CILEx believes in widening access to the legal profession, and in providing the opportunity for a CILEx legal education for as many people as possible.  It will therefore recognise legal qualifications which have been achieved through  routes outside of CILEx, provided they meet CILEx’s exemptions criteria.  This enables progression to CILEX qualifications.  

Exemptions fall into three categories:

  •  Listed Exemptions - these offer automatic exemption against one or more CILEx units or qualifications. The CILEx Exemptions Table gives details of the qualifications currently approved as listed exemptions  Listed Exemptions
  • Unlisted Exemptions  - If you hold a legal qualification which is not listed in the Exemptions Table, you can apply for an unlisted exemption  Unlisted Exemptions 
  • Institutional Exemptions - Awarding Organisations or institutions can apply for exemptions for their qualifications or for modules within their qualifications, enabling students who complete the qualification to gain exemption for the relevant CILEx units/qualifications  Institutional Exemptions

  • Institutional Exemptions Learner Applications – Learners who have achieved a qualification with institutional exemption          should follow the learner application process  Institutional Exemption Learner Application Process

  • Exemptions for Legal Services Learners - These apply to learners taking CILEx's Legal Services qualifications either in the context of the Apprenticeships or as standalone qualifications. Please see the Exemption Document for further information on how to apply.


7 Year Rule

Following the successful application for independent practice rights to the Legal Services Board, CILEx is now able to proceed with an application to remove the 7 year rule for qualifying law degrees and other qualifications. However, any change to the validity of qualifications, which enable applications to be made for exemption from the CILEx qualifications, requires approval from the following bodies: CILEx Education Standing Committee; CILEx Regulation Board and CILEx Council.

If the removal of the 7 year rule for qualifying law degrees is approved by these bodies, the change is also likely to require approval from the Legal Services Board, because this is a change of the rules governing the CILEx qualification.

CILEx anticipates that the process required to seek approval for the removal of the 7 year rule for qualifying law degrees and other qualifications may be completed as early as July 2015. However, there is a possibility that it may be delayed until the end of the year.


Customer Service Statement

CILEx will confirm eligibility for an exemption listed on the Exemptions Table within 10 working days.   For unlisted exemption applications and institutional exemption applications please allow up to 28 working days for a decision to be made. *

*Please note that these timescales are subject to receiving complete applications and may change according to the complexity of applications and the volume received at peak application times. 


Enquiries and Appeals

Enquiries relating to unsuccessful exemption applications (both personal and institutional) should be directed (within 10 working days of the date of the outcome letter) to the Head of Qualifications, who will investigate any issue and respond within 10 working days on receipt of an enquiry.  Where an applicant is still not satisfied with the response, an appeal can then be made (within 10 working days of the date of the outcome letter) to  the Head of Qualifications whose adjudication (within 10 working days of receipt of the letter of appeal) is final.


Exemptions Policy

CILEx adheres to an Exemptions Policy, which sets out its approach to exemptions and the differing circumstances where exemptions are used.