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The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has named Kaplan as the official examining board for foreign lawyers looking to practice in England and Wales.
Kaplan QLTS, part of education and training provider Kaplan, has been appointed as the sole assessment organisation to provide the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) assessments following a tender exercise last month.
Managing director of Kaplan Professional Peter Anderson said: “This is a very significant deal for us and it means we’ve been given a massive vote of confidence by the SRA to be the examining board for the QLTS. This means, although we won’t be able to provide any of the training for the QLTS exams, we’ll be the only organisation who can act as the examining body.”
The SRA has also opened the test up to lawyers from a wider range of jurisdictions, compared to the previous arrangement, which gave preferential treatment to Commonwealth countries.
But the new framework, which has been undergoing revisions by the SRA for more than two years, stipulates that transferees will have to pass a basic English language test before they can go on to take the QLTS.
The work experience requirement has also been removed from the scheme and instead candidates will be expected to take practical exercises as a way of being assessed.
The revisions were originally supposed to come into force two years ago, however consultation into the amendments caused controversy for discriminating against diversity when the SRA sought to put in a requirement for re-qualifiers to gain at least one year of practice under English law.
At the time the College of Law and others from the legal profession claimed the SRA’s measures were “anti-diversity” and restricted foreign lawyers’ abilities to work in the UK.