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Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE)
In autumn 2021, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will introduce a new route to qualifying as a solicitor: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
As further information and SQE policy is established, we will work to ensure the profession is kept up to date with developments as well as representing the views of the profession.
The SQE is designed to test, to the level set by the SRA’s Threshold Standard:
- the competences in the Statement of Solicitor Competence
- the knowledge in the Statement of Legal Knowledge
This guide tells you what we know about the SQE so far, including:
- requirements and cost
- what the SQE assessment will cover
- how the SQE will be assessed
- preparatory courses
- getting ready for the SQE
- qualifying from abroad to work in the UK
- Welsh language SQE
The SQE is being introduced as part of the SRA’s Training for Tomorrow programme.
The programme is in response to the report on the Legal Education and Training Review in 2013.
The report called for regulators to focus on the standards required of solicitors at the point of qualification and on an on-going basis.
August 2019 – the SRA looks for candidates to test the key elements of the SQE2.
July 2019 – the SRA publishes:
- the SRA's response to the SQE1 pilot
- Kaplan's report on the SQE1 pilot
- the report by the Independent reviewer of SQE1
November 2018 – the SRA announces that the SQE will be introduced in autumn 2021, having delayed by one year after taking into consideration the concerns raised by their consultation process.
March 2018 – the Legal Services Board approves the SRA’s application for regulatory changes that sets out the framework for the SQE. A further application on the detail of the SQE will be required before the it can be introduced.
March 2018 – The Legal Services Board releases a decision notice. This explains that the SRA will need to give detailed costs to the Legal Services Board when the SRA makes the further application necessary to bring the SQE into force. It notes that the SRA Board will only sign off on proposals once it is satisfied that the SQE assessments represent value for money and do not create a barrier to entering the profession.
April 2015 – the SRA publishes its Statement of Solicitor Competence, which defines the standards for practise and the competences aspiring solicitors need to demonstrate to qualify.