The SQE: New Regulations Consultation

The final decision has been made. The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is coming in Sept 2020.  On 12 April 2017, the SRA Board took the decision to introduce the SQE. At this stage we know it is coming, but there are still a lot of unknowns.

The Current Consultation

The current SRA consultation is “A new route to qualification: New regulations”. The SRA have previously held two consultations to gather stakeholder views on our proposals to introduce a common assessment, the SQE. The SQE is designed to test whether individuals who wish to be admitted as solicitors have the skills and knowledge set out in the Statement of Solicitor Competence.

The SQE will be delivered by a single assessment organisation which the SRA will appoint following a competitive tender process to select that assessment organisation. The SRA will develop and test the content and design of the SQE with our selected organisation and by consulting with experts, academics, universities and the profession. However, to do so, they need to introduce the framework proposals. This third consultation now seeks stakeholder views on the regulations needed to bring the SQE framework into force.

The new admission regulations will provide the regulatory framework for qualification as a solicitor via the SQE. When they come into force, they will introduce transitional arrangements to make provision for those who are already on current qualification pathways. These will be designed to make sure that, for a number of years, candidates who start on current pathways to qualification before September 2020 can choose to complete them either under the education and training regulations in force at that time, or the new regulations.

Consultation Questions

Question 1 – Do you agree that these regulations implement the agreed policy framework for the SQE?

Question 2 – Do you have any comments on the proposals for recognition of the knowledge and competences of qualified lawyers?

The consultation is open from 31 May 2017 until 26 July 2017. You can respond to the consultation online.