SRA Handbook

Education and training requirements

Version 21 of the Handbook was published on 6 December 2018. For more information, please click "History" above.

Part 2: Education and training requirements

Regulation 2: Admission as a solicitor

2.1

We will admit you as a solicitor if:

(a)

you have completed:

(i)

the academic stage and vocational stage; or

(ii)

an apprenticeship.

(b)

you have complied with the SRA Admission Regulations; and

(c)

we are satisfied as to your character and suitability to be a solicitor in accordance with Part 1 of the SRA Suitability Test.

2.2

We may admit you as a solicitor if you have completed all or any part of 2.1(a)(i) by equivalent means.

2.3

Where 2.2 applies you must apply to us in writing in the prescribed form and support your application with such evidence as we consider necessary.

2.4

If you are subject to the QLTSR those regulations apply to your admission as a solicitor and you are not subject to these regulations.

2.5

You will have completed an apprenticeship for the purposes of 2.1(a)(ii) if you have met the requirements set out in the assessment plan for the Apprenticeship Standard for a Solicitor (England) or set out in the Apprenticeship Framework specified in the Level 7 Higher Apprenticeship in Legal Practice (Wales), including successfully passing an assessment which is either conducted by the SRA or approved by the SRA as suitable for the purpose.

Regulation 3: Eligibility to undertake the academic stage and vocational stage

3.1

Your eligibility to commence the academic stage will be determined according to the requirements, approved by us, of the approved education provider.

3.2

Your eligibility to commence the LPC will be determined according to the requirements, approved by us, of the authorised education provider.

Regulation 4: Vocational stage

4.1

To complete the vocational stage you must:

(a)

complete the LPC with an authorised education provider;

(b)

complete a period of recognised training with an authorised training provider; and

(c)

complete the Professional Skills Course with an authorised education provider;

unless we are satisfied that you have completed all or any part of the academic stage or the vocational stage by equivalent means.

Regulation 5: Recognised training

5.1

Subject to regulation 2.2, and unless you fall within 2.1(a)(ii), you must complete a period of recognised training before we admit you as a solicitor.

5.2

The recognised training is required to enable you to meet the Practice Skills Standards and comply with the Principles and shall normally be not less than two years if undertaken full time or pro-rata if part time.

5.3

You must maintain a record of training in accordance with regulation 14.

5.4

If at any time we are not satisfied that you have received or are receiving adequate training, we may:

(a)

refuse to recognise all or any part of the training undertaken;

(b)

require you to undertake further training; or

(c)

impose any condition or take any other action that we consider necessary.

5.5

Your  training principal must certify to us in the prescribed form that you have completed the recognised training required by regulation 5.

5.6

We may recognise a period or periods of training which meet our published requirements for recognised training where appropriate to do so, including where a training principal for any reason has not certified completion of recognised training under regulation 5.5.

Regulation 6: Character and suitability

6.1

You must disclose any issue to us which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test:

(a)

before you commence any period of recognised training, or;

(b)

if the issue occurs after commencement, during any period of recognised training.

6.2

You may ask us to assess any issue which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test before commencement of the LPC.

6.3

If you have either disclosed an issue as required by regulation 6.1, or asked us to assess an issue under regulation 6.2, which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test, you are not eligible to commence recognised training until we have determined that you satisfy the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test.

6.4

If you fail to meet the requirements of regulation 6.1 we may refuse to recognise training undertaken during this period and treat your failure to notify us as prima facie evidence of dishonest behaviour.

6.5

We may determine on the grounds of your character and suitability to be a solicitor that you are not eligible to commence or continue recognised training. You may make up to three further applications for eligibility to commence recognised training where there has been a material change in circumstances after intervals of not less than 12 months from the final determination of your previous application.

6.6

By making a request for assessment of a character and suitability issue under regulation 6.1 or 6.2 you become subject to these regulations.

6.7

You must disclose any new character and suitability issue to us at any time:

(a)

following a request for assessment of a character and suitability issue under regulation 6.1 or 6.2 but before we have reached a decision; or

(b)

after commencing a period of recognised training.

6.8

If during a period of recognised training you disclose a character and suitability issue under regulation 6.1 and/or 6.6 to us, or we discover a character and suitability issue, which may require assessment under the SRA Suitability Test, we may:

(a)

permit you to continue recognised training;

(b)

require you to suspend your recognised training pending our assessment of the issue;

(c)

not recognise part or all of that training if we decide that you do not have the required character and suitability, or;

(d)

apply such conditions to your training as we consider appropriate.

Regulation 7: Exemptions from the academic stage

7.1

You may be entitled to credit for prior certified or experiential learning which may entitle you to exemption from assessment in some subjects required by the Joint Statement. Applications for credit for prior learning shall be made to the approved education provider in accordance with its policies and procedures for accreditation of prior learning.

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