Professional Skills Course (PSC)

What is the PSC?

The PSC needs to be completed before you qualify as a solicitor (electives can also be used to get extra CPD points post qualification).

The PSC is split into core modules:

  • Client care and professional standards (two days)
  • Advocacy and communication skills (three days)
  • Financial and business skills (three days, plus exam)

and Electives (which cover a range of subjects and skills depending on your provider).

You must complete 24 hours of elective courses, of which no more than half may be by distance learning. I did part distance learning and part face to face.

Firms with multiple trainees tend to run their own in-house PSC course (fast-track). My firm takes on one trainee per office and sends us all to a PSC provider to complete at their office. We can choose any location to go to complete the course.

The full list of SRA accredited providers can be found here.

My firm has a favoured provider so I had no choice over who to go to, however we were given freedom of choice with regards to our Electives.

I chose to do time and stress management for my first elective and negotiation for my second. I was advised to choose skill modules rather than technical modules as there was ‘very little I would learn that I wouldn’t have already done in my studies or on the job’. I decided to do the time and stress management as I was intrigued by what they would recommend and negotiation as it was the one skill I felt I needed to improve.

For those of you with the PSC still to come, or electives to pick don’t worry.

  • the course is straight-forward (after all you have already done your degree and Post-Grad).
  • the Exam has nothing on it that you don’t get taught on the course.
  • Choose the electives you think you will enjoy and/or benefit from, but at the end of the day don’t get worked up over it.

Overall the experience was great fun, a nice way to meet other local trainees. It may be seen by some as a ‘ticking the box’ exercise on the way to qualification – but it did have value for those of us who are a trainee in a bubble to see how other trainees got treated by their firms, the work they got and their experiences. The variation was fascinating.