CPQ Trainees

A new pathway

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) has been developed based on our insights into the changing skills, knowledge and behaviours that legal professionals need to demonstrate. 

As a current trainee, you are guaranteed the chance to take advantage of the benefits that the introduction of CPQ offers, should you wish to. See how you can transition to CPQ by using our transition tool or read the guidance below:


We encourage you to continue with the course of study you are on, as the current qualification pathways are being kept open according to the timetable outlined below (the "transition period"), and routes to CILEX Lawyer will still be open to you over this period:

  • July 2023 for Level 3 assessments (with a November 2023 resit session only)
  • July 2026 for Level 6 assessments (with a November 2026 resit session only)

To enable smooth transition to CPQ, if this is the choice you wish to make, please read the following guidance carefully: 

Level 3 Students

Level 6 Students

Paralegal Apprentices

Chartered Legal Executive Apprentices

The guidance is given subject to regulatory approval, and students are advised to refer back here from time to time to check for updates.


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. See here for a full list of exemptions and our CPQ Exemptions Policy.

Level 3 Students

To take advantage of the learning that CPQ offers, you will need to complete your Level 3 Certificate or Diploma by the final exam session of 2023. Once you have done so, you have the option either to continue on to Level 6 and aim to complete by 2026 or to transition to CPQ.

If you choose to transition to CPQ, you will be eligible for exemptions from individual CPQ Foundation stage modules if you have passed the following Level 3 units, or combination of units:

Level 3 units passed

CPQ Foundation stage module exemptions

Introduction to Law
& Practice

Legal Systems

Client Care Skills
and Legal Research Skills

Professional & Legal Skills

Contract Law

Contract Law

Law of Tort


Land Law and Conveyancing

Property & Private Client

If you have completed the Level 3 Diploma (including the conveyancing unit), you will receive full exemption from CPQ Foundation stage and can progress onto CPQ Advanced stage. 

If you have completed the Level 3 Diploma but not passed the conveyancing unit, you will need to complete that unit if you wish to transition directly onto CPQ Advanced stage. 

If you have completed the Level 3 Certificate or more than 5 individual level 3 units, there are bridging products (i.e. combinations of CPQ modules) available that will enable you to transition to and complete CPQ Foundation stage. You will be offered the one you are eligible for when you purchase CPQ; you will need to complete law modules in areas not covered during your Level 3 studies as well as Ethics and Professional Responsibility module 1. You will not have to complete Foundation stage Professional Experience.

If you transition from legacy qualifications directly to CPQ Advanced stage, you will still need to complete Ethics and Professional Responsibility module 1 in addition to all the other requirements of the stage.  

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Paralegal Apprentices:

If you are currently on, or have complete, a paralegal apprenticeship programme, you will have the option once you have completed your programme to transition to CPQ Foundation stage by purchasing a bridging product (i.e. combinations of CPQ modules in areas you will not have studied as part of the apprenticeship). The exemptions to CPQ Foundation stage to which you will be entitled are outlined below:

The paralegal end-point assessment (EPA) will entitle you to the following exemptions from CPQ Foundation stage: 

All pathways: 

Legal Systems

Professional and Legal Skills

Professional experience


Subject pathways:

Paralegal Apprenticeship

CPQ Foundation

Contract Law/Civil Litigation

Contract Law

Tort/Civil Litigation

Law of Tort


Introduction to Property
and Private Client



Private Client






Where your apprenticeship studies do not lead to an exemption at CPQ Foundation stage, they may nonetheless still help towards the study of the related modules at CPQ Advanced stage. 

If you are completing the CILEX Level 3 Certificate as part of your paralegal apprenticeship, please note that the final Level 3 exam dates detailed above still apply. 

Download our Paralegal Apprenticeship CPQ guide for more information

Level 6 Students

You have the opportunity to complete your Level 6 Diploma any time up until the final exam session of 2026, as detailed above. We recommend that you do this. 

On completion of Level 6 Diploma you will become a CILEX Advanced Paralegal under the new membership grades being introduced in 2022. At that point you can proceed to CILEX Lawyer by:

  • Becoming a Chartered Legal Executive and Fellow (FCILEX) using the work-based learning route overseen by CILEx Regulation, and then
  • Gaining your full practice rights either by the current portfolio route or via the new assessment-based CPD route that we are shortly to announce. 

Should you wish to transition to CPQ, you should gain exemptions from CPQ Advanced stage if you have completed any one of the following Law and corresponding Practice unit combinations: 

Level 6 Law

Level 3 or 6
Practice unit                        

CPQ Advanced stage

Contract Law/Tort

Civil Litigation

Dispute Resolution

Criminal Law

Criminal Litigation

Criminal Law & Practice

Land Law


Property & Conveyancing

Family Law

Practice of Family Law

Family Law & Practice

Law of Wills &

Probate Practice

Wills, Probate &
Private Client

Company &
Partnership Law

Employment Practice
Level 6 Practice of
Company & Partnership Law

Business & Employment

Level 6 Legal


Professional & Legal
Skills: Legal Research

Trainees registering directly on to CPQ Advanced stage will also need to complete both Ethics & Professional Responsibility modules and the Professional Experience requirement for CPQ Advanced stage before being able to progress to CPQ Professional stage.

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Chartered Legal Executive Apprentices

Chartered Legal Executive Apprentices will become CILEX Fellows and Chartered Legal Executives on completion of their programme. In order to progress to full CILEX Lawyer status, they should acquire full practice rights either by the current portfolio route or via the new assessment-based CPD route that we are shortly to announce.

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If you hold a previous CILEX qualification, please contact our customer services team directly

Check out our FAQs for more information