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25 October 2021

Understanding CPQ and CILEX legacy qualifications

The CILEX Professional Qualifications (CPQs) are a new pathway available to those seeking to gain a qualification and enter into the legal profession. Our Qualification Manager, Steven Murray, takes you through the different types of CILEX qualification and their place within the legal sector.


What are the CILEX legacy qualifications?

CILEX qualifications remain vibrant and trusted within the legal services sector and the legal profession, offering a valued and very popular pathway to a rewarding legal career. CILEX offer flexible routes to professional competency – through their Level 3 and Level 6 Diplomas in Law and Practice that deliver key skills and competencies within their relevant and current industry-based education and training. Candidates enjoy and benefit from nationally recognised and closely regulated qualifications. Now referred to as legacy qualifications with the introduction of the new and revised CILEX Professional Qualifications (CPQs), they remain an excellent and assured career relevant qualification structure for any aspiring legal professional to consider.


What are the CILEX CPQ programmes?

The CILEX CPQ have introduced three new qualifications that reflect modern day legal practice and the demands of the legal profession. The qualifications not only have a particular focus on professional practical skills (like both the legacy Level 3 and 6 professional skills units), but also a realisation of the commercial and client focused emphasis of everyday practice.

The CILEX CPQs have their foundations in work readiness and professional skills and legal ethics achieved across the three stages – all founded on the CILEX Competency Framework:

The CILEX CPQ programmes are distinct not only in their title but also their intentions. Like the legacy qualifications at Level 3 and 6, there are the embedded skills, competencies, and professional legal knowledge outcomes appropriate for those learners undertaking each of the CPQ qualifications at their particular stage.
Aside from the professional legal education and training that a learner will achieve through their studies, the learner will also become client focused – understanding the importance of not only the commercial competency but also the ethical standards of client care and service delivery.

The CILEX CPQ programmes continue to embody the principles of the CILEX legacy qualifications in that they deliver quality, recognised professional qualifications through a flexible structure – meeting the needs of both the legal sector and all CILEX learners.


CILEX Level 3

A CILEX Level 3 qualification introduces the learner to legal study and a professional consideration of the law and legal practice – This is also the approach of the new CPQ Foundation Stage. A Level 3 Diploma remains a viable and attractive prospect, with prospective learners having until November 2023 to complete it, providing they already hold a CILEX membership.

The Level 3 qualification has prescribed core subjects in order to develop and exhibit the learners’ understanding and application of key areas of legal theory and of the law in:

• Contract Law
• Criminal Law
• Land Law
• Law of Tort

From here, learners enjoy the true flexibility of the CILEX legacy qualification where they can choose to then undertake study of areas of law that they are currently employed in (as many CILEX learners are currently engaged in areas of legal services when they begin their studies) or that are areas in which they have a particular interest.

CILEX learners taking the legacy Level 3 Diploma will also undertake two professional skills units. These embedded units deliver layers of currency and vocational competence for the learner, ensuring that the qualification and, importantly, the learners’ skills sets, are relevant for a progressive, competent, and commercially aware CILEX graduate.

The essential employability skills that a learner will achieve through their accumulative achievements across their ten subject units also make learners attractive to future employers across the spectrum of professional legal services.


CPQ Foundation Stage

Learners undertaking the CPQ Foundation Stage will undertake five mandatory modules; Professional and Legal Skills, Legal Systems, Contract Law, The Law of Tort and an Introduction to Property and Private Client.

The CPQ Foundation Stage will also evidence learners’ practice competence through a Professional Experience portfolio and completion of the first of the CPQ Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules. A learner who completes the Foundation Stage will become a recognised CILEX Paralegal.


CILEX Level 6

Following completion of Level 3, legacy CILEX learners can then progress their studies and undertake the CILEX Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice. A learner who is considering studying a CILEX legacy Level 6 qualification will have until November 2026 to complete it, providing they already hold CILEX membership.

At Level 6, CILEX learners are completing their final step through the legacy qualifications to becoming a recognised and valued Chartered Legal Executive lawyer. Like the level 3 Diploma, the Level 6 qualification pathway has flexibility and choice allowing a successful candidate to qualify after two years of study. Building on the success and knowledge base of the legacy Level 3 Diploma, Level 6 learners will develop and demonstrate understanding and knowledge in three specific areas of law and practice.

Achievement of the Level 6 legacy Diploma allows the learner to evidence their ability to exercise their assessment of more complex problems, demonstrating analysis and advanced academic and legal skills.

The legacy Level 6 learner will, like the level 3 graduate, undertake two professional skills units. This means that the CILEX learner will undertake one ‘Practice unit’ plus its linked ‘Law unit’, in addition to any other 2 Law units. So, for example, a learner might undertake a study of the Practice of Family law, meaning they must take the Family law (linked) unit, plus two others that they have of their own choosing. Achieving these units and both Professional Skills units would mean that the learner on successful completion is eligible to become a member of CILEX.


CPQ Advanced Stage

Like the legacy qualification structure, a learner undertaking the CPQ Advanced stage builds upon the acquired knowledge through the CPQ Foundation stage and will undertake the second Ethics & Professional Responsibility module and a further period of professional experience. As enjoyed by learners on the legacy qualifications, the CPQs will now begin to specialise in a specific area of law. On completion of the Advanced Stage, learners will be accredited as CILEX Advanced Paralegals.


CPQ Professional Stage

Learners with an LPC will enter CPQ at Professional stage, although they may be required to complete the underpinning Advanced stage module. Those entering directly at this stage will also be required to complete both Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules.

Professional stage learners undertake just one mandatory module – Professional Skills. The module then chosen will be determined by the area in which trainees will seek to acquire their practice rights and must be underpinned by the Advanced stage module corresponding to the pathway chosen: therefore allowing learners who complete the Professional stage to demonstrate their specialist knowledge and the application of the law in specific areas of practice, as well as the ability to work independently and to high professional and ethical standards.


Can I still start or complete a legacy qualification?

CILEX legacy qualifications have a recognised, assured and nationally valued reputation and continue to prove popular amongst learners wishing to enter the legal profession. If you are already part way through your CILEX legacy studies with Law Training Centre you can complete your journey with us, as we continue to provide CILEX legacy courses. You can also complete your qualification by enrolling on individual units if you are not already studying with us.
Due to the introduction of CPQ, students wishing to complete a Level 3 qualification should have been registered as a CILEX Student Member by 31 May 2021. Despite online registration to legacy membership closing, CILEX state that they welcome inquiries and applications for CILEX Student Membership through their
customer service team.


Can I swap from a legacy qualification to CPQ?

Learners remain entitled to transition to the CPQ framework at any time during the transition period (until November 2023) and CILEX will provide details of which Level 3 units learners must complete so that this transition can be achieved – details of which can be found here.

As with their level 3 colleagues, CILEX learners on the legacy Level 6 qualifications have the right to transition to the CPQ framework at any time during the transition period (until November 2026) and CILEX will again provide details of which Level 6 units learners must complete so that this transition can be achieved – details of which can be found here.


Law Training Centre and CPQ

As an approved provider, Law Training Centre will partner CILEX in delivering the very highest standards of education, training and importantly, coaching to support each learner according to their individual needs – across both our existing CILEX legacy qualifications, and also the CPQ courses, which we look forward to introducing in early 2022.

You can sign up here to receive the latest updates on our CPQ offering.

Contact Law Training Centre today to discuss your options and how we can help you get to where you want to be!
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