FAQs for trainees

Period of recognised training

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It is closely supervised and is usually for a period of two years if undertaken on a full time basis.

A trainee is required to gain experience in at least three distinct areas of English and Welsh law and practice and meet the Practice Skills Standards. A training record must be kept throughout the training.

Further information can be found at www.sra.org.uk/trainees/period-recognised-training.page

Further information can be found in our Authorised training provider information pack

The time can be recognised on a like-for like basis up to a maximum period of six months (183 calendar days). 

Further information may be found in our Authorised Training Provider Pack.

A full-time training period, in which you work five days per week, is for two years (730 calendar days, or 522 working days).

So, as a guide, if you work:

  • two and a half days per week, the period is four years (1,460 calendar days)
  • three days per week, the period is three years and four months (1,216 calendar days)
  • four days per week, the period is two years and six months (913 calendar days)

Further information can be found in our Authorised training provider information pack

Further information can be found in our Authorised training provider information pack

  • adequately supervised
  • appraised regularly
  • given training in English and Welsh law and practice.

Secondments do not have to be approved by us.

• satisfied the requirements of the academic stage through study or exemptions granted 

• completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) 

• been engaged as a Chartered Legal Executive in the practice of law. 

You are automatically exempt from the elective elements of the Professional Skills Course (PSC). The mandatory elements of the PSC must be completed prior to applying for admission to the roll. 

When you apply to be admitted as a solicitor you will need to provide us with evidence of your qualification as a Chartered Legal Executive. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

  • completed the academic stage 
  • completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) 
  • before attending the LPC, you have served for at least five years out of the last 10 years in the Magistrates' Courts Service as an Assistant Justices' Clerk. 

You are automatically exempt from the elective elements of the Professional Skills Course (PSC). The mandatory elements of the PSC must be completed prior to applying for admission to the roll. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

We call this 'Equivalent means'. 

To apply for the exemption you must submit an Equivalent means - Period of Recognised Training application. 

The fee is £600. 

Chartered Legal Executives and Assistant Justices' Clerks may automatically be exempt from a period of recognised training. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

Trainee character and suitability

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It is important that you disclose any character and suitability issues before you start a period of recognised training. 

You should also tell us about any issues that may arise afterwards. 

Failure to do so could affect your admission as a solicitor of England and Wales.

To have your character and suitability assessed please complete the Character and Suitability Application (PRT2)

You must submit it at least six months before your period of training is due to start.

If you wish you can submit an early disclosure at any time. The fee for an early assessment is £100. 

Further information can be found in our Trainee information pack

You should also tell us about any issues that may arise afterwards.

You are allowed to make three further applications but you must wait 12 months before reapplying.  

If you inform us of any character and suitability issues during your period of recognised training, we may suspend your training until the circumstances are considered.

Similarly if you disclose an issue when applying for admission, your date of admission may be delayed.  

Professional Skills Course (PSC)

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Further information can be found in our Professional Skills Course information pack

If you commence a period of recognised training under the 2014 regulations, the PSC would normally be completed during the period of recognised training. If this does not happen, the training would not have to be extended but you would be unable to apply for admission until the PSC was completed.  

The PSC is designed to build on the Legal Practice Course (LPC), so completion of the LPC cannot be used as a basis to apply for exemptions from the core elements of the PSC.

If you wish to seek exemption you must submit an Equivalent means - Professional Skills Course (not CILEX) application.

The fee is £210.

Those not required to enter into a period of recognised training, for example Chartered Legal Executives and Justices' Clerks' Assistants, are automatically exempt from the electives.  

Equivalent means

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To be admitted as a solicitor you must have completed: 

  • the academic stage,and
  • the vocational stage. 

 Applications for exemptions from any of the stages must be made on the relevant Equivalent means form. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

We call this 'Equivalent means'. 

To apply for the exemption you must submit an Equivalent means - Period of Recognised Training application

The fee is £600. 

Chartered Legal Executives and Assistant Justices' Clerks may automatically be exempt from a period of recognised training. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

  • satisfied the requirements of the academic stage through study or exemptions granted 
  • completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) 
  • been engaged as a Chartered Legal Executive in the practice of law. 

You are automatically exempt from the elective elements of the Professional Skills Course (PSC). The mandatory elements of the PSC must be completed prior to applying for admission to the roll. 

When you apply to be admitted as a solicitor you will need to provide us with evidence of your qualification as a Chartered Legal Executive. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

  • completed the academic stage 
  • completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC) 
  • before attending the LPC, you have served for at least five years out of the last 10 years in the Magistrates' Courts Service as an Assistant Justices' Clerk. 

You are automatically exempt from the elective elements of the Professional Skills Course (PSC). The mandatory elements of the PSC must be completed prior to applying for admission to the roll. 

Further information can be found in our Equivalent means information pack.

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