Professional Skills Course
Passing the Professional Skills Course (PSC) is the final stage to becoming qualified as a solicitor. Law graduates, and non-law graduates who have completed a Graduate Diploma in Law attend the PSC during the course of the period of recognised training. Those qualifying through the CILEx route may take the course at the end of their route. Individuals exempt from recognised training must complete the PSC before admission.
It is currently unclear whether those following the apprenticeship route will be required to complete the PSC. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is looking at the PSC in their review of legal education and training.
The PSC requires the equivalent of 12 days of full-time attendance, building on the vocational training provided in the Legal Practice Course. It comprises three core modules and elective courses relevant to specific types of practice and areas of law.
There is a compulsory core element of 48 hours' tuition with assessments and an elective element of 24 hours' tuition.
The PSC consists of three subject areas taught through face-to-face tuition for a minimum number of hours:
- financial and business skills (18 hours)
- advocacy and communication skills (18 hours)
- client care and professional standards (12 hours).
You must complete 24 hours of elective courses, of which no more than half may be by distance learning. You can choose from a range of subject areas. Elective courses may be completed at any time during the training period.
Your firm/organisation will pay the fees and reasonable travel for the PSC.
The PSC is offered by professional skills course providers. The SRA provides further details about the structure and accreditation of the PSC on its website. Also see the SRA's Professional Skills Course information pack.
You may apply for exemption from one or more modules on the PSC if you believe you have the appropriate experience or qualifications which are equivalent in scope and level to the PSC written standards. Further information can be found in the Equivalent Means information pack.