements are set out in the Authorisation of Individuals Regulations and the Education, Training and Assessment Provider Regulation.

This page summarises what is required and what you can expect during your period of recognised training.

Character and Suitability

On 25 November 2019, our Assessment of Character and Suitability Rules replaced the Suitability Test.

You now only need to disclose character and suitability issues to us when you apply for admission to the roll of solicitors. However, you can ask us to consider your character and suitability at any time before then. To do so, please complete our Character and Suitability Assessment form (PDF 13 pages, 298KB).

When 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 choosing from four options: criminal offences, assessment offences, financial evidence and regulatory history.

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

Please read these rules for further guidance on your application.

Disclosure and Barring Service

Everyone applying for their character and suitability assessment will need to complete the screening process before submitting their application.

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 select the option below that relates to the issue you are disclosing.

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This information should be submitted with all applications where a criminal offence has been disclosed:

  1. A statement of events:
    • Please provide a detailed sequence of events leading up to the offence(s) being disclosed, including any mitigating circumstances which are relevant, and which reflects your attitude towards the event.
  2. Two professional references:
    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are; solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to the admissions team.
    • Please also make sure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you are a student currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
  3. Confirmation of no further issues:
    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which we should be aware of, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
  4. Sentencing remarks (if applicable):
    • If your offence(s) resulted in you appearing before the Crown Court within the last six years, please submit a copy of the sentencing remarks applicable to your case.
    • The sentencing remarks can be requested from the court.
  5. Evidence of satisfaction of penalty (if applicable):
    • If you were fined as a result of the issue you are disclosing, we will need evidence that the fine has been satisfied. This should include the fine and any associated costs.
    • You can obtain this evidence from the court where the fine was paid. A report showing a clear record against your name can also be requested.
    • In the event that the court does not hold any record of your fine being satisfied, please present alternative evidence of satisfaction, such as a copy of a bank statement highlighting the transaction.
    • If you are unable to obtain any of the evidence above please provide a signed declaration that you have paid the fine confirming the amount paid, how the fine was paid (eg card payment), the date the fine was paid and why you are unable to produce evidence of payment.
  6. Motoring offences:

    If you are disclosing any issues regarding motoring offences, you will need to supply the following:

    • An electronic copy of your driving licence information. You should access this online and share it with us by following the instructions on the UK government website.
    • Evidence of satisfaction of the penalty imposed.
  7. Rehabilitation:
    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
  8. Any independent documentation in relation to the offence (if applicable):
    • These can be reports from the court, police, etc.
  9. Evidence of disclosure to professional body:
    • If you are a member of any professional bodies, you must provide evidence that the issue(s) you have included in your application were disclosed to them. Please provide a confirmation letter from the professional body stating that the issue(s) was/were disclosed.
    • If you were not required to disclose such an incident to the professional body, you should provide confirmation from them that there was no requirement to disclose it.

This information should be submitted with all applications where an assessment offence has been disclosed:

  1. A statement of events:
    • Detailed statement of events surrounding the offence, including any mitigating circumstances.
    • Your attitude towards the offence.
    • The extent to which you were aware of the rules and procedures governing the reference of material, the use of group work or collaborative material.
    • The extent to which you could reasonably have been expected to realise that the offence did not constitute legitimate academic practice.
  2. Two professional references:
    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are: solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to the admissions team.
    • Please also make sure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you are a student currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
  3. Confirmation of no further issues:
    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which we should be aware, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
  4. Independent documentation from your university:
    • Documentation produced by the university should be provided by you, to clarify the type of academic offence that was committed and include any minutes from meetings or hearings regarding the offence.
  5. Confirmation of the outcome of the investigation into your offence:
    • Please provide independent confirmation from your university of the outcome of any investigation, hearing or meeting in relation to the issue(s) you have disclosed.
    • If you lodged an appeal as part of the process, please provide details of the initial decision, your appeal and the final outcome.
  6. Sanctions that were imposed upon you:
    • If any sanctions were imposed upon you, please provide evidence from the university. Where applicable, please also provide evidence that any sanctions were satisfied. For example, if you were required to re-sit an assessment, please provide evidence produced by your university that the assessment has been completed successfully.
    • Please note, we may verify the academic offence directly with your university.
  7. Copies of transcripts:
    • Please send certified copies of transcripts.
    • Transcripts can be certified by the university or a professional person.
    • Original copies of transcripts should not be submitted to us as we cannot take responsibility if they are lost or damaged.
  8. Rehabilitation:
    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.

This information should be submitted with all applications where you have disclosed any financial issues, such as bankruptcy, an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) or a County Court Judgment (CCJ):

  1. A statement of events:
    • Please provide a detailed sequence of events leading up to the issue(s) being disclosed, including any mitigating circumstances which are relevant and which reflects your attitude towards the event.
  2. Two professional references:
    • Please provide two professional references from individuals who know you in a professional capacity who can attest to your good character. These may be from employers or academic tutors who have directly supervised your work.
    • Other examples of professional positions are: solicitors/lawyers, doctors or the police.
    • If your references are not attached to your application then advise your referees to email their reference directly to the admissions team.
    • Please also make sure that your referees send their references on letter headed paper or from professional email accounts, wherever possible.
    • The referees must confirm they are aware of the specific character and suitability issue(s) you have disclosed and identify these within the reference.
    • If you currently studying, or if the issue occurred during your academic career, it is expected that one referee should be a tutor. If you are currently employed, or if the issue occurred whilst employed, it is expected that one referee must be an employer.
    • Please note referees must not be personal friends or family members.
    • We may contact referees directly to authenticate the reference.
  3. Confirmation of no further issues:
    • Please confirm that there are no further issues of which we should be aware, other than the issue(s) you are disclosing.
  4. Rehabilitation:
    • Please provide any evidence of rehabilitation regarding the issue(s) disclosed.
    • Details of how you have subsequently managed your finances.
    • Please note that the decision maker will require evidence of rehabilitation when considering the issue(s) disclosed.
  5. County Court Judgment (CCJ):
    • Independent evidence that creditors’ agreements have been met or continued.
    • A copy of the judgment.
    • A certificate of satisfaction. This can be evidenced by a Registry Trust Limited report, which confirms there are no CCJ’s outstanding and that any previous CCJ’s have been satisfied.
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than 1 month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
  6. Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA):
    • Independent evidence that creditors’ agreements have been met or continued. Please advise the amount(s) per month/per week that is being paid. Independent evidence of the debt status must be provided to include bank statements and confirmation from the creditor.
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than one month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online and must be a colour copy. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
  7. Bankruptcy:
    • Bankruptcy petition - obtainable from the court or trustee in bankruptcy
    • Certificate of discharge
    • Please provide a current credit report no more than one month old. This can be obtained through Experian or Equifax online. Please note that if the credit report shows debts other than that being disclosed, please provide further explanation.
  8. Other financial issues:
  • Independent evidence, which may include paperwork from your court hearing, with dates, court reference numbers and the outcome (if applicable), or from your creditor(s).
  • Things you have done to clear any debts, satisfy any judgments, and manage your finances.

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.

Timescales

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.

Withdrawing an application

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

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 applications outcomes in line with our guidance on publishing regulatory and disciplinary decisions

Training trainee solicitors

Our requirements

The Authorised Training Provider information pack contains information for training organisations and trainee solicitors. Please read this for more on training requirements.

Professional Skills Course

The Professional Skills Course (PSC) is offered exclusively by course providers approved by the SRA. We decide the content of the course.

All approved course providers must show us that they can provide courses that comply with the appropriate standards. The course structure, contents and criteria for authorisation as an approved provider are detailed in the Professional Skills Course Information Pack.