Foreign qualified lawyers seeking to practise in England and Wales may have to pass an English language test under proposals to be considered by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority board this week.

The SRA’s education and training committee has put forward the recommendation as an amendment to its original consultation paper published in September 2008.

If the amendment is accepted, all international applicants will be required to pass an English language test before being eligible to undertake the new Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme assessments.

The committee said the test would be a cost-effective filter for those whose English is not up to the required standard, and enable the examiners to concentrate on technical aspects of the assessment.

The committee has also proposed that professional values, attitudes and ethics should be tested through practical assessment rather than through interviews.