SRA proposes a qualifying exam for all new solicitors

updated on 08 December 2015

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched a consultation on a new standardised system for assessing trainees, under which all those wishing to qualify as a solicitor would have to sit the same professional exam. The assessment would be based on the competences required to do the job well and would “ensure consistent high standards of entry into the profession, providing confidence for the public and employers”.

The proposed Solicitors Qualifying Examination is based on the SRA’s Competence Statement, which defines what all solicitors should be able to do competently in order to qualify and practise. Pre-qualification workplace experience is likely to form part of any new system.

Paul Philip, SRA chief executive, said: "Entry into a profession is the key point at which the quality of the profession as a whole is defined. So it has to be right that everyone meets consistent, high standards. We think that the best way to ensure that solicitors meet the standards we, their clients and the public expect is to put in place the same, rigorous assessment for aspiring solicitors. That will give real confidence to employers, the users of legal services and indeed the profession itself."

The consultation is open until 4 March 2016 – you can read it in full here.