Expected Standard of Behaviour for SQE Candidates

Last updated: June 2021

Introduction

This document is designed to inform SQE candidates of the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of them and what happens if candidates do not maintain these standards.

General standards of behaviour

Candidates are expected to behave in a professional manner in all their dealings with Kaplan and any external agencies that are involved in delivering the SQE. This reflects the standards of honesty and integrity that the SRA and the public expect of those seeking admission as a solicitor. Expected behaviour includes:

  • treating all staff with dignity and respect
  • showing courtesy and respect for other candidates.

Candidates are also expected to act in a way which is consistent with the SRA Principles  and the Code of Conduct for Solicitors. Behaviour during an assessment which raises serious concerns about a candidate’s understanding of or ability to comply with the SRA Principles or Code of Conduct for Solicitors may be referred to the SRA for consideration as part of the assessment of a candidate’s character and suitability to be admitted as a solicitor in accordance with the SRA Assessment of Character and Suitability Rules.

Examples of the sorts of behaviour which will be referred to the SRA are where a candidate, during a SQE2 assessment task:

  • Advises a client to destroy relevant unhelpful evidence
  • Advises a client to bribe a witness
  • Behaves in a way, or advises a client to behave in a way, which unlawfully discriminates against an individual on the basis of their protected characteristics.

Where there is evidence that the conduct alleged to breach the standards of behaviour occurred, the matter will be referred to the SRA for consideration as part of the assessment of a candidate’s character and suitability to be admitted as a solicitor.

Assessment malpractice and improper conduct

Assessment malpractice is any activity carried out by a candidate which could result in either the candidate or a fellow candidate obtaining an unfair and/or undue advantage in connection with the SQE. Improper conduct refers to any disruptive activity carried out by a candidate before, during or after any assessment. Please see Regulation 13 of the SQE Assessment Regulations.

Any allegation of malpractice or improper conduct will be dealt with in accordance with Regulation 13 of the Assessment Regulations and if upheld will result in the candidate failing that assessment and normally being prohibited from sitting an SQE assessment again.

All findings of malpractice or improper conduct will be reported to the SRA and will be taken into account by the SRA in its assessment of the individual’s character and suitability upon application for admission as a solicitor.

Note: this is the text that will appear on the registration page, with links directly to the Assessment Regulations and the above Expected Standards of Behaviour, both of which will be in the Policies section of the website.

I acknowledge that I have read and hereby agree to the SQE Assessment Regulations as well as the Expected Standard of Behaviour.

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Ready to register for the SQE?

Create your personal SQE account and book your assessments.

Register for SQE 

Have you passed the SQE?

Find out what happens after passing the SQE and admission to the roll of solicitors.

Learn more