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Become a Dual-Qualified English Solicitor

Get a quick grasp on the basic elements of the QLTS assessments

An opportunity for foreign lawyers to qualify as English solicitors

Important note: the QLTS is being phased out and replaced by the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). If you have not yet passed the MCT, which is the first part of the QLTS, you must now take the SQE assessments.

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme or QLTS is a fast-track route for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales for international lawyers. The programme is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.

The QLTS assessments comprise a written examination and a practical assessment. The purpose of the assessments is to ensure that all candidates who qualify as solicitors have the knowledge, skills and ability necessary to perform their role competently and ethically.

A simple and consistent approach

The QLTS replaced the previous regime, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) exams, in September 2010. The QLTS scheme promotes much more simple and consistent approach for assessment and covers lawyers from a wider range of jurisdictions comparing to the previous QLTT.

  • EEA, Swiss and UK Qualified Lawyer applicants have their qualifications and experience individually assessed. On the basis of this assessment, the SRA decides which assessments will need to be passed.
  • All other international lawyers need to take all the assessments.

The SRA has published a statement of what all solicitors who follow the domestic route to qualification should know and be able to do at the point of qualification. This statement is described at the “Day One Outcomes”.

Using the Day One Outcomes as a starting point, all transferees are required to demonstrate that they have the equivalent knowledge and understanding of law and practice in England and Wales in the same areas as that required of individuals who qualify under the domestic route.

How are you assessed on the QLTS?

The QLTS includes two separate assessments – the MCT (a written assessment) and the OSCE (a practical assessment). The flexibility of the programme enables you to complete the assessments in a short period of time and become a dual-qualified English solicitor in just a few months.

The assessments are administered by a sole provider, Kaplan QLTS, which has been appointed by the SRA following a tender. The assessment provider is not allowed to offer training courses for the QLTS.

Two-part assessment

  • Part I – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) – the assessment tests knowledge and understanding of professional conduct, solicitors’ accounts, financial regulation, taxation, property law, business law, tort, contract, constitutional law, the English legal system, equity and trusts, human rights and EU law.
    The MCT consists of 180 multiple choice questions. The exam is divided into morning and afternoon periods of two hours and 45 minutes each, with 90 questions in each period. The pass mark is determined by the SRA after each assessment based on various criteria and is not set in advance. The MCT is delivered online and offered in a number of locations around the world (such as London, New York, Singapore, Johannesburg, Dubai, India and other cities in the UK, Europe, Asia and South America). The MCT will no longer be offered in the future. Candidates should now take the SQE.
  • Part II – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – the OSCE is divided into two parts. Part I tests interviewing and advocacy/oral presentations skills, whilst Part QLTS OSCE Part 1 FormatII tests your online legal research, legal drafting and writing skills. The OSCE tests these skills in the context of three legal practice areas: Business Law, Litigation (Criminal and Civil) and Property Law (Conveyancing, Wills and Probate).
    The OSCE is offered across several days. It is not primarily a skills assessment, and law and skills are weighted equally. In order to pass the OSCE, you must obtain the overall pass mark for the OSCE, which is set using the borderline regression method. There is no separate pass mark for Part I and Part II of the OSCE, as there is one pass mark for the OSCE as a whole.

In the MCT assessment, applicants should be able to demonstrate that they can apply their knowledge of English law in the context of scenarios of the type a solicitor might typically encounter in practice. The second part of the QLTS, the OSCE, is practical and involves, for example, simulations of solicitor/client interactions, file reviews and court-based scenarios.

Assessment rules

  • You must first pass the MCT before you can attempt the OSCE
  • There is no restriction on the number of attempts you may take at each of the two elements of the QLTS, nor a maximum period within which you must complete the entire suite of the assessments (this is subject to the introduction of the SQE in 2021 and the cut-off date to apply for admission with the SRA which is set for 31 August 2022)
  • There is no experience requirement or training to complete, nor is there an English language test to take as a pre-requisite to sit the assessments
  • Applicants are not allowed to take into the examination centre any material.

Being a 'Qualified Lawyer' in a 'Recognised Jurisdiction'

Once you have passed the QLTS assessments, you may proceed to the next step and apply to the SRA for admission as an English solicitor. To be eligible to apply for admission, you must

  • Be a Qualified Lawyer in a Recognised Jurisdiction
  • Have followed the full route to qualification in the Recognised Jurisdiction
  • Be entitled to practise as a Qualified Lawyer in your Recognised Jurisdiction
  • Be of the character and suitability to be admitted as a solicitor

You do not need to acquire any legal experience or undergo any training before taking the QLTS assessments or prior to applying for admission to the SRA. You are not required to take any English language test either, but you should ensure your standard of written, reading, spoken, and listening English is at the appropriate level.

Although you are not required to follow any formal steps in order to become eligible to complete the assessments, we strongly recommend that you ensure you are, potentially, eligible to become a solicitor via the QLTS route, before you start the process.

If your country of qualification and professional title appear on the list below, you are considered as a Qualified Lawyer in a Recognised Jurisdiction for the purpose of the QLTS.

If your jurisdiction does not appear on this list, you are not currently eligible to apply. You must contact your home bar association or law society to ask them to apply to the SRA for recognition.

Eligibility check is made at the point of admission

The eligibility check will be made at the point you apply to the SRA for admission—and will not be a retrospective check (i.e., you don’t have to be a qualified lawyer at the time you sit the assessments).

After completion of the QLTS assessments you will have to provide evidence at the point of admission that you are fully qualified and hold the relevant professional title within your recognised jurisdiction. You will also need to satisfy the SRA as to your character and suitability to be a solicitor before the SRA admits you to the Roll of Solicitors.

Questions about Your eligibility?

If you have any doubts (or criminal record, disciplinary actions or other issues related to your background), you can contact the SRA for an early check and voluntarily request your character and suitability be assessed prior to sitting the assessments.

For any questions relating to your eligibility or to request an early assessment, please contact the SRA:
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Information Services,
The Cube, 199 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RN, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 121 329 6800

Taking the assessments

The SRA has appointed a sole assessment organisation to administer the assessments—Kaplan QLTS. You can contact Kaplan to register and book your place on an assessment at any time of the year.

At this point, you can only book a seat for the OSCE if you have passed the MCT. Otherwise, you must take the SQE assessments to qualify as an English solicitor.

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