Fees for sitting the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) will rise by 5% in September, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced.

In September, the fee for SQE1 will rise from £1,798 to £1,888 and from £2,766 to £2,902 for SQE2. The SRA said its contract with assessment provider Kaplan allows for an annual inflation-linked increase, and that the new fee also includes an additional charge towards the cost of enabling candidates to sit the exams in Welsh.

Minutes for last month’s SRA board meeting, which discussed the fee increase, were published today.

The minutes say the board considered feedback suggesting the delivery of SQE courses in Welsh would stimulate demand for Welsh assessments. ‘But unless and until such provision was available, very few candidates were likely to make this assessment choice,’ the minutes said.

‘The board considered the most efficient and proportionate way to fulfil the commitment to make both SQE1 and SQE2 available in Welsh as translation and provision in two languages increases costs. It concluded that, given that candidate numbers were likely to be very low, in order to contain costs and therefore limit the fee increase, candidates should give notice of their wish to be assessed in Welsh.

‘The board noted that this was also done in other testing environments. This would avoid unnecessary translation of the assessments and unnecessary costs. It also decided that only two of the four annual SQE2 sittings should be available in Welsh. It would keep this position under review.’

Following a pilot last year, SQE1 will be available to take in Welsh from January 2025.


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