I am an apprentice

4 April 2019

This information will help you understand what the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) might mean for you are looking to qualify through the solicitor apprenticeship.

Solicitors Qualifying Examination timescale

The SQE will be introduced in a gradual and inclusive way and will allow candidates to choose between qualifying under the current system or the SQE for a number of years.

We know people need time to introduce new courses and recruitment processes, so we will not introduce the SQE before autumn 2021.


  • Ask your training provider how they are keeping up to date with the development of the SQE and how your apprenticeship aligns with it.
  • Join our LinkedIn reference group. It will help you keep up to date with latest developments.
  • Look at our eligibility for admission regulations (as part of our Standards and Regulations. Please note these are not yet in force).

Why are we introducing the SQE?

The SQE will mean everyone meets the same consistently high standards through a common assessment for all would-be solicitors.

Crispin Passmore

Executive Director, Policy, SRA

An effective competence statement for solicitors

We have already published a Statement of Solicitor Competence which sets out what solicitors need to be able to do to perform their role effectively, and which provides everyone with a clear indication of what they can expect from their solicitor.

This is supported by our Statement of Legal Knowledge and a Threshold Standard, both of which show the standards for practising and using the title of solicitor.

What we have done

News release: SRA announces new solicitors assessment to guarantee high standards

Consultation - A new route to qualification: New regulations

Consultation - A new route to qualification: the Solicitors Qualifying Examination

Consultation - Training for Tomorrow: assessing competence

General - I am an apprentice

Yes. You will get paid the apprenticeship wage.


The provisional range for the total estimated cost of the two stages of assessment is between £3,000 - £4,500.

SQE 1 will primarily test the application of legal knowledge. The fees range estimate is £1,100 - £1,650. SQE 2 will test practical legal skills. The fee range estimate is £1,900 - £2,850. The costs are based on an estimated 35 hours of assessment, including written tests, computer-based assessments and simulations such as mock client interviews. These costs are indicative, as we continue our work with Kaplan to develop and test the assessments.

The eventual fee may be inside or outside this range. Factors that could change the costs include the length and amount of assessment and whether it is offered in both English and Welsh.

If training is included as part of a degree, then there will be no additional charge.


For apprentices, your training and assessments are paid for through the apprenticeship levy fund.

If you are qualifying through a degree route, candidates will be eligible for student loan funding in the usual way.

SQE assessments timings are not yet available. When we know what the final examinations will look like, then we will be able to offer more detailed information.


We will publish data about the performance of all education and training providers. These will not be league tables.


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