SRA's centralised exam "nothing new" say educators

The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) proposed new centralised qualifying exam for solicitors has been criticised as “nothing new” by teaching professionals.

At a recent Westminster Legal Policy Forum conference, Rebecca Huxley-Binns of the Association of Law Teachers added that qualifying solicitors would still need workplace training, vocational training, and a law conversion course for those without a degree covering the subject.

The SRA recently launched a consultation over the proposed exam, tentatively titled the Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination (SQE), which is due to run until 4th March 2016.

The aim is to ensure a benchmark of competency across the various routes into the profession in order to help foster diversity in appointment between vocational and degree based courses from Russel Group Universities other newer bodies, and those whose original qualification is from outside of the UK.

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 can be found online at: http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/consultations/t4t-assessing-competence.page

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