Case Studies Validation Study for Solicitors Regulation Authority

Professional UK Evaluation and Research

The Problem

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) were changing the way that trainee solicitors qualified to join the profession, with a move to certification based on national centralised examinations.

The design of these examinations attracted much public and professional scrutiny.

SRA commissioned AlphaPlus to conduct a technical evaluation of the proposed approach to assessing solicitor competence. The work of this project was to provide a formal evidence base of the validity of the chosen approach to assessment.

The Solution

AlphaPlus was engaged to provide a full validation study to deliver evidence that the assessments represent good practice and will deliver high quality outcomes for students and the profession.

AlphaPlus initially conducted a study to provide advice on the validity of this proposed new and centralised assessment, including a discussion of its reliability and manageability. This validation study was undertaken with the limited information that was available, and was used to inform the development of the exams.

There were three main strands to this research activity, each of which were closely intertwined:

  • the logic model
  • a validation study
  • the development of a number of case studies of similar national and international professional assessment systems.

This research resulted in a completed validity framework, with claims and supporting evidence set out in full. Recommendations were also provided about the validation research required once the exams were live.

The study, as well as a subsequent consultation, was used to develop an Assessment Specification. The extensive validation study report from the project is available here. We undertook further work to look at the demand in terms of exam duration and level of content, comparing the proposed certifications with other high stakes professional assessments.

The report from this study is here.