Decision on super exam for lawyers delayed

Hayley Kirton
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The new exam will now not come in until at least 2019-20 (Source: Getty)

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today delayed making a decision on the introduction of a so-called super exam.

While the SRA maintained in its announcement that it still believed there was a strong case for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, it has extended its timetable to work out some of the detail.

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"I think the case for a form of centralised assessment is strong," said Paul Philip, SRA chief executive. "It addresses the problem that, currently, qualifications are not comparable – multiple courses and exams mean that standards can vary significantly and there is a lack of transparency.

"Any new assessment needs to be fair and consistent and ensure that new solicitors can meet the high standards that the public and employers expect."

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The extended consultation period now means that the new exam will not be in place before the 2019-20 academic year, while the original timetable could have seen the revamped qualification introduced in 2018-19.

The new exam proposals, which would have seen the examination process for solicitors become more centralised instead of being governed and run by a variety of institutions, have proved controversial, with universities and other academics being particularly opposed to the idea and many demanding more detail on how the exam would work in practice.

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