At the end of your traineeship, usually after two years, your training contract must be discharged. This step is a vital because you will not be entitled to hold a full unrestricted practising certificate until this process has been completed.
Before you can discharge your training contract and work as a fully qualified solicitor, you must also first be admitted as a solicitor.
Applying to discharge your training contract
There are three initial steps that must be completed in order for your training contract to be successfully discharged.
- You must be admitted as a solicitor;
- All PQPRs must be fully uploaded and approved; and
- 60 hours (minimum) of required CPD for trainees must have been logged. Each required CPD line item should show, at a minimum, the type of required CPD (authorised, authorised ethics or non-authorised), the name of any authorised providers, the date of completion and the duration. The omission of any of these elements could delay the processing of the discharge.
Completing your discharge
There are different types of discharge forms. The one you will need to complete depends on whether your traineeship has been assigned, and the type of traineeship you are doing.
The forms immediately below relate to trainees who have already been admitted as a solicitor. If you have not yet applied for admission please use the form on our admission webpage.
- If you have been admitted as a solicitor and have trained with the same firm throughout your traineeship (not including secondments), please use this form.
- If you have already been admitted as a solicitor AND your traineeship was assigned, please use this form.
- If you are a non-PEAT 1 trainee or if you believe that you do not fit into the above two categories, please contact our Admissions Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the correct form.
The completed discharge should then be emailed to our Admissions Coordinator at email@example.com.
Applying for admission and and discharge at the same time
If you were not admitted during your traineeship and you wish to practise as a Scottish solicitor, you must apply for admission and discharge as one process. Details of how to do, including the relevant form are on our admission webpage.
On receipt of your discharge paperwork, your record will be checked to ensure your PQPRs and CPD for trainees is correct. We will then update your record to show that your traineeship has been discharged and any restrictions on your practising certificate will be removed. We will then send you a letter of confirmation, usually within 10 working days of receipt of your application. Where there are any issues with the recorded PQPRs or CPD for trainees or the completed discharge, this may result in a delay.
If you come to the end of your training contract and do not discharge it, you will continue to have restrictions on any practising certificate that it issued to you. This may limit what you can and cannot do as you are not yet a fully qualified solicitor, even although you have completed your two year training period.
If you already hold a restricted practising certificate, you do not need to apply for an unrestricted practising certificate. Instead, the restrictions will be removed when the discharge has been processed.
Under these circumstances, we will not process your discharge until you have been admitted. The link to information on how to apply for admission is in the paragraphs above.
If you are admitted and discharged but don't hold a practising certificate, you are not entitled to practise as a Scottish solicitor, or hold yourself out as one in any communications or correspondence. Doing so may be a criminal offence.
For any questions about the above processes please contact our Admissions Coordinator, David MacDougall, at firstname.lastname@example.org.