A flexible framework

The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) is a new qualification framework that sets new standards in practice-focused training and work-readiness, broadens access to legal careers and develops professionals at all levels who are equipped from the outset to add real value to your employer and clients.

CPQ is a progressive framework across three stages – CPQ Foundation, CPQ Advanced and CPQ Professional – founded on the CILEX Competency Framework. Each stage combines a focus on technical expertise and practical skills with the development of the core behaviours you’ll need to be a forward-thinking, commercially minded, adaptable professional and to really understand your clients.

CPQ elements

Each stage comprises three elements: core legal knowledge, practice and skills; ethics and professional responsibility; and professional experience. Together these elements provide a framework for developing the skills, knowledge, behaviours and experience you’ll need to practise effectively.

You can begin your CPQ journey at a point corresponding to your previous legal experience and qualifications – including taking into account any CILEX qualifications you already hold. CPQ also allows you to pause and restart your training to flex around other commitments you may have.


Your CPQ assessments will be delivered online. They are designed to assess your knowledge and skills in a way that better reflects the realities of practising law. At each stage of CPQ they will be progressively more challenging, gradually shifting in emphasis from testing knowledge to evaluating and responding to complex problems or change; showing informed, reasoned judgements; and presenting solutions to the client while considering their needs alongside wider impact. These assessments, combined with your Professional Experience outcomes and completion of both Ethics and Professional Responsibility eLearning modules, are mandatory if you wish to complete CPQ in its entirety and earn the title CILEX Lawyer.

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Ethics and professional responsibility are at the heart of the CPQ. This ensures that you have the best chance of understanding your responsibilities and developing the behaviours that will help you to respond appropriately. Our assessed eLearning modules will introduce you to relevant Codes of Practice and the kinds of ethical dilemmas that you may face in real life

You will also be assessed on your knowledge and application of ethical and professional principles through your Professional Experience outcomes and through your individual module exams.

Professional Experience

Alongside formal assessments, you will also be required to demonstrate and record your work-based competence to complete each CPQ stage successfully. This not only allows you to show how you have put your learning into practice at each stage, but it also greatly simplifies the process of collating the evidence of competence that CILEX Regulation requires in order to grant practice rights.