SRA finalises new exam regulations
The SRA has approved the regulations which bring into force the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) while making changes to bolster assurances around qualifying work experience. The SQE is a new assessment to make sure all those entering the profession meet consistent, high standards.
In May, the SRA consulted on the regulations needed to bring the SQE into effect. They have now confirmed the four elements needed to qualify. Everyone will have to have a degree or equivalent, have passed both parts of the SQE, undertaken two years’ qualifying work experience, and demonstrated satisfactory character and suitability.
The SRA has gone on to confirm that qualifying work experience must be signed off by a solicitor and they have responded to concerns that a solicitor from another organisation might not know enough about a candidate’s work, and have made changes so that a solicitor in this position would need to have reviewed the candidate’s work and received feedback from the candidate’s supervisor.
The regulations also confirm the SRA’s approach to qualified lawyers, such as those who work overseas, who want to apply to practise as solicitors in England and Wales. Under the new provisions, all qualified lawyers will need to take the SQE unless they can establish that their qualification and experience are equivalent in content and standard to the SQE.
The SRA will now ask the Legal Services Board to approve the regulations. If approved, they expect to confirm the appointment of an assessment provider next spring.