Jun 12, 2023

Written By Sophie Wilson

A Step by Step Guide to Documenting Your Qualifying Work Experience for the SQE

Jun 12, 2023

Written By Sophie Wilson

According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), all candidates looking to qualify through the SQE route will need to complete two years full time (or equivalent) qualifying work experience (QWE). QWE can be any type of legal work: paralegal work, law clinic work, volunteering and work placements. But, once you have completed QWE, how do you document it?

Documenting QWE

The first step is the template provided on the SRA website. This template asks you to fill in the name of the organisation you have worked at, the dates you worked there, and the time it counts towards the overall QWE requirement. This is a good way to keep a personal record of the type of work you are completing, and to retain memories about the different stages of your experience- what you did well, what you need to improve on etc.

Following this, there is a section regarding competencies. This asks you how you showed each competency, for example acting honestly, and applying critical thinking. You should describe the situation that you showed this in, provide evidence of this, and explain what you learned from this situation. There are four areas for you to complete, which are:

- Ethics, professionalism and judgement

- Technical legal practice

- Working with other people

- Managing yourself and your work

This template is not something you need to submit, but something to keep as a record for yourself. The SRA also advises that if you are undertaking your experience at an organisation that has their own system of recording the experience then to follow their process.

Proving QWE to SRA

Through MySRA, you need to complete the online form. Using the template that you completed throughout your experience, you should be able to fill in the various details. The form will ask you to add:

- Name of the organisation you completed your QWE with

- The type of experience- was it paid, voluntary, an apprenticeship

- Details- this includes the start and end day, whether you worked full or part-time and the number of months and weeks you worked there for

- Solicitor confirmation- this needs the name of the solicitor that is confirming this experience and their SRA number.

Getting your experience signed off

Your QWE can be signed off by a solicitor or a compliance officer for legal practice. The solicitor needs to be on the SRA roll (so qualified to practise in England and Wales) but does not need to have a practising certificate.

The person that signs off the work experience must have reviewed your work. This does not need to be through direct supervision of your work experience, but can be done through talking with you about the template you have filled in and understanding what work you have completed. They should also have received feedback from the person who supervised you.