Frequently asked questions 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 if they commenced their training under the SRA Training Regulations 2014 - Qualification and Provider Regulations.

There is no requirement for three distinct areas of law if the trainee commenced their training from 25 November 2019, under the Authorisation of Individuals Regulations. The training must still meet the practice skills standards so a varied workload is still expected.

A training record must be kept throughout the training.

It is also possible to complete your training while studying a Qualifying Law Degree, Common Professional Examination or LPC.

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

Your organisation can, at its discretion, recognise relevant prior experience and take this time into account to reduce the period of training. 

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

and your training provider cannot provide you with experience in three separate areas of English and Welsh law and practice, or experience in the range of work required by the Practice Skills Standards, they must arrange for you to be seconded. During your secondment you must be:

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

Secondments do not have to be approved by us.

There is no requirement for three distinct areas of law if the trainee commenced their training from 25 November 2019, under the Authorisation of Individuals Regulations. The training must still meet the practice skills standards so a varied workload is still expected.

  • 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 guidance.

  • 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 guidance.

You need to demonstrate you have achieved the outcomes that would have been gained by completing a period of recognised training. 

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 guidance.

Trainee character and suitability

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Professional Skills Course (PSC)

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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 guidance.

You need to demonstrate you have achieved the outcomes that would have been gained by completing a period of recognised training. 

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 guidance.

  • 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 guidance.

  • 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 guidance.