Income from the Solicitors Qualifying Examination – which made headlines for the wrong reasons this year following a results fiasco – will more than double, according to a new Solicitors Regulation Authority document.

The regulator’s consultation paper on a draft business plan and budget for 2024-25 reveals SQE income of £66m – up from £30.3m in the current financial year.

Candidates currently pay £1,798 to sit SQE1 and £2,766 to sit SQE2.

Fees will rise by 5% in September. However, an SRA spokesperson told the Gazette the higher income is due to more people sitting the exam year-on-year. The 2024-25 accounts cover income from candidates who sit the exams the previous year, which means income from the September fee increase should be reflected in the SRA’s 2025-26 business plan and budget. SQE income is spent purely on assessment costs.

The consultation states that during 2024-25, the regulator will deliver a year-three evaluation of the SQE and make the exam available in the Welsh language from January.

SQE, which was introduced in 2021 as the new way to qualify as a solicitor, hit the headlines recently after the SRA and assessment provider Kaplan revealed that 175 candidates who sat SQE1 in January were wrongly told they failed due to an error in the way the results were calculated. Kaplan is covering the cost of the £250 ‘goodwill payment’ to the affected candidates and compensation.


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