The Government has approved the first professional qualification specifically for paralegals.
The new BTEC in Legal Work, developed by the Institute of Paralegals, will be launched in schools and further education colleges in September. It will also be available as a distance learning course from the institute.
The courses will be government-funded following approval by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the regulatory body for publicly funded qualifications. The cost to students will be approximately £90.
Students can choose to do a BTEC Level 2, the equivalent of a GCSE, or a BTEC Level 3, the equivalent of an A-level. Additional courses and specialist modules will be introduced in 2007, including a BTEC Level 4, the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.
Employers will be able to add their own tailored modules and have their own nationally recognised qualifications.