Studying CPQ

Below are answers to some common questions people have asked about studying CPQ.

If you need further information about CPQ, please get in touch here.

There are 22 assessed modules in total across CPQ, of which trainees are expected to study a maximum of 12:
• CPQ Foundation stage consists of five mandatory modules
• CPQ Advanced stage consists of four mandatory modules and one optional module, which the student must select from three options
• CPQ Professional stage consists of one mandatory module and one optional module, which the student must select from nine options.

The choice of module at CPQ Professional stage must be underpinned by the corresponding module at CPQ Advanced stage.

Students must also all complete two Ethics and Professional Responsibility e-learning modules delivered directly by CILEX.

Students wishing to acquire a practice right in Dispute Resolution, Family Litigation or Criminal Litigation will also be required to undertake an Advocacy Course.

Pathways are available in:
• Dispute resolution
• Criminal law and litigation
• Conveyancing
• Business and employment law
• Family law
• Probate
• Immigration

To achieve practice rights in a pathway, students must study both the CPQ Professional stage module and the CPQ Advanced stage module that underpins it.

Each module has one assessment, with the exception of the Professional Skills modules at Foundation and Advanced stages, which have two. This means that a trainee completing the whole of CPQ will sit 14 assessments, as well as completing the two Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning modules and Professional Experience at each CPQ stage.

Learners will complete CPQ stages at their own pace. The time it takes to teach each stage is dependent on the delivery model of individual training providers. However, we estimate that the following timings should be possible:
• CPQ Foundation stage: 18 months to two years
• CPQ Advanced stage: 18 months to two years
• CPQ Professional stage: 12 to 18 months.

The first CPQ Foundation and CPQ Advanced stage assessments will be held in January 2022. The first CPQ Professional stage assessments will be held in January 2023.

We will be delivering three assessment windows in the first two years. We will review demand for subsequent years with the expectation of increasing the number of assessment opportunities over time. Ethics & Professional Responsibility e-learning can be completed at any time of the trainee’s choosing. However, we do advise that Ethics & Professional Responsibility 1 is attempted early, as it contains important elements for the trainee to understand as they embark on training as a CILEX Paralegal, CILEX Advanced Paralegal or CILEX Lawyer.

CPQ is underpinned by the CILEX Professional Competency Framework, which articulates the activities and behaviours required to progress through the stages of a career in legal practice. CPQ’s three stages (CPQ Foundation, CPQ Advanced and CPQ Professional) provide a smoother, progressive learning experience and a transition between stages that is in line with a trainee’s progression in the workplace. CPQ focuses on a smaller number of core modules, with fewer options, that each combine law and practice to create a more practical and consistent learning experience. Assessments will be delivered online. And because CPQ provides a different kind of outcome, we think it’s important that professionals who qualify through this route are recognised with a distinct title. By introducing the titles CILEX Lawyer, CILEX Paralegal and CILEX Advanced Paralegal, that can be used by those successfully completing the relevant stages, we’re making it easier for clients – businesses and individuals – to identify and access appropriately qualified legal professionals. And we’re making it easier for our members to signal their expertise and qualifications, broadening access to a career in the law alongside the other branches of the legal profession.

We are in discussion with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) about potential exemptions to the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) for those people who qualify as  CILEX Lawyers  via CPQ. CILEX Lawyers will be exempt from the Qualifying Work Experience requirement.

CILEX Lawyer status will be awarded by CILEX to those current members who either have or will have completed professional development and demonstrated their competence against the additional regulatory standards required to obtain practice rights authorisation. The CILEX Lawyer brand acts as a kite mark reflecting the standard required of our members.

CILEX Lawyers are able to undertake one or more of the reserved/regulated legal activities without supervision as a result of holding independent practice rights in their specialist area. It is this authorisation that establishes CILEX Lawyers as having parity with solicitors.

It will be possible to qualify as a CILEX Lawyer i.e., complete all three stages of CPQ, for £12,500, including tuition through CILEX Law School. Other Approved Training Providers will also deliver CPQ courses, but CILEX does not take responsibility for the fees that they may charge. Final costs will be published well in advance of CPQ registrations opening in June 2021.

Studying with CILEX Law School

Our Customer Service Team and Academic Team field all kinds of questions from current and prospective students. This page answers common questions about CILEX Law School and the courses we offer.

Our offer stands out from the crowd due to the broad range of learning materials and the opportunity to submit work to tutors for marking. Below are some frequently asked questions we get in relation to what we offer.

If you need further information, please get in touch here.

We offer flexible distance learning courses which allow you to study at your own pace, around your existing work and family commitments. Our non-apprenticeship CILEX courses allow you to enrol at any time. Apprenticeships generally start in January and September each year, but each vacancy is advertised by the employer according to when they want the apprentice to start.


You will need access to the internet to use your online Hub. All our courses require access to Microsoft Word or similar word processing software.

If you don’t have a computer, consider studying from work (with permission) or at the library.

As a CLS student you have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), the Hub, and its course materials and forums.

You can access the Hub by clicking on the ‘Hub’ tab at the top of the page. You will need to have your log-in details to hand.

Find out more

What is studying with CILEX Law School like? Janice Isaac shares her experience.