Articles on: PSQ - Police Station Qualification

PSQ Process

The Police Station Qualification applies to anyone who is a qualified solicitor with a practising certificate or a qualified barrister, who gives advice in the police station for which payment is not initially claimed from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).

The LAA will not pay for advice given unless you are registered as a Probationary Representative, or registered as an Accredited Representative under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)'s scheme. However, once you have successfully completed the PSQ, you can apply for inclusion on the Police Station Register.

There are two stages to the PSQ:

The Portfolio

Critical Incidents Test

The assessments can be undertaken in any order.

Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme

Stage 1 of the Law Society's Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) enables solicitors and barristers to apply for inclusion on local duty solicitor rotas under the LAA's Criminal Defence Service Duty Solicitor Arrangements 2001.

Stage 1 consists of two accreditations which assess the necessary police station and court skills to be a duty solicitor:

The Police Station Qualification (PSQ)
The Magistrates' Court Qualification (MCQ)

If you intend to join a duty solicitor panel, you will be expected to pass both the PSQ and the MCQ assessments and apply for membership of the CLAS within three years. You may attempt the PSQ and MCQ in any order, or simultaneously.

If you have completed the PSRAS (before qualification) or the PSA, you can apply for exemption from completing the PSQ assessments.

Updated on: 01/09/2023

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