Education and training policy

Prospective solicitors taking the traditional university route need to complete:

The Foundation programme

A Foundation programme is a degree that satisfies the Society's Foundation programme accreditation guidelines. For the time being, such degrees are exclusively LLB degrees.  However, the flexibility contained within the Foundation programme accreditation guidelines means that there is potential for variation in the form of degree undertaken.

A Foundation programme must deliver certain learning outcomes. These outcomes are divided into three areas: (i) knowledge, covering certain areas and sources of law; (ii) skills, including subject-specific skills, general transferable intellectual skills and key personal skills and (iii) values and attitudes.

Any student studying a Foundation programme degree that wishes to continue on to becoming a solicitor must achieve these outcomes for entry to the next stage on the route to becoming a solicitor - Profession Education and Training stage 1.

Professional Education and Training stage 1 (PEAT 1)

PEAT 1 is commonly known to students, universities and the profession as the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. This vocational stage is the stage of legal education where knowledge, skills, attitudes and values are learned in a simulated environment.

The PEAT 1 Outcomes that a student requires to achieve over the course of the Diploma can be found on the right hand side of this webpage.

Students undertaking PEAT 1 will have more choice and flexibility in their course and up to 50% of the course can be made up of electives.

Professional Education and Training stage 2 (PEAT 2)

PEAT 2 is known to the profession as the traineeship. This is the work-based stage of legal education where the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values introduced in the Diploma are built on and honed in a live environment. Trainees will work towards reaching the 'standard of the qualifying solicitor'.

Trainees also need to undertake trainee continuing professional development (TCPD) as a stuctured learning element of PEAT 2.

Professional Education and Training generally

PEAT is a landmark development in Scottish legal education that facilitates the development of legal skills and integrates these with legal knowledge and ethical behaviours.

PEAT comprises PEAT 1 (the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice) and PEAT 2 (the traineeship). PEAT should be regarded as a whole, with PEAT 1 and PEAT 2 forming two components of that whole.

A major change resulting from PEAT is the introduction of outcomes which apply across both PEAT 1 and PEAT 2, in relation to: professionalism; professional ethics and standards; professional communication; and business, commercial, financial and practice awareness. The two stages have never been linked in this way before and this link will provide real clarity over the course of PEAT for students, trainees, trainers, employers and the profession generally.

PEAT should therefore be viewed as a three-year process with similar learning outcomes which are continually assessed. For the first time, solicitors will know the minimum of what can be expected from a day-one trainee, as that is demonstrated by the PEAT 1 outcomes, and the minimum they can expect from a qualifying solicitor, as that is demonstrated by the PEAT 2 outcomes.