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OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination)

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QLTS OSCE Training Courses

Important Note: some websites may offer limited-time promotions or publish statements about their position in the training market, the high pass rates their candidates achieve, or names of people who have passed the QLTS assessments using their material. You are strongly advised to be cautious when coming across such information and request for more details on how those providers have analysed and validated their candidates’ pass rates, as well as ask to speak with past candidates who used the material offered on these websites before spending your money. QLTS School does have a proven track record of hundreds of candidates who passed the QLTS assessments as evidenced by about 100 video interviews available on our Success Stories page. 

The OSCE is a unique assessment, with students required to demonstrate a high level of legal knowledge and well-honed practical skills in a carefully-designed assessment environment against a strict marking criteria. QLTS School’s OSCE preparation rises to the challenge, equipping you to succeed by offering up to 250 mock exams complete with model answers for self-assessment, digital flash cards, legal skills video workshops, succinct yet accessible practice area summaries, extensive and customised online resources, and one-to-one simulated practice stations with tutor feedback. We also offer you the opportunity to attend live one-to-one coaching or a small group workshops with an expert legal skills trainer, which will be held in London several weeks before the assessments.

Enrolling on our OSCE course will help you become well-prepared to pass the final stage of the QLTS assessments on your first attempt. We are now preparing lawyers for the November 2019 assessment, being the 18th time we have been offering our OSCE course since the introduction of the QLTS in 2011. We have the knowledge, experience and proven track record of many candidates who studied with us and are now dual-qualified English solicitors. Our course also incorporates feedback and tips passed to us by our former candidates, which lends us incomparable insight.

About the OSCE Assessment

The practical assessment: the OSCE forms the practical aspect of the QLTS assessments. As a candidate, you will be examined on Parts C (transactional and dispute resolution skills), D (legal, professional and client relationship knowledge and skills) and F (professional values, behaviours, attitudes and ethics) of the SRA’s Day One Outcomes. The OSCE tests several skills: interviewing, advocacy/oral presentation, online legal research, legal drafting and writing.

The assessment tests these skills in the context of three areas of legal practice: Business Law, Litigation (Civil and Criminal), and Property Law (Conveyancing, Wills and Probate).

QLTS OSCE Interview

Assessments style: the OSCE assessment tests the knowledge, understanding and skills which together form part of the syllabus taught to domestic candidates taking the qualifying law degree/Graduate Diploma (GDL) and/or the Legal Practice Course (LPC), the latter constituting the vocational education stage of the domestic route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. But as QLTS candidates do not subsequently complete a two-year training period in which they have the opportunity to hone their practical legal skills, and eligible candidates are already qualified in a previous jurisdiction, the standard expected of those who take the OSCE assessment is higher. The marking criteria are designed for outcomes-focused regulation.

Preparation for a Practical Assessment Requires a Practical Approach

A higher level of legal knowledge and understanding is required: while the Multiple Choice Test (MCT) part of the QLTS assesses your knowledge and understanding of academic law, the OSCE practical assessment demands considerably more from you: your ability to accurately advise clients using a variety of skills, including drawing on and applying the law to a very specific set of circumstances.

Medical assessment methodologies: as a future doctor cannot rely on reading a book in advance of a practical assessment that involves taking a blood sample, so an aspiring English solicitor cannot rely only on reading about practical legal skills in advance of a practical assessment that tests their skills as a lawyer advising the public.

Why we can help you: with our OSCE preparation course, we work with you to develop, master and demonstrate both law and skills, which is what the SRA is looking for. The law includes the significant and relevant legal knowledge required in the three legal areas. The skills are those expected of a practising solicitor who is able to accurately and competently advise clients.

Assessing Your Legal Skills

How the five skills are assessed: the five skills are assessed through simulated legal environments known as ‘OSCE stations’. The techniques to create these stations include the use of actors as interviewed clients, writing legal advice to a client, an online standard precedent bank, as well as a live research exercise through the use of professional online legal databases used by practising solicitors.

Simulation of a solicitor – client interaction: using ‘standardised clients’ – trained actors who play the role of a client with whom you interact during a station, the OSCE assesses your ‘soft skills’ as much as your formidable legal knowledge. During an interview assessment, for example, an actor playing a client may ask you to advise them on transferring shares of their company to a third party. In another station, you may be asked to interview the client, then, following their instructions, complete or interpret Inheritance Tax forms, oaths for executors or review their will. Or you may be advising a client about how best they can sell their property in order to minimise tax liability. The syllabus is vast and the possible scenarios are many!

What Are You Expected to Demonstrate?

The SRA has set a Descriptive Narrative of Competency for the QLTS Assessments, which defines the level of competences expected of all newly qualified solicitors:

“You are expected to demonstrate a level of knowledge, professional skills and understanding of legal practice and the law, similarly to a competent newly qualified solicitor, that is likely to avoid a negligence claim.

In simple cases you can identify a client’s problem and the main legal issues raised. You should be able to recognise and respond appropriately to common situations which raise issues of professional conduct. You will normally know your limits when ignorant; know to what sources to refer for information; and ask for help when the problem is too difficult to deal with.

The advice you give a client will demonstrably progress the client’s matter and be clear enough for the client to understand. It will rarely be wrong. You can communicate in a professional and appropriate (though not necessarily sophisticated) way with others including clients, courts, colleagues and other solicitors. Your use of English is readily comprehensible to clients of any background. Following a meeting most clients will have some confidence in you and your ability to deal with their legal problem.

You can make a reasonably persuasive presentation of your case and defend it at least to some extent. You can draft simple legal documents effectively and with few mistakes, can review and make an initial judgment about some aspects of more complex legal documents and can progress routine legal transactions.”

In short, you should know and understand the relevant legal principles and foundation law, be able to explain those to the client using accurate and timely advice, know which documents to use and also to draft various documents yourself when needed.

Download our OSCE Toolkit: a comprehensive document which covers everything you need to know about the OSCE assessment.

How We'll Prepare You to Meet and Exceed the SRA Standards

Effective preparation courses with everything you need: would you prepare for a practical driving test only by reading the theory book beforehand, without taking a single driving lesson with an instruction? Probably not. The same applies to preparation for the QLTS practical assessment. The SRA’s Descriptive Narrative of Competency clearly shows that preparation for the OSCE assessment requires more than simply reading through textbooks or attending a course.

The assessments are completely unlike anything you will have encountered during your undergraduate education. We therefore designed the QLTS School’s OSCE preparation course with these factors and your requirements in mind.

QLTS OSCE SKILLS

The course will help you bridge the gap between academic study of the three practice areas and developing practical legal skills, which can only be gained through constant practice, and reinforced through work experience. We work with you so that you can demonstrate that you possess the knowledge and skills of a newly qualified English solicitor on the first day of the job – the standard required by the SRA.

Saving you money and time: the total costs of the OSCE assessment are substantial when you factor in assessment fees, travel and accommodation costs. Add in the time costs, and the fact that and you only have limited number of opportunities to take the assessment (currently offered only twice a year) and the professional stakes are really high. You will put yourself in the best possible position to save time and money by properly preparing yourself for the practical assessment. You can do this by choosing the preparation course which will provide you with all the tools to succeed and allows you to prepare according to your own already busy schedule.

You and your fellow candidates have different skills, educational and legal backgrounds and personal circumstances. This means each candidate’s requirements of the preparation course are different. We do understand that and have designed the OSCE preparation course with your needs in mind. You will receive a suggested timetable which incorporates all the course modules that we offer for the OSCE. Taking into account your level of legal experience, work and life commitments, you can work out what you need to focus on and how much time you can realistically devote to your preparation efforts.

Personalised feedback: You will have the option to sign up for live OSCE workshops in London and to receive real feedback from an experienced legal trainer on your client interviewing and advocacy/oral presentation skills.

Course Features

QLTS School’s preparation course for the OSCE includes the following:

  • Course Guide – covering the structure, methodology and marking criteria of the practical assessment, study guides, and test administration procedures, protocols and policies – everything you need to know about what is expected of you and how you will be assessed
  • OSCE practice area summaries (about 200 pages in total) – these distil the essential elements of the law; the practice areas are summarised and divided into sections, covering the main topics tested in the OSCE assessment. The summaries are excellent for revision purposes and save you the time and hard work in preparing your own notes. These summaries offer all the information needed to enable you to work through the various practice areas with ease and refer back to them during mock and assessment preparation. The summaries cover Property Law & Probate, Civil & Criminal Litigation, and Business Law
  • 2,000+ digital flash cards covering the practice areas to help you reinforce your legal knowledge
  • 1,800+ multiple choice practice questions – each MCQs has five possible answers and a detailed solution. Attempting the MCQs is an excellent way to learn and understand the substantive and procedural law which you will be tested on in the OSCE assessment. These MCQ are different than the ones provided in the MCT course
  • 15 English writing tasks – your writing skills will be tested across several stations in the OSCE assessment. You will need to demonstrate that you are able to use appropriate, clear, precise and acceptable English. The 15 tasks are intended to enable you practise your writing skills and demonstrate that you can: (i) correctly identify the purpose of the letter (ii) adopt house style and use formalities appropriate to the purpose and context (iii) communicate clearly and fluently in grammatically correct English in a way that is appropriate to the recipient of the letter, purpose and context. The 15 writing tasks could be on procedural or administrative matters, not including legal advice, in which you produce a formal letter or email for a client and for a third party. Each task includes an assignment, specimen letter and commentary to help you assess your performance. The writing tasks should be completed before you attempt the mock exams for self-assessment
  • OSCE practice questions covering the legal practice areas – each question includes multiple exercises which are based on a single scenario/case study common to that practice area. The questions come with a variety of documents and forms which you may see in the formal assessment, such as a letter of claim and particulars of claim; board and members’ resolutions; defence and witness statements; a bail application; wills, IHT forms, oaths, and probate applications; purchase deeds, a copy of the register and site plan, and purchase and sale contracts
  • Legal research guides for using both LexisLibrary and Westlaw legal databases
  • Up to 250 mock exams with suggested solutions for self-assessment – covering all legal practice areas and skills tested on the OSCE assessment (check the OSCE matrix to see the topics/skills covered by each of the 250 tasks). The mock exams provide an ample opportunity for you to deepen your legal knowledge and hone your practical skills. Points to note or proposed submissions for each mock enable you to understand what is required of you and identify areas of development during your preparation. The scenarios cover a wide spectrum of the OSCE syllabus, with supporting documents to many of the questions, such as shareholders’ and partnership agreements, statements of claim, defence and counter-claim, interim applications, wills, tax forms, property transfer forms, title deeds, lease extracts, defence and witness statements, etc. The interviewing skill exercises include instructions for both the interviewer and interviewee to enable role-play for a more realistic assessment environment, together with scripts which simulate a real interview and advocacy/oral presentation. View these sample OSCE mock exams on Civil Litigation/Advocacy and on Business Law/Interviewing (links open in a new window)
  • Suggested solutions to Kaplan sample questions to which no answer guides have been provided by Kaplan. The suggested solutions have been prepared by QLTS School’s tutors
  • QLTS Skills Online – more than 60 interactive exercises covering all of the five skills, complemented by video and audio material and a 130-page accompanying book, ensuring that you are familiar with the various skills (see below for more details)
  • Legal Skills Video Workshops – more than 100 video workshops with roleplay scenarios, professional presentations, tutor commentary and summary notes
  • An initial consultation and a tailor-made study plan – shortly after your enrolment you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide details about your legal experience and qualifications. Your tutor will review the questionnaire prior to your initial consultation, following which you will receive a customised study plan, designed specifically to meet your personal needs and requirements (Advantage or Premium Courses only)
  • Mock practice stations with one-to-one tutor feedback in client interviewing and in advocacy/oral presentation. The mock practice stations will be conducted via Skype, Facetime, or GoToMeeting, and be personally marked by one of our tutors, who will provide you with feedback based on the SRA marking criteria (Advantage or Premium Courses only)
  • Live Workshops – you will have the opportunity to attend live and interactive workshops in London, which may include exercises, formal input, role plays and group interaction. The focus of the workshops is to build your confidence and reinforce your ability to be able to speak with clarity and present yourself in an articulate, professional and composed manner. You will be equipped with tools and techniques that you can use and practise to hone your skills right up to the date of your assessment. The workshops are offered on a one-to-one basis or in small groups for an additional charge
  • Free periodic updates for the course materials
  • Networking opportunities and online interaction with your fellow candidates

Selected LPC textbooks from Oxford University Press are used during the course, which include access to online resources such as video and audio lectures and interactive tutorials.

QLTS School and Oxford University Press have reached an agreement that provides all QLTS School’s candidates with an exclusive 20% discount off all OUP titles required for the OSCE course. You will also benefit from exclusive access to OUP lecturers resources, such as case studies, test banks and video clips, which otherwise may not be available.

QLTS Skills Online

QLTS Skills Online is an interactive and enjoyable course module which will help you prepare for the OSCE assessment with increased confidence.

Covering legal writing and drafting, advocacy and oral presentation, interviewing and advising, and legal research, QLTS Skills Online complements and builds on the existing course materials provided to you by QLTS School. You are also given the chance to put the skills into practice in a realistic case study.

Key benefits:

  • More than 60 interactive exercises covering all of the skills required on the OSCE in the context of litigation, business law, and conveyancing ensuring that you gain genuinely transferable knowledge of the five skills
  • Video and audio material complements the exercises to provide a varied and interesting resource that engages you and provides immediate feedback, making it an easy tool to use to improve your legal skills
  • A 130-page accompanying book viewable online ensures that you are familiar with the principles behind each skill and provides examples taken from day-to-day practice
  • Introductory videos provided by an experienced practitioner and law tutor, offering you an insight into how the skills you are learning will be used throughout your professional career

The online format of the resource ensures that you are able to practise the skills stipulated on the OSCE, rather than merely reading about them, enabling you to feel more confident during your simulated practice stations and ultimately, during the formal practical assessment.

Access to QLTS Skills Online is included in all of our three course packages as standard.

To give you an idea of what to expect, we have created a demo version of QLTS Skills Online. The demo includes one exercise per skill area. You can also download a sample chapter of the accompanying book.

Legal Skills Video Workshops – an Innovative Online Tool to Prepare for the OSCE Assessment

The Legal Skills Video Workshops is a great support tool for learning the skills required on the OSCE assessment. This innovative course feature contains a suite of more than 100 video workshops (spanning nearly 20 hours in total), and summaries with key points – check this fact sheet with a full list of the videos.

These exclusive video workshops provide practical demonstrations and comprehensive guidance so that you can reinforce and master your practical legal skills before attempting the OSCE assessment, feel more confident and know what to do, and equally importantly, what not to do, to pass. This means that you will derive greater value from the mock exams included in your course package as you will understand exactly what is required of you and avoid common errors which will detract from your overall performance.

Key benefits:

Client interviewing: the videos simulate real interviews between a solicitor and a client, covering the main topics a solicitor is likely to face in the interviewing stage of the assessment when conducting an interview with a client, including:

  • The initial stages of an interview;
  • Building rapport and dealing with emotional clients;
  • Asking questions;
  • Taking notes and dealing with documents; and
  • Closing the interview and preparing an attendance note.

Watch this sample clip on the right on Client Interviewing – Asking Questions and Dealing with Emotional Clients – Criminal Litigation – Good Role Play:

Advocacy: learn what is involved in contentious advocacy so that you can demonstrate the role and duties of an advocate in both civil and criminal courts.

Oral presentation: develop your non-contentious presentation style and gain invaluable insight on how to make a presentation to a client in the solicitor’s office on a legal issue.

Watch this sample clip on the right on Advocacy – Civil Litigation – Good Role Play:

The videos on client interviewing, advocacy and oral presentation skills include good and bad roleplay scenarios so that you can understand what is required to pass and what will lead to failure. All of these useful videos are accompanied by pre and post-commentary notes delivered by an experienced legal skills trainer.

Legal writing: develop your skills and learn from an experienced tutor with extensive experience in the legal practice, who will walk you through the most important things to focus on when you write a letter of advice or an email to your client, an internal memo or an attendance note.

This series of videos also cover the basic principles of English legal writing, such as using plain English free of jargon or ‘legalese’, punctuation, grammar, numbers, citations, and more.

A sample presentation on legal writing – writing letters – is available in the video on the right:

Legal drafting: receive guidance on drafting commonly used documents in various contexts you may be faced with during the assessment, including commercial contracts, shareholders’ and partnership agreements, limited company and LLP incorporation, board minutes, statements of case, a claim form, particulars of claim, draft orders, purchase deed, property transfer forms, first registration, defence and witness statements, a hearsay form, a will, IHT forms, oaths, and many more. The presentations will also address the right way to use precedent documents and completing forms.

A sample presentation on legal drafting – members and board resolution – is available in the video on the right:

Legal research: these videos provide a detailed walkthrough of attempting a legal research task, from understanding the parameters of the task through to a research letter of advice or memo. You will also benefit from practical and time-saving examples of how to use both LexisLibrary and Westlaw to conduct the required research across the areas of law assessed on the OSCE.

Providing invaluable research tips along the way, these videos will help you become familiar with the layout and content so you can use the two research systems effectively.

The videos cover each of the three practice areas you’ll be tested on.

A sample exercise on conducting an online legal research on LexisLibrary is available in the following video:

The Legal Skills Video Workshops also include access to summaries of key points (viewable online) which cover the main principles you need to master in the OSCE assessment (about 70 pages in total).

These videos can be watched anytime, from anywhere in the world, on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices, so there is no need to travel to a study venue or attend expensive classroom lessons. All videos have captions (English subtitles) for wider accessibility and in order to assist hearing-impaired candidates in their preparation.

The Legal Skills Video Workshops are included in the Advantage and Premium courses as standard.

Check this preview of all the videos – up to one minute of each clip is at no charge.

Mock Practice Stations with Personal Tutor Feedback

You will have the opportunity to practise online one-to-one mock stations in client interviewing and advocacy/oral presentation, with an experienced tutor/actor, who will provide feedback based on Kaplan and the SRA Marking and Moderation Policy (we advise that you carefully review this document).

For example, after attending the live interviewing mock station, under the section “Client-focused”, your tutor may mark your mock as “C”, which means: “Marginal pass: on balance, just meets the competency requirements of the assessment”. In addition, the tutor will provide you with a detailed explanation and feedback for the reasons of your grading (law and skills are weighted equally).

The mock practice stations are designed to successfully prepare you for the practical assessment and are regarded by many of our candidates as the most effective way to genuinely assess your level of knowledge, professional skills and understanding of legal practice to a level that meets the SRA assessment requirements. The mock stations will also help you turn your weaknesses into strength, improve your overall legal skills base and enhance your legal knowledge before you take the formal assessment.

During the OSCE assessment itself, the five skills will be assessed in 15 simulated stations. The nature of the assessments means that feedback from a tutor is vital and cannot be obtained by simply self-assessing your performance, reading textbooks, watching videos or even from peer feedback.

A demo mock station with tutor feedback on client interviewing is available in the following video:

Mock practice stations with personal tutor feedback are offered to candidates who sign up for either the Advantage or Premium Courses.

Do You Need to Come to the UK to Take the OSCE Course?

No – you can study anytime, anywhere: you can study for the assessment from any location in the world, without attending classroom lessons at a physical location. The course content (e.g., mock exams and suggested answers, flash cards and videos) will be available through our QLTS online training system, so that you can assess your own development and progress. The only part which needs your physical attendance is the Live Workshops in London. This element of the course is optional, although highly recommended.

Specifically tailored for working lawyers: the nature of the course promotes flexible learning. You can practise the skills required whenever it suits you – making it ideal if you work full-time and allowing you to balance the many demands for your time and attention.

Course Requirements

You must have access to the full, electronic version of both LexisLibrary and Westlaw. This is an essential component of the online legal research module and assessment. You can gain access either through your law firm, a local library or university. If none of these options is available to you, please contact us as we have made special arrangements with both LexisNexis and Westlaw to exclusively allow our candidates remote access to LexisLibrary and Westlaw content, with your PC from anywhere in the world. The arrangements provide you with the opportunity to benefit from 6 months’ access for £200 (VAT is not applicable) for each of the databases (£400 in total for LexisLibrary and Westlaw).

After your enrolment, you will be provided with unique login details to access our QLTS online training system with the course content.

The online mock practice stations with personal tutor feedback will be conducted over Skype or GoToMeeting at mutually agreed times. You must also have web camera and microphone for the interviewing and advocacy/oral mock stations.

Course Packages & Fees

We offer three packages for the OSCE preparation course. Fees vary according to the number of mock exams for self-assessment and if you wish to have mock stations with tutor feedback:

  • Basic Course (includes 50 mock exams) – £1,590
  • Advantage Course (includes 125 mock exams plus initial guidance, a customised study plan and two online mock stations with personal tutor feedback) – £1,990
  • Premium Course (includes 250 mock exams plus initial guidance, a customised study plan and four online mock stations with personal tutor feedback) – £2,390

The more mock exams for self-assessment you opt for, the better your preparedness and chances of success are. You will be tested in 15 simulated stations in the formal OSCE assessment – so make sure you select the package with the number of mock exams that is most suitable for your needs, considering your previous legal experience and knowledge of English law.

There is an additional cost of selected LPC textbooks (£150 plus delivery, payable directly to OUP). Our materials will be available online so there is no delivery fee. OSCE course fees do not include any fees payable for LexisLibrary/Westlaw access. If you are exempt from one or more of the skills, you may be entitled to a discount in your course fees.

Candidates who are registered to any of our OSCE Basic Course will have the option to upgrade their course and get access to additional 100 mock exams for self-assessment for £290.

The OSCE Live Workshops are offered for an additional charge on a one-to-one basis (£650 (4 hours)/£1,300 (8 hours)) or in small groups of 3-6 people (8 hours, £500).

How to Apply?

There are three packages available for the OSCE preparation course:

Features
OSCE Course GuideThe manual includes suggested study guide and also covers the structure, methodology and marking criteria , test administration procedures, protocols and policies
Practice area summariesThe OSCE summaries include about 200 pages, and distil the essential elements of the law and practice areas tested on the OSCE
Free periodic updates for the course materialsEven if you are not sure when you will be taking the assessment, you can still start your preparation right away and get updates to the course materials on a regular basis
A series of legal research videosThe videos provide a detailed walkthrough of attempting a legal research task, from understanding the parameters of the task through to a research letter of advice or memo, using both LexisLibrary and Westlaw legal databases
2,000+ digital flash cardsThe flash cards cover the practice areas to help you reinforce your legal knowledge and understanding of the main legal principles
1,800+ multiple choice practice questionsThe MCQs cover: business law and practical aspects, Civil Procedure Rules, contract and torts disputes, Criminal Procedure Rules, offences and defenses, conveyancing, freeholds and leaseholds, planning, finance, taxation, wills, probate, estates
OSCE practice questions Each question includes multiple exercises which are based on a single scenario/case study common to that practice area
15 English writing tasksThe purpose of the tasks is to help you improve your English writing skills and demonstrate that you are able to use appropriate, clear, precise and acceptable English
Access to QLTS Skills OnlineThis feature includes more than 60 interactive exercises covering all of the five skills, complemented by video and audio material and a 130-page accompanying textbook viewable online, ensuring that you are familiar with the various skills
Access to the 100+ Legal Skills Video WorkshopsThis innovative feature contains a suite of more than 100 video workshops, spanning nearly 20 hours in total, and summaries with key points
Initial guidance and a tailor-made study planYou will have a consultation with a tutor following which you will receive a tailor-made study plan designed specifically to meet your personal needs and requirements
 
Mock practice stations with personal tutor feedbackThe mock stations will be conducted via Skype or Facetime and be personally marked by one of our tutors, who will provide you with feedback based on the SRA marking criteria
 
 4 mock stations
(interviewing and advocacy)
Mock exams with suggested solutions for self-assessmentThese are key to your success in the assessment - the mock exams with mode answers cover all legal practice areas and skills tested on the OSCE, and will provide ample opportunity for you to deepen your legal knowledge and hone your practical skills
 50  250

Alternatively, download our OSCE course application form and return to us once completed either scanned by email or via fax + 44 (0) 207 900 2935.

If you have any questions about the OSCE preparation course, please contact us today.

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