In order to commence a traineeship you will have to apply to us for an entrance certificate, and in order to get that entrance certificate you will normally have had to pass the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. However your Diploma will only be accepted by us for a specific period of time after it has been granted.
Our Admissions Regulations state that a traineeship must commence within five years from the 1 January in the year after you gained the Diploma. For example, if you were awarded the Diploma in June 2017, you have until 31 December 2022 to start a traineeship. The rule is set out in Regulation 6(3) of the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
If you have not commenced a traineeship within this five-and-a-half-year period, you can apply to the Admissions Sub-Committee for a waiver of this rule.
We have prepared advice and information about applying for a waiver and you should read it before making an application.
An application should consist of an email or letter setting out or attaching:
- your past and current employment circumstances (a CV will normally suffice - if you do not attach your CV, please ensure your employment history since your Diploma was awarded is clearly described in your email or letter);
- your efforts, past and continuing, to obtain a traineeship;
- any other additional relevant information (e.g. a log of training, testimonials); and
- a PEAT 1 outcomes mapping document. We have produced a template, which you must complete and submit with your application. Once completed, this document should map your work experience, both paid and voluntary, and CPD type training to the PEAT 1 Outcomes. Guidance for completing the mapping template is below. In deciding what to put into the mapping template, applicants will want to carefully consider section 5 of the advice.
- The final length of a completed mapping will vary, as applicants’ experiences will vary. However it is possible to submit an acceptable mapping of not more than 200 words per outcome and not more than 5,000 to 8,000 words in total.
- The more specific the detail you can give, the better the Admissions Sub-Committee will be able to understand your experience.
- Some outcomes may be able to be grouped, and evidence provided for a particular group.
- Whilst often preferable, direct experience is not necessarily required for each outcome; transferable skills and experience may sufficiently evidence an applicant keeping a given outcome up to date.
- It may be that some outcomes are hard to evidence and that is not unusual. In such instances, it is better to acknowledge that than simply to state that you are confident you have maintained knowledge or skills without providing concrete evidence.
Full details of the criteria that the Committee will consider when deciding whether to grant a waiver of Regulation 6 (3) are contained in section 5 of the advice. In summary the criteria are:
- Whether your work experience supports the maintenance of the PEAT 1 outcomes.
- The currency of your relevant experience.
- Whether your work experience was under the supervision of a Scottish solicitor or similarly regulated legal professional.
- The type and level of your work experience.
- The level of responsibility you have been given since graduating with the Diploma.
- Whether your experience has been gained in law applicable in Scotland.
- Whether your experience was gained in areas of law which are covered by mandatory outcomes of PEAT 1.
- The nature, extent and relevance of any CPD-style training undertaken.
- Any other relevant experience and training.
When providing supporting evidence for their application and, in particular, when completing the PEAT 1 outcomes mapping template, applicants should have these criteria in mind.