Changes to education and training regulations

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved the changes to the training regulations that were recently proposed by the SRA Board, and the new regulations are now in effect. The changes form part of the SRA's ongoing Training for Tomorrow programme of reform and Red Tape Initiative. They were incorporated into the publication of the new Handbook on 1 July and came into force immediately.

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, saving the £80 fee currently charged for this—nor do they need to get a certificate of academic standing from us.

We are also introducing a new "equivalent means" application under which candidates who can demonstrate they have met our training requirements through other, equivalent experience or qualifications can seek admission as a solicitor.

We have 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 course.

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 we consulted on and agreed in 2012.

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

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

Learn more about the changes

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