Assessments in the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) will be delivered online and aim to assess knowledge and skills in a way that better reflects the realities of practising law.
Each CPQ module has one assessment, with the exception of the skills modules at the Foundation and Advanced stages, which have two assessments each.
The assessments become more complex at each stage and gradually shift in emphasis from testing knowledge of the law to focusing on how trainees evaluate and respond to complex problems or change; show informed, reasoned judgements; and present solutions to a client whilst considering their needs alongside wider impact.
Foundation stage assessments will test a trainee’s fundamental awareness of the law underpinning practice on the one hand and their regulatory responsibilities on the other. Assessments will not only test recall of knowledge and understanding but will also include questions that test the trainee’s skill in analysing and applying the law, as well as evaluating and making judgements.
The Advanced stage law and practice assessments will not only test a trainee’s knowledge of the law relating to specific practice areas but also the application of the law to legal practice; it does this through a series of automated questions and a progressive case study. The case study focuses on a client from the start to the end of a case or procedure or process stage and tests a trainee’s ability to analyse the law, offer the correct advice to the client and identify risk and ethical and regulatory issues.
The Advanced stage skills module has two assessments:
Assessment one, ‘Succeeding in the Legal Environment’, can be taken in the context of Property and Conveyancing, Dispute Resolution or Criminal Law and Litigation and follows on from the progressive case study scenario introduced in the law and practice exam. This assessment has a focus on communication and drafting, as well as managing a client, risk, and ethical and regulatory responsibility.
The second assessment, ‘Legal Accounts and Legal Research’, tests both a trainee’s understanding of the CILEX accounts rules and their competence in carrying out legal research and preparing a report
Professional stage law and practice assessments are designed to mirror a working day. Two client case study scenarios will be issued to trainees as pre-reading on the morning of the exam; tasks relating to those client scenarios will be assessed in the exam in the afternoon. Those tasks include drafting of correspondence and other key documentation.
Professional stage assessments are synoptic: this means they pull together the knowledge and skills developed whilst progressing through the CPQ, from both the Foundation and Advanced stage modules. The assessments particularly focus on skills, considering the application of the knowledge learnt across the practice pathway and the critical thinking skills which follow.
The assessment of professional skills at the Professional stage will enable trainees to undertake a written project relevant to their field of practice. Drawing on learning and skills acquired through the CPQ, the module offers a choice of research areas, all focused on a problem statement or, alternatively, an area of relevance to the firm/legal department in which the trainee works.
The assessments, combined with the Professional Experience outcomes and completion of both Ethics and Professional Responsibility eLearning modules, are mandatory for those wishing to complete CPQ in its entirety and earn the title CILEX Lawyer. Completion of an Advocacy course is also a requirement to achieve CILEX Lawyer status in the litigation pathways of Dispute Resolution/Civil Litigation; Family Litigation and Criminal Litigation.
Assessments will initially be offered twice a year, in January and June.
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