The purpose of the Written Exam is to assess your understanding of the representative’s role in the police station and the skills that are needed to perform that role effectively. Your knowledge and understanding of criminal law, evidence, practice and procedure will also be assessed.

Upon registration, candidate are issued with a copy of our regulations which provide detailed guidance on format, content and assessment criteria.

The Written Exam must be passed prior to undertaking of Part A of the Portfolio.


The Legal Aid Agency provides exemptions from the Written Exam; these are available to:

- Those who have completed the Legal Practice Course
- Fellows or members of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) who have passed the Institute’s Level 4 Professional Higher Diploma in Law (previously known as the Part 2 examinations) which must include the Criminal Law and Litigation papers
- Those who have completed the Bar Professional Training Course

If you are unsure of your exemption you are advised to contact the Legal Aid Agency.

Assessment Format

The Written Exam is a two hour assessment which consists of five questions. Each question is worth 25 marks. You will be required to attempt four questions of the five questions set. If a fifth question is answered, it will not be marked. Questions can be answered in any order. In order to pass the Written Exam you must score at least 50%.

Exams are held every month, for locations and dates please download our timetable.

Examination Topics

The Written Exam will assess your understanding of, and ability to, explain to a client relevant law and procedures drawn from the major areas listed below:

Substantive criminal law
The treatment of persons in custody
The conduct of police interviews
The evidential significance of facts or of things said or not said
Police powers outside the police station
The criminal process

The assessment is 'open book'. You may take text books, printed versions of books/guidelines and on-line materials purchased from Datalaw into the assessment. These support materials can be highlighted and/or underlined but cannot be annotated.

Due to the time restraints, candidates are advised not to spend too much valuable time on detailed or lengthy research.

Suggested Reading

The following books have been recommended by our candidates:

‘Blackstone’s Police Operational Handbook’ - Ian Bridges, Fraser Sampson and Police National Legal Database (PNLD)
‘Defending Suspects at Police Stations: The Practitioner’s Guide to Advice and Representation’ – Ed Cape
‘Advising a Suspect at the Police Station’ – Anthony Edwards
‘Police Station Skills for Legal Advisors’ – Eric Shepherd
‘Police Station Advisor’s Index’ – Brian Spiro and Stephen Bird

You will be assessed against the SRA’s Standards of Competence for the Accreditation of Solicitors and Solicitors’ Representatives Advising at the Police Station. These can be viewed at:

Candidates would also be well advised to study the Law Society Criminal Practitioners Newsletter Special Edition No. 63 by Professor Ed Cape. This can be viewed at:

Have you found any books/materials not listed here that were useful during your accreditation? Please let us know so we can add to this list.
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