image of a spiky plant on a desk


CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ)


The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) leads to qualification as a CILEX Paralegal, CILEX Advanced Paralegal and/or a CILEX Lawyer, depending on the career route you wish to follow

What is the CILEX qualification?

CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) offers another route into the legal profession for those interested in qualifying in law.  The CPQ is a progressive training programme which enables candidates to achieve qualification as a CILEX Paralegal, a CILEX Advanced Paralegal or a CILEX Lawyer. 

So what makes it different?

Specialise from the start:  With the opportunity to specialise early in your studies, you’ll focus on the areas of law that are most relevant to your work, providing more value to your clients and business.

Practical training:  You will gain the skills and behaviours employers are looking for, giving you a head start in your career.

Flexible and accessible: Routes to entry are flexible, so you begin your studies at a point relevant to your previous qualifications and/or legal experience. You can start as a school leaver, with a law degree, or with some training and work experience behind you.  Check which entry point would be suitable for you.


How does it work?

Depending on how far you wish to take your qualification, there are three stages to the CPQ. Each stage is made up of modules, and you need to pass the assessment(s) for each module in order to complete the stage.  

If you want to complete the entire CPQ, with a view to gaining CILEX Lawyer qualification, you would need to pass 14 assessments in total, in addition to two Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning modules and Professional Experience at each CPQ stage.

The three stages of the CPQ are outlined in more detail below. 

Stage 1

Qualify as a CILEX Paralegal

CPQ Foundation stage

12-18 months - suitable for school leavers, non-law graduates and professionals

Complete five mandatory modules, which are:

  • Professional Legal Skills
  • Legal Systems
  • Contract Law
  • The Law of Tort
  • Introduction to Property and Private Client

Plus complete the first of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules.

Trainees will also need to evidence their competence via their Professional Experience portfolio.

Stage 2

Qualify as a CILEX Advanced Paralegal

CPQ Advanced stage (inc. Graduate Entry route)

12-18 months - suitable for UK law graduates and CILEX Paralegals:

Approximate hours of study for the Graduate route are:
24 months = 6 hours per week
18 months = 8 hours per week
12 months = 10 hours per week

These are guideline figures only and are likely to be less if someone is working in a legal environment.

Complete and pass assessments in four mandatory modules:

  • Professional and Legal Skills
  • Dispute resolution
  • Criminal Law and Litigation
  • Property and Conveyancing

Plus at least one of the following optional modules:

  • Business and Employment Law
  • Family Law and Practice
  • Wills, Probate and Private Client

And complete the second of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules (having also taken the first).

Trainees will also need to evidence their competence via their Professional Experience portfolio.

Stage 3

Qualify as a CILEX Lawyer

CPQ Professional stage

Approx. 12 Months - suitable for Trainee CILEX Lawyers, CILEX Advanced Paralegals, LPC, BPTC or equivalent

Complete one mandatory Professional Skills module which is an assignment, which you will work on alongside one further module, the choice of which is determined by the area in which you want to specialise and acquire practice rights:

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Residential Conveyancing
  • Commercial Conveyancing
  • Employment Law
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Family Litigation
  • Wills, Probate and Private Client
  • Immigration Law

And, if you have not already taken them in Stages 1 and 2 depending on your CPQ entry point, you will also have to complete both Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules. If you already have an LPC, you can start the CPQ at the third stage, but you may be required to complete the underpinning Advanced stage module.

Trainees will need to evidence their competence via their Professional Experience portfolio, which will include a minimum of three years’ relevant practical experience. Your professional competence will also be assessed by CILEX Regulation, to enable you to be authorised to practice in a specialist area of law.

How much will it cost?

The Graduate Entry route to achieve CILEX Lawyer status costs from around £6,700 (depending on exemptions and advocacy) and will be paid in stages as you progress through the qualification.

For those starting at CPQ Foundation stage, looking to complete all three stages to achieve CILEX Lawyer status, the cost will be £12,500 (based on studying with CILEX Law School - other training providers are available and may have different pricing).

Want to know more about CPQ?

Use the links below for further information on the CPQ and how to get started