If you've decided you need a more international outlook on law, you're probably aware of the QLTS qualification. The QLTS is useful for a variety of reasons, whether you're looking to relocate and practise law in the UK or simply want to enhance your legal knowledge. Unfortunately, converting to English law takes a bit more than rocking up to court with a cup of tea and a Union Jack, and you'll need to complete assessments to receive the QLTS qualification.
What is involved in the QLTS?
The QLTS is made up of two parts: a written multiple-choice exam (MCT) and a practical assessment called the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Both parts are intended to test your knowledge of UK Law practice areas in different ways.
What is the MCT?
The written aspect of the examination is made up of 180 multiple-choice questions, and you are given two hours 45 minutes to complete them all. The questions will focus on the 11 practice areas of UK law: the English and Welsh legal system and its relationship with the EU, constitutional principles and judicial review processes, knowledge of the rules of professional conduct, the frameworks of business, legal and financial services, contract law, tort law, criminal law, property law, equity and trusts and human rights.
These are areas with which you will mostly be familiar, but in relation to the country where you qualified. You'll need to learn the differences between your country and the UK.
There is no specific pass mark for the assessment as it varies from year to year, but it usually between 55 and 60%.
You will sit the exam on a computer, but you will be required to attend a test centre. There are multiple locations across the globe, so you don't have to worry about getting yourself to the UK just yet.
What is the OSCE?
Firstly, you have to have passed the MCT before you can take the OSCE. This assessment will be a test of your practical skills and will be divided into two parts.
The first part will test your interviewing and advocacy skills. Specifically, you will have to interview a client, complete an attendance note/case analysis and finally an oral presentation.
The second part will be completed on a computer, like the MCT, and you'll do it on a different day from part one. You'll be tested on your online legal research, legal reading, and legal writing.
Do I need to do both parts?
There are some exceptions which may mean you're not required to complete these two assessments to receive the QLTS qualification.
EEA, Swiss and UK qualified lawyers will have their qualifications individually assessed to decide whether or not you need to be assessed. Other international lawyers will have to complete the full assessment.
If you are an LPC graduate, you do not need to complete the MCT, but you will have to complete an exemption form to inform the SRA of this.
How many times can I take the QLTS assessments?
There is no limit to how many times you take the assessments, and you can take as long as you like to finish the whole qualification.
There is also no English language test, though you will need a high level of fluency to be able to pass the OSCE assessment.
How do I apply to take the QLTS assessments?
Kaplan is the sole provider for the QLTS, and you can apply and find out more about the assessments on their website.