A step towards transforming the legal profession

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) has, in part, been developed in response to the feedback from members on the challenges we know that you have experienced in having your skills and knowledge properly and consistently recognised by Regulators, employers and clients alike. At the same time, Fellows are increasingly coming up against more and more practical barriers in their day-to-day working lives when it comes to undertaking reserved activities. 

To that end, the route to authorisation, with appropriate practice rights, has been embedded into the CPQ framework, so that those emerging as CILEX Lawyers will achieve parity of opportunity with their solicitor and barrister colleagues.

What this means for CILEX members

If you are currently studying a Level 3 or Level 6 qualification (or undertaking an apprenticeship), please read the advice on the Trainees page for how you too can progress to becoming a CILEX Lawyer; this includes a handy CPQ transition tool outlining the exemptions for which you might qualify.

A new membership structure is being introduced to reflect the outcomes of each CPQ stage. 

From 1 January 2022: 

  • Associate members (ACILEXs) will be transferred to the new membership structure and be called CILEX Paralegals. Check the advice on the Trainees page about your options to continue to complete the Level 6 Diploma or transition to CPQ. 

  • Graduate Members (GCILEXs) will be transferred to the new membership structure and be called CILEX Advanced Paralegals. In order to progress to CILEX Lawyer, you should complete your journey to becoming a Fellow and then follow the advice below. 

If you are a Fellow (FCILEX) but do not possess your full practice rights (including CILEX Advocates), then our advice is to obtain them as soon as possible. There are two ways in which you may do this, via: 

  • Either the current process overseen by CILEx Regulation (CRL) 

  • Or the new assessment-based CPD option that will be announced shortly 

Only those individuals qualifying via one of these routes will be known as CILEX Lawyers, with the right to practice unsupervised by an authorised person in their specialist area. 

Fellows who have made a formal commitment to completing one of the above routes by 31 December 2023 (via the 2022 membership renewal process) may call themselves CILEX Lawyers during this transition period. To continue using this designation thereafter, they will need to have acquired their practice rights and have completed mandatory relevant CPD. 

If you are a CILEX Practitioner already, then you need do nothing. Under the new membership arrangements being introduced in 2022, you will be able to call yourself a CILEX Lawyer.

If you have a question, check out the Members section of the FAQs