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.
Law/GDL qualification route
If you have a UK LLB/QLD, or have completed a GDL/law conversion course, you can fast-track to CPQ Advanced stage through the CILEX Graduate Qualification (CGQ).
Applications for the CGQ can only be made through LawCAB. Guidance about how to make your CILEX Graduate Qualification (CGQ) application is available on our website here.
Non-graduate qualification route
You don't have to have a law degree, or even a degree, to get started on CPQ.
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 status, you would need to pass 14 assessments in total, in addition to two Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning modules. To gain membership status of Paralegal and Advanced Paralegal on completion of Foundation and Advanced stages, you would also need to complete Professional Experience at each stage. If you’re not currently working in a legal role, you can still achieve the qualifications at these levels without professional experience.
The three stages of the CPQ for the non-graduate route are outlined in more detail below.
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 to achieve CILEX Paralegal status. If you’re not working in a legal role, you can achieve the qualification and move onto the next stage without this.
Qualify as a CILEX Advanced Paralegal
CPQ Advanced stage
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 to achieve CILEX Advanced Paralegal status. If you’re not working in a legal role, you can achieve the qualification and move onto the next stage without this.
Apply: If you are a UK LLB/QLD graduate, apply through LawCAB for the CILEX Graduate Qualification which enables you to start at CPQ advanced stage.
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.
Want to know more about CPQ?
Use the links below for further information on the CPQ and how to get started