General FAQs

Why is CILEX changing its professional qualification?

CILEX is introducing CPQ in response to the changing needs of legal businesses and organisations that employ legal professionals, in order to future-proof the workforce. CPQ is also a key part of CILEX’s strategy to elevate the profile and status of legal professionals who have taken routes other than barrister or solicitor.

How is CPQ different from the current qualifications?

CPQ is underpinned by the CILEX Professional Competency Framework, which articulates the activities and behaviours required to progress through the stages of a career in legal practice. CPQ's three stages (CPQ Foundation, CPQ Advanced and CPQ Professional) replace our legacy qualifications to provide a smoother transition in line with a trainee's progression in the workplace. CPQ focuses on a smaller number of core modules, with fewer options, that combine law and practice to create a more practical and consistent learning experience. Assessments will be delivered online.

What is the timetable for change?

CPQ Foundation and CPQ Advanced stages are being introduced in June 2021 with CPQ Professional stage following in 2022. The first assessments for CPQ Foundation and CPQ Advanced stages will be held in January 2022 and the first assessments for CPQ Professional stage will be held in January 2023.

Will somebody be able to qualify as a solicitor through CPQ?

We are in discussion with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) about potential exemptions to the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) for those people who qualify as CILEX Lawyers via CPQ.

What subject pathways are available?

Pathways are available in:
• Dispute resolution
• Criminal law and litigation
• Conveyancing
• Business and employment law
• Family law
• Probate
• Immigration
To achieve practice rights in a pathway, students must study both the CPQ Professional stage module and the CPQ Advanced stage module that underpins it.

What will the cost of CPQ be?

It will be possible to qualify as a CILEX Lawyer (i.e. complete all 3 stages of CPQ) for £12,500, including tuition through CILEX Law School. CILEX does not take responsibility for the fees charged by our Approved Training Providers. Final costs will be published well in advance of CPQ registrations opening in June 2021

How many modules are there in CPQ?

There are 22 assessed modules in total across CPQ, of which trainees are expected to study a maximum of 12: 
• CPQ Foundation stage consists of five mandatory modules
• CPQ Advanced stage consists of four mandatory modules and one optional module, which the student must select from three options
• CPQ Professional stage consists of one mandatory module and one optional module, which the student must select from nine options. The choice of module at CPQ Professional stage must be underpinned by the corresponding module at CPQ Advanced stage.
Students must also all complete two Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules delivered directly by CILEX.
Students wishing to acquire a practice right in Dispute Resolution, Family Litigation or Criminal Litigation will also be required to undertake an Advocacy Course.

How long will it take to complete each CPQ stage?

Learners will complete CPQ stages at their own pace. The time it takes to teach each stage is dependent on the timetable model of individual training providers. However, we estimate that the following timings should be possible:
• CPQ Foundation stage: 18 months to two years
• CPQ Advanced stage: 18 months to two years
• CPQ Professional stage: 12 to 18 months

I am currently studying a CILEX qualification - what should I do?

If you are currently studying a CILEX Level 3 or Level 6 qualification, you should read the guidance on the CPQ Trainees page. There is a “transition period” during which you may complete your current course of study, but there will also be opportunities to transition to CPQ if you wish to, or if you run out of time to complete the course you are on. Should you wish to transition to CPQ, your prior previous attainment will be taken into account and you will be eligible for exemptions from CPQ modules, or even whole stages.


When will CPQ be first assessed?

The first CPQ Foundation and CPQ Advanced stage assessments will be held in January 2022. The first CPQ Professional stage assessments will be held in January 2023.

How many assessments are there in the CILEX Professional Qualification?

Each module has one assessment, with the exception of the Professional Skills modules at Foundation and Advanced stages, which have two. This means that a trainee completing the whole of CPQ will sit 14 assessments, as well as completing the 2 Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning modules and Professional Experience at each CPQ stage.

How many assessment opportunities will there be annually?

We will be delivering two assessment windows in the first two years. We will review demand for subsequent years with the expectation of increasing the number of assessment opportunities over time. Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning can be completed at any time of the trainee's choosing. However, we do advise that Ethics & Professional Responsibility 1 is attempted early, as it contains important elements for the trainee to understand as they embark on training as a CILEX Paralegal, CILEX Advanced Paralegal or CILEX Lawyer.

Will assessments be online?

CPQ assessments will be delivered online and invigilated remotely. Detailed guidance will be delivered prior to each assessment session. 


As a training provider, will I be able to use CPQ to support apprenticeship programmes?

Yes. While the apprenticeship standards may undergo revision over the next few years, we are able at this time to propose ways in which CPQ may be used to deliver apprenticeship programmes once the legacy qualifications are no longer open to new entrants. The paralegal apprenticeship standard prescribes no on-programme learning, so you are free to devise a course that suits your delivery model. The paralegal end-point assessment (EPA) will allow exemptions to CPQ Foundation stage as detailed here. These exemptions can be used by apprentices who wish to continue onto the CPQ Foundation stage or onto the CLE apprenticeship. The CLE apprenticeship standard mandates the acquisition of the CILEX Level 3 and Level 6 Diploma. Since assessments for these qualifications will no longer be open to new enrolments after 31 May 2021, CPQ assessments may be used as an alternative means of obtaining these qualifications. Please speak with your CILEX account manager for further details.

As an employer, will I still be able to use my apprenticeship levy to support the training and development of my staff?

Yes, CPQ will support the delivery of apprenticeships. Please speak to your training provider about how this may be done.

I am a paralegal apprentice, how does CPQ affect me?

Your apprenticeship programme is designed to meet the requirements of the paralegal standard. There are no mandatory qualifications in the paralegal standard, and so any change to CILEX qualifications does not alter your apprenticeship. You should, however, speak to your training provider about whether you will be eligible to complete any current (i.e., non-CPQ) CILEX qualifications before exam session are no longer available – see here for more details.

I am a Chartered Legal Executive apprentice, how does CPQ affect me?

Your apprenticeship programme is designed to meet the requirements of the CLE apprenticeship standard. This standard mandates the acquisition of the CILEX Level 3 and Level 6 Diplomas. As you are currently enrolled on this programme, you will continue to use the legacy qualifications. Please discuss your progress and options with your training provider. Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will be a Chartered Legal Executive and a Fellow of CILEX. To progress to full CILEX Lawyer status, you should obtain your practice rights through the CPD route that is under development.