Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills – 2017 Tech Levels (reformed)

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CILEx Tech Level (reformed)
  • England
  • Wales

This qualification is listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Tech Level category.

This qualification meets the full requirements for reformed Tech Levels, which all qualifications will have to meet for inclusion in the 2018 performance tables.

Tech Level qualifications are primarily developed for learners aged 16-19 studying either a full-time or part-time.

Tech Levels are aimed at learners with a keen interest in in a particular industry, occupation, or occupational type.

They can help provide entry into employment in a particular sector, onto an apprenticeship, or into higher education in a related vocational area.

Along with developing transferable skills required to work in a number of job roles, these qualifications are designed to equip learners with the high level specialist technical knowledge and skills to enable them to work in a specific industry.

CILEx focuses on qualifications in the legal profession, being the sole provider of the Chartered Legal Executive qualification route. 

There is a requirement for all students to undertake meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study. This encourages the development of the knowledge and skills through experience required to work as a legal assistant/junior paralegal or similar.

The CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills is primarily aimed at younger people who have already completed GCSEs, and who now want to move into a career in the legal sector.

The Level 3 Diploma can lead to three different destinations:

  • Employment – the qualification will equip learners with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake technical legal work in different types of legal organisation, including high street firms, in-house legal departments, and alternative business structures (either as a legal assistant or junior paralegal).
  • Apprenticeship – The qualification aligns with the Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Chartered Legal Executives, and for solicitors. Learners who wish to undertake an apprenticeship will have already accrued some of the important knowledge and skills that will enable them to progress in the legal sector as an apprentice.
  • Further learning – upon successful completion of the qualification, learners will be able to apply for exemptions from the CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice, which forms the first stage in the process of becoming a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer.

The Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills has been recognised by the following employers:

  • Slee Blackwell Solicitors
  • Parfitt Cresswell
  • Boys & Maughan
  • Countrywide Conveyancing Services
  • JNP Legal
  • New Law Solicitors
  • Caswell Jones
  • West Sussex County Council
  • NHS Wales

It also has recognition from the following higher education providers

  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Derby
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of South Wales

The qualification is recognised by three professional bodies:

  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • CILEx Regulation
  • The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)
Education context

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the professional association which represents more than 20,000 trainee and practising chartered legal executives. For more than 50 years, it has offered unparalleled access to a flexible career in law. It works closely with Government and the Ministry of Justice, and is recognised in England and Wales as one of the three core approved regulators of the legal profession alongside barristers and solicitors.

Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Tech Level qualifications have to demonstrate to feature in performance tables from 2016 onwards.

As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables are now not recognised.

The intention was to make reformed qualifications more rigorous and robust. As a result, they have to meet specific requirements in respect of purpose, size, recognition, content, assessment, and grading.

Between 2016 and 2018, awarding bodies have been permitted to phase in the reforms.

The Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills has been developed to meet the full requirements. This qualification is available for first teaching from September 2016.

The qualification is designed to be taught alongside other Tech Levels or A levels, and will mostly be taken in FE Colleges.

Awarding organisation
  • CILEx
Qualification code
601/7248/4 (CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills)

This qualification is made up of six mandatory units. This exceeds the required minimum for Tech Levels.

There are five formative assessments and one synoptic assessment.

Subject areas

Unit 1 – Introduction to Law and the Legal System in England and Wales.

Unit 2 – Practical Legal Skills

Unit 3 – Law of Contract  

Unit 4 – Tort Law

Unit 5 – Law of Crime

Unit 6 – Land and Property Law

  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.


The qualification overall is graded Fail, Pass, Merit, and Distinction.

Each unit is also graded Fail, Pass, Merit, and Distinction.

The grade for the overall qualification is calculated by combining the collective grade for the formative assessments with the grade for the synoptic assessment.


All assessments are externally marked and moderated.

  • The multiple choice test is 60 minutes in duration
  • The formative assessments (for Units 3, 4, 5, and 6) are 90 minutes in duration
  • The synoptic assessment is ten hours in duration; but is taken over five days under supervision.

All assessments are taken via e-assessment method.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

The grade for the overall qualification is the grade achieved by combining the collective grade for the formative assessments with the grade for the synoptic assessment.

The weighting  is:

  • formative assessments 50%
  • synoptic assessment 50%

This means that the units have the following weighting individually:

  • Unit 1 – 10%
  • Unit 2 – 50%
  • Unit 3 – 10%
  • Unit 4 – 10%
  • Unit 5 – 10%
  • Unit 6 – 10%
Resit arrangements

Learners are able to resit any of the six units.

Resits will take place during the assessment windows provided, alongside live assessments. They are not available for ‘on demand’ testing.

There are no constraints on resitting a unit. However, learners are only allowed one resit opportunity per unit. The resit will be a new task or assignment, different to the original assessment.

If the learner fails a unit twice, they are withdrawn from the qualification.

Guided/notional learning hours
The Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills has a minimum size of 360 Guided Learning hours (60 Guided Learning Hours per Unit).: 360 hours
Guided/notional learning hours notes

This provides learners with sufficient time for meaningful skills development that will equip them to follow a particular trade or profession. For comparison, the size of one A level is 360 guided learning hours.

UCAS Tariff points

CILEx Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills

Grade Points
D 48
M 32
P 16
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Tech Levels are designed to support progression to employment, an apprenticeship, or to higher education. The Level 3 Diploma in Law and Legal Skills is designed to be taken alongside other Tech Level/A level qualifications.

Progression to higher education is generally within the vocational area of the Tech Level and may be to a foundation degree.

Applicants holding reformed Tech Level qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment. They will also be required to have meaningful employer engagement that will aid in their future career/education.

Timing of assessments/results for learners


Assessments are taken within the week-long assessment windows (during November, March, and June). The exams are timetabled and cannot be taken on demand. The centre registers candidates at least one month before the assessment window (key dates and deadlines are provided to centres on accreditation). Only one exam is scheduled per day during the week of assessments.

The synoptic assessment takes place during a separate week during June and November only. The synoptic assessment will not overlap with the formative assessments.

Candidate results

Candidate results are issued on the date specified in the key dates and deadlines document (produced and issued every year). This is usually six-eight weeks after the assessment has been sat. Candidates only receive a certificate at the end of the qualification. These are usually issued in the September following the synoptic assessment (exact dates will be provided in the key dates and deadlines).

Qualification date
01 Jun 2016—30 Sep 2018
Qualification dates notes

End date given is the review date, as this qualification does not have a proposed end date at the moment.

Reporting and certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

  • A level and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
  • IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
  • Some results are not reported through ABL,this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.

View the results available through ABL

Results of this qualification are not available through ABL (Awarding Body Linkage). HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

CILEx submits information to SFA for funding purposes. CILEx also submits data to Ofqual and the Department for Education currently – headline information is sent to CCEA for Northern Ireland.

Progression information

These qualifications offer progression to higher education, an apprenticeship, or employment.

Progression to HE will probably be in the vocational area of the qualification, and may be to a foundation degree.

Additional qualifications may be needed for progression to higher education.

Tech Level qualifications are supported by at least five employers from the job sector the qualification is related to.

All students have to take part in meaningful activity involving employers in the course of their study; examples are work-placements, taking part in projects, or some of the course being taught by some-one who works in the industry.