News release

SRA Board approves changes to the education and training regulations

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Board has today (Wednesday 21 May) approved changes to the SRA training regulations. The changes form part of the SRA's ongoing Training for Tomorrow programme of reform and Red Tape Initiative.

The next step is to seek approval from the Legal Services Board before implementation of the changes on 1 July.

The changes do not alter the current qualification pathway to admission as a solicitor, but they do introduce a more proportionate approach to the regulation of pre-admission education and training by taking into account the regulation of higher education by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, as well as developments in employment law.

Under the new regime, there is no longer a requirement for law students to enrol with the SRA prior to commencing the Legal Practice Course. The £80 fee currently charged for this will go too.

The SRA has retained a check on character and suitability of individuals seeking to qualify as a solicitor at the point of admission; under the new regulations there is also a requirement to disclose any issues which relate to character and suitability before training commences. Prospective Legal Practice Course (LPC) students can apply for a check if they wish before they start the LPC.

Requirements for the length and scope of training have been retained, but this no longer needs to be done under the terms of an SRA specified training contract. The new regulations also bring into force changes to the minimum salary of trainees which the SRA consulted on and agreed in 2012.

The new regulations will replace the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 1 – Qualification Regulations, and the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 2 – Training Provider Regulations.

Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training, said: "We have taken the decision to remove complex and bureaucratic arrangements, which do not assure quality or promote standards. The changes will not alter the substance of our qualification requirements, but they will result in regulations which are more streamlined and which will enable us to focus on the essentials of our education and training framework."

The SRA consulted on the changes from December 2013 to February this year with the majority of respondents supporting the proposals.

View the consultation