Qualifying Experience - what it means for applicants

We take a detailed look at the recent rule changes for Qualifying Experience, the related benefits and what this means for applicants

Following Legal Services Board approval, new qualifying experience requirements for admission as a Chartered Legal Executive have now come into force. We believe that these new requirements will increase accessibility and fairness for applicants, with the focus on skills and experience gained through working in legal roles, rather than requiring applicants to work a minimum number of hours per week.

Taken together, these changes provide flexibility and choice in meeting CILEx Regulation work experience requirements so that they fit in with members priorities.

Why has the work experience requirement been changed?

We were concerned that our work experience requirements needed updating in order to reflect the current working world. When consulting on the changes, we considered the types of work that individuals undertake, including employment, self-employment, working as freelance consultants/locums or in voluntary roles. The change to ‘qualifying experience’ focuses on the skills and experience developed through working in legal roles, not on employment status.

We have also broadened the definition of experience to ‘work that contributes to the provision of legal services’ and removed the requirement to complete a minimum number of hours per week.

What do we mean by qualifying experience?

Qualifying experience is work that contributes to the provision of legal services, allowing you to develop the right level of competence to become a Chartered Legal Executive or CILEX Practitioner. It also helps you to provide worked examples for your work-based learning portfolio.

Although this is not a requirement, we encourage you to let us assess whether you have sufficient qualifying experience before you formally submit an application.

What are typical examples of qualifying experience?

Tasks requiring the application of the law, legal practice or procedure include:

  • Taking instructions from clients;
  • Advising and making recommendations to clients;
  • Drafting legal documents;
  • Undertaking legal research;
  • Corresponding with the parties to a legal matter;
  • Making decisions in a legal matter based on legal principles or the rule of law; and
  • Representing clients in negotiations and submissions.

Summary of changes made to the authorisation rules

The main changes made to CILEx Regulation Application for Fellowship Rules and Practitioner Authorisation Rules are:

  • ’Qualifying employment’ changed to ‘qualifying experience’;
  • ‘Wholly legal work’ changed to ‘work that contributes to the provision of legal services’;
  • The requirement for three years’ experience changed to a total of 2,300 hours;
  • The requirement for two consecutive years qualifying employment immediately before the date of application no longer applies; and
  • The period of experience recognised after successful completion of the legal practice course or Bar training course changed from 43 weeks’ qualifying employment to 644 hours’ qualifying experience.

Relevant resources

To find out more, please visit the CILEx Regulation website:

If you have any queries on the new requirements or application process, please contact the practitioner authorisation and supervision team: applications@cilexregulation.org.uk


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