QLTS Assessments – Becoming an English Solicitor
The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) provides an opportunity for lawyers from various countries around the world to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. The scheme is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.
The QLTS came into force in September 2010 and replaced the previous regime, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) exams.
Watch this video presentation to learn more about the QLTS assessments:
The QLTS comprises two assessments:
Part I – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) – this tests the knowledge and understanding of 11 legal practice areas (known as SRA Outcomes A1-A11) on English law. The MCT consists of 180 multiple choice questions, each with five possible answers. The assessment is divided into two periods of two hours and 45 minutes each, with 90 questions on each part.
To pass the MCT, you need to show to the SRA that you are able to apply fundamental legal principles to given fact patterns, and find a single best answer of five alternatives.
While knowledge can be acquired by reading through MCT textbooks, application of knowledge can be achieved by practicing multiple choice questions and mock tests in a similar format to the formal assessments.
Part II – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – the second part of the QLTS tests five skills: Interviewing and Advocacy (known as OSCE Part I), and Online Legal Research, Legal Drafting and Legal Writing (known as OSCE Part II). The assessment runs across several days. The OSCE is conducted in the context of three legal practice areas: Business Law and Practice, Litigation (Civil and Criminal) and Property Law (Conveyancing, Wills and Probate).
The skills are assessed through various simulated legal environments known as OSCE ‘stations’ using different techniques, including actors as interviewed clients and professional legal databases and keyboard skills.
There is a single pass mark for OSCE Parts I & II combined, and you must take the two parts at the same sitting.
- You must first pass the MCT before attempting the OSCE.
- There is no restriction on the number of attempts you may take, nor a time limit for completing the two assessments within a certain time period
- There is no experience requirement or training to complete, nor an English language test to take
- The assessments are closed-book – you cannot bring with you any supporting materials into the examination centre
- EU/EEA and Intra-UK lawyers (and partially qualified nationals – Morgenbesser applicants) may be eligible to obtain exemptions from some of the elements of the assessment (a separate application should be made to the SRA with a fee of £400, and for Morgenbesser applicants – £600). All other lawyers cannot obtain any exemptions.
There are no formal steps you need to follow in order to be eligible to sit the QLTS assessments (there was previously a requirement to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the SRA, but this was removed in March 2015).
Candidates should, however, hold the correct professional qualification in a recognised jurisdiction and satisfy the SRA requirements as to character and suitability before they apply for admission as solicitors.
A list of Recognised Jurisdiction is published at the SRA website. The list includes among other countries most of the jurisdictions in the USA, Australia, all EU countries, Turkey, Nigeria, Canada, South Africa, Japan, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil and Israel.
Questions about your eligibility should be addressed to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, UK
Sitting the Assessments
The assessments are administered by a sole assessment provider, Kaplan QLTS, which has been appointed by the SRA. Kaplan is not authorised to offer preparatory courses for the assessments. All the assessments are held in London, UK. From February 2016, the MCT will also be delivered by computer-based assessment in conjunction with Pearson VUE in London, New York, Singapore, Australia, China, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, India, Dubai, Johannesburg and other locations in the UK and mainland Europe. Spaces are subject to availability.
MCT – February 8 and July 12 – 2017. Exam fees are £565 + VAT. The deadline for registration with Kaplan is December 6 2016 and for booking with Pearson VUE was December 28 2016. Registration for the July 2017 assessment is not yet open.
OSCE – Part II – June 20-22 (23) – 2017 | Part I – June 11 – 13 and June 17 – 19. The OSCE will also run during November. Booking deadline with Kaplan for the June 2017 OSCE is set for April 18 2017.
The fees for the OSCE are £2,925 + VAT (Total £3,510).
Kaplan will open additional bookings for OSCE Part I on June 8 – 10 (2017) if the other June dates are full and there is sufficient demand.
MCT assessment results are normally released within 2-3 weeks after the assessment date. OSCE results are usually published 12-14 weeks after the assessment. Once you have passed the two assessments and fulfilled any other outstanding requirements as set by the SRA, you may apply for admission to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales and get your practising certificate.
QLTS School offers preparation courses for the two elements of the assessment: MCT and OSCE. Our courses combine comprehensive textbooks, video tutorials, online resources and tutor support.