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CILEx Law School Student Survey


The Paralegal Apprenticeship

This is a new apprenticeship which is replacing the Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services.

What is the content of the Paralegal Apprenticeship?

This apprenticeship has been developed as part of the government's Trailblazer initiative and the paralegal apprenticeship standard is available  on the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills website. For the knowledge element, all apprentices will study, and sit CILEx assessments in, the following CILEx Level 3 units:  

  • Unit 1 Introduction to Law and Practice
  • Unit 16 Client Care Skills
  • Unit 17 Legal Research Skills

Additionally they will acquire knowledge of law and practice appropriate to their job roles, on which they will be assessed at the end of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices will compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate how they meet the paralegal standard. They will have a short interview about how they met the paralegal standard in the final few months of the paralegal apprenticeship. It will be with CILEx, as the end point assessor.

How will the knowledge and skills be delivered and assessed?

One of the key differences is that the current scheme assesses performance throughout the period of the apprenticeship, whereas the new scheme requires assessment at the end of the apprenticeship to ensure that the standards have been met.

Currently, knowledge and skills are tested separately, with achievements being gained throughout the duration of the scheme. For example, knowledge is tested by sitting relevant CILEx Level 3 exams in law and practice at exam sessions in the course of the apprenticeship. Under the new scheme, learning providers will carry out a final assessment which will test all the requirements of the apprenticeship standard and lead to a graded result. There will be two parts to the assessment - the Portfolio and Scenarios.

  • The Portfolio: evidence gathered during the apprenticeship to demonstrate knowledge and competence gained will be compiled and signed off in the final four months of the apprenticeship. 
  • Scenarios: The learners will sit two 1.5 hour contextualised scenario assessments under supervision. The first scenario will test the learner’s problem solving through a series of MCQs. The questions will test knowledge of the English Legal System, and the chosen area of law and practice. The second scenario will test the learner’s drafting skills. The test will include MCQs, short answer questions and drafting exercises. The scenarios will include sufficient coverage (75%) of the relevant CILEx law and practice unit specifications to obtain exemption from the corresponding CILEx units.

To prepare for the knowledge element of the end-point assessment, learners will attempt formative assessments (open book study exercises) during the course of the programme, with marking and feedback provided by our tutors. 

On the competence element, our Legal Assessors and Trainers will guide apprentices on the completion of their competence portfolio.

Please note that learners will need to show evidence of having achieved GCSE-level Maths and English prior to undertaking their end point assessment.

How does CILEx Law School support apprentices?

Face-to-face or interactive webinar induction 
Schemes of work with targets broken down across the period of the programme
Tracking of progress and reporting to employer
Competence element
Regular visits by our legally-qualified assessors
Contact by phone/email between visits
On-line system to record evidence to support achievement of Paralegal Standard
Knowledge and technical know-how
Course manual specially written to deliver the syllabus
Interactive webinars and/or face to face teaching support to teach law and professional skills
“The Student Area” virtual learning environment giving access to resources for all units in one location through personalised login
Webcasts on law topics
Formative study exercises with feedback from subject specialists
Revision materials where technical units lead to a timed assessment
Face-to-face or webinar revision sessions with specialist tutors prior to exams
Academic study assistance during office hours
Professional skills units
Face-to-face workshops/webinars
Marked mock assignments to develop skills

Costs and fundingEuropean Union Social Fund

The minimum wage for an apprentice aged under 22 in the first year of the apprenticechip is £3.50/hour, but employers in the legal services sector will usually pay significantly more than that. The funding rate payable for the delivery of this apprenticeship has been set by the government at £9,000. If you are a levy payer this can be allocated from your levy. If you are not a levy payer then the government will pay 90% of this amount and you will pay the remaining 10%. Incentive payments of £1,000 are payable if you recruit an under 19 year old. See the table below for funding and allocation of the levy for this apprenticeship.  

Fewer than 50 employees where the apprentice is 16-18 years old No cost to employer – government pays all. Incentive payment of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.
For non-levy paying employers (payroll less than £3m). 10% of capped cost = £900.
Incentive payment back of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.
For levy-paying employers (payroll greater than £3m) £9,000 comes out of the levy pot. Any additional paralegal apprentices taken on once levy pot, plus government 10% top up, used, would then cost the employer only £900 per apprentice.
Incentive payment back of £1,000 for taking on an under 19 year old.



Apprentices who complete this programme already have five CILEx Level 3 units and wil be able to progress through further training to qualify as Chartered Legal Executives or to move into the Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship.


What other Trailblazer apprenticeships are available for the legal sector?

Trailblazer apprenticeship standards have also been developed for solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeships. CILEx Law School is offering the solicitor apprenticeship in partnership with City, University of London. The paralegal apprenticeship affords exemptions from the first year of the Chartered Legal Executive apprenticeship, and from five Level 3 units in the Chartered Legal Executive vocational training route

How do I start the process?


If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Jenny Pelling, our Director of Business and Apprenticeships, on 01234 844326 or email


If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship, please visit our vacancies page or contact