CILEX CPQ Qualification


CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) enables you to qualify as:

A CILEX Paralegal

A CILEX Advanced Paralegal

A CILEX Lawyer


CILEX, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, is the professional association and governing body for CILEX Lawyers, other legal practitioners and paralegals.

CILEX offer unique routes to a legal career and becoming a qualified lawyer without a requirement to having a law degree, although law graduates and graduates with non-law degrees can also qualify as a lawyer through the CILEX route.

CILEX are the professional membership and awarding body. You can find their website here

You will need to arrange your membership, any exemptions, CPQ stage registration and examination entry directly with CILEX and you should make sure you diarise their key dates and deadlines. It is part of your professionalism requirements that you manage these deadlines and processes.

CILEX Regulation

CILEX Regulation are the independent regulatory body of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. They authorise and regulate individual legal professionals and law firms. Their role is to protect consumers’ interests, promote high professional standards and encourage a diverse and effective legal profession.


The CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ) aims to transform the provision of legal services and to satisfy employer needs.

CPQ is the route to becoming a CILEX ParalegalCILEX Advanced Paralegal or CILEX Lawyer. It is a competency-based qualification framework, which progresses from the foundation stage, through the advanced stage, to the professional stage. Each stage combines a focus on technical expertise and practical skills with the development of the core behaviours. The qualification is underpinned by the competency framework which is core principles, core behaviours and core activities.

Principles underpin what a legal professional does and embody the CILEX code of conduct.

Behaviours describe the behaviours legal professionals should demonstrate in their activities to add value to clients.

Activities outline what legal professionals need to know and do on a day to day basis to be successful.

CPQ is the newest CILEX route to qualification and will replace the legacy qualifications over time. Anyone who became a CILEX member from the 1st June 2021 onwards will follow the CPQ qualification pathway.


Everyone, no matter which accredited learning centre they study with, must register with CILEX as a member and for their assessments and to undertake their ethics and professional responsibility course at each stage.

When studying with Brightlink you can choose to study one module at a time or more than one. Our course subscriptions are designed to take around 3.5 hours of study time per week, per module.

CPQ Foundation

CPQ Foundation

What do I need to join a course?

What do I need to study to complete the Foundation stage of CPQ?

All 5 units are mandatory unless you have exemptions.

Subject Study time in hours Brightlink subscription
Legal systems 80 6 months
Contract law 100 7 months
Tort 100 7 months
Intro to property and private client 180 12 months
Professional Skills:Legal Research 100 6 months
Professional Skills:Succeeding in a legal environment 100 6 months


What can I call myself once I’ve completed this stage of qualification?

A CILEX Paralegal

A CILEX Paralegal is someone who has completed the Foundation stage of CPQ. They are fee earners and can manage their own caseloads.

CPQ Advanced

CPQ Advanced

What do I need to join a course?

What do I need to study to complete the Advanced stage of the CPQ qualification?

Five mandatory modules

  • Ethics and professional responsibility – done with CILEx
  • Professional and legal skills
  • Dispute resolution
  • Criminal law and litigation
  • Property and conveyancing

Plus one optional module from a choice of:

  • Business and employment law
  • Family law and practice
  • Wills, probate and private client
Subject Study time in hours Brightlink subscription
Dispute resolution 180 12 months
Criminal law and practice 180 12 months
Property and conveyancing 180 12 months
Professional skills 180 12 months
Option – wills, probate and private client 180 12 months
Option – family law and practice 180 12 months
Option – business and employment law 180 12 months

You must provide evidence of applying one or more of these 6 areas of law in your professional experience. Practice rights are granted through the recording and collating of this evidence.

If you have a law degree you will enter at this advanced stage. Anyone entering at this stage must complete the Foundation stage ethics and professional responsibility.

What can I call myself once I’ve completed this stage of qualification?

A CILEx Advanced Paralegal

An Advanced Paralegal is someone who has completed Foundation and Advanced stages of the CPQ qualification. Practice subject specialisation begins here with specialist case handling in any of these areas:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Criminal law and litigation
  • Property and conveyancing
  • Business and commercial law
  • Family law
  • Wills and probate

CPQ Professional

CPQ Professional

What do I need to join a course?

What do I need to study to complete the Advanced stage of the CPQ qualification?

One mandatory module – professional skills.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Criminal litigation
  • Residential conveyancing
  • Commercial conveyancing
  • Employment law
  • Business and commercial law
  • Family litigation
  • Wills, probate and private client
  • Immigration law

The optional module selected is where the learner will get their practice rights.

Subject Study time in hours Brightlink subscription
Option – Dispute resolution 300 20 months
Option – Criminal litigation 300 20 months
Option – Residential conveyancing 300 20 months
Option – Commercial conveyancing 300 20 months
Option – Employment law and practice 300 20 months
Option – Business and commercial 300 20 months
Option – Wills, probate and private client 300 20 months
Option – Family law and litigation 300 20 months
Option – Immigration 300 20 months
Mandatory – professional skills 200 14 months


People with an LPC or BPTC or an equivalent will enter at professional stage.

If they enter at this stage, learners will need to complete both ethics and professional responsibility eLearning units, from Foundation and Advanced stages.

To achieve practice rights in a pathway learners must choose that subject area as part of their Advanced and Professional stages. This means if it is an optional subject you must choose it in both.


What can I call myself once I’ve completed this stage of qualification?

A CILEx Lawyer

A CILEx Lawyer is someone who has completed all three stages of CPQ, including compulsory ethics, professional responsibility and a minimum of 3 years relevant practical experience.

They can qualify with practice rights in at least one area of law. Specialist areas can be:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Criminal litigation
  • Residential conveyancing
  • Commercial conveyancing
  • Employment law
  • Business and commercial law
  • Family litigation
  • Wills and probate
  • Immigration law


Assessment are all online.

There are 22 assessments available in total but a learner would choose/ be mandated to do 14 of them across 12 subjects. The skills modules on the Foundation and Advanced stages each have 2 assessments. All other units have 1. In addition to those 14 assessments, learners will complete both the ethics and professional responsibility eLearning modules and the professional experience.

They become more complex at each stage of CPQ and gradually shift in emphasis from testing knowledge of the law to focusing on how to evaluate and respond to complex problems or change; show informed, reasoned judgements; and present solutions to the client whilst considering their needs alongside wider impact.

Professional experience outcomes are also assessment.

First CPQ assessments for Foundation and Advanced will be held in January 2022. First assessments for Professional will be in January 2023.

In 2022 and 2023 there will be 2 assessment opportunities. After this exams will be on demand.

Assessment content is based on assessment objectives.

The table below illustrates the relative weighting of the specific Assessment Objectives utilised across the CPQ stages. These weightings will be closely analysed on completion of our assessment trials.

Trainees Must Percent  in Foundation Stage Percent in Advanced Stage Percent in Professional Stage

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Facts and Law.
  • Processes and Procedures.
50 35 20

Analyse information and ideas and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • The appropriate law.
  • Legal practice technique, processes and procedures.
35 40 40

Interperate and evaluate to:

  • Make judgements and draw conclusions.
  • Develop and improve processes and legal procedures for the client and business.
15 25 40
Total 100 100 100

CILEX CPQ Costs and Payments

CPQ Foundation Costs

CPQ Foundation

Legal systems £250
Contract law £290
Tort £290
Introduction to property and private client £500
Professional Skills: Legal Research £250
Professional Skills: Succeeding in a legal environment £250
Foundation total cost £1830

CPQ Advanced Costs

CPQ Advanced

Dispute resolution £600
Criminal law and practice £600
Property and conveyancing £600
Professional skills-Succeeding in the Legal Environment £600
Professional skills-Using Technology to carry out Legal Research £600
Wills, probate and private client £600
Family law and practice £600
Business and employment law £600
Advanced total cost £3600

CPQ Professional Costs

CPQ Professional

Professional skills £770
Dispute resolution £1,000
Criminal litigation £1,000
Residential conveyancing £1,000
Commercial conveyancing £1,000
Employment law and practice £1,000
Business and commercial £1,000
Wills, probate and private client £1,000
Family law and litigation £1,000
Immigration law £1,000
Professional total cost £1,770

Costs and payment

There are lots of ways you can pay us

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit or debit card via PayPal
  • PayPal account

You can pay:

  • In full in advance
  • In 4 interest free instalments spread across the first 4 months of your subscription
  • With no up front payments via a loan from our finance partners Lendwise for course fees of £2000 or more. You can find more information and apply here by clicking on get started and then choosing professional qualification under loan type. Terms and conditions apply and the loan agreement is between you and Lendwise, with no involvement from Brightlink. Typical interest rates tend to range between 10 and 12 percent.

Getting started

You can get started as soon as you’re ready. Click here to send us an enquiry form about the course you’d like to study and we’ll be in touch to arrange it with you.

We’ll help you get registered with CILEX, for your membership and ethics and professionalism course and get your Brightlink study underway with access to online materials and an introduction from your tutor who will be looking forward to meeting you for an induction as soon as you’re ready.

Study CILEX CPQ with Brightlink

When you study with Brightlink you will have access to the same core materials that everyone studying with CILEX has, no matter which centre they learn with, you’ll have much more than that too, we also provide.

  • An online induction course
  • An online revision and exam preparation course
  • An online study skills guide
  • Access to Westlaw
  • A named tutor for each subject who will be available by email and video conference
  • Monthly workshops on the syllabus content and assessment objectives
  • Study skills workshops
  • Stage transition workshops
  • Revision and exam preparation workshops

When you join us to study you will be allocated a named tutor for each subject. Your tutor will contact you and invite you to a face-to-face induction via video conference. At your induction they will tell you all you need to know about working with us and our resources. They’ll ask you what you need to give your best to your study and they will share what they need from you to offer you the best support they can.

Getting Started with CILEX CPQ

The first thing that you need to do is register with CILEX at for your access to eBooks, professionalism and ethics module, any exemptions, assessments and to arrange your membership. When applying for your registration with CILEX there will be a question which asks if you already know which learning centre you would like to work with. Say yes and select Brightlink from the drop down list of accredited centres, then when your registration is completed come back to us here.

You can start to study a single unit, multiple units or a whole course at any time after your registration is complete by applying to us here . Once we receive your application we will review it and let you know if is accepted, if so we’ll take you through the enrolment process and arrange your course funding with you.

CILEX Paralegal

Accreditation and regulation to define the work of professionals in legal services. When you study the CILEX CPQ Foundation qualification you learn and practice professionalism, ethics, behaviours and activities which qualify you to call yourself a CILEX Paralegal upon successful completion.

Your Paralegal qualification will offer employers and clients a benchmark for quality work, strong values and high standards and skill levels. The term paralegal is often used as a general term for a role where the person undertaking the work is not necessarily qualified to a particular level or regulated by a professional body. CILEX have introduced a rigorous process or membership, academic learning, skills practice and demonstration and professional regulation.

You don’t need to have any legal qualifications or experience to join a CILEX Paralegal course. You will want to be working in a legal environment already, or within 6 months of beginning your paralegal course to evidence the necessary professional experience. You may find that starting a course and studying with others in the legal profession can help you get that foot in the door to a job. We have lots of opportunities for you to become a part of the Brightlink paralegal learning community.

You, your employer and your clients will benefit from:

  • Your knowledge of the legal systems, contract law, law of tort, property law, private client law and legal research.
  • Your skills to succeed in a legal environment and work well on your own, with a team, with clients and within the legal profession.
  • Your understanding of legal technology and inter personal interaction.
  • Your ability to manage your own caseload.
  • Your fee earning capability.
  • Your work readiness with effective key professional competencies.

CILEX Advanced Paralegal

This is the next stage of paralegal studies and can be a stepping stone on the way to qualification as a CILEX Lawyer.

The CPQ qualification is structured in stages, each stage building on the knowledge, skills and experience gained at the previous stage. Build on your knowledge, skills and experience and set yourself apart from other paralegals by following the Foundation course with the Advanced stage course and becoming an Advanced Paralegal.

This is the stage at which you may join the CPQ course if you are a Law Graduate or have certain exemptions from previous CILEX qualifications.

You will

  • Study dispute resolution, criminal law and litigation, legal research, more skills for legal practice and succeeding in a legal environment, property and conveyancing.
  • Have the option to study wills, probate and private client, family law and practice or business and employment law to start your subject specialisation.
  • Further your understanding of CILEX professionalism and ethics standards.
  • Practice and demonstrate a further period of professional experience which will now start to count towards your practice rights.
  • Learn and demonstrate legal knowledge and skills to a specialist level.
  • Be able to work as a specialist case handler.

CILEX Lawyer

CILEX Lawyers are different by design; the routes of entry are more flexible, the training is more practical and the professionals who progress through CPQ qualify with an enhanced skillset and a different mindset.

CILEX skills are recognised by leading employers – including businesses, other legal professionals, in-house counsel and the judiciary.

If you complete the Foundation, Advanced and Professional stages you will build up the right mix of practical experience and educational qualifications to be a CILEX Lawyer. CPQ includes professional experience, skills training, skills demonstration and academic qualifications. So you leave your qualification with the time in employment and practice rights to expand the opportunities available to you. You can practice unsupervised, become a partner, set up your own organisation or work towards a judicial application.

You may join the CPQ qualification at this stage if you have completed a law degree and legal practice course or if you have already completed the Foundation and Advanced qualification stages.

As a CILEX Lawyer you will

  • Have the expertise and confidence to face the challenges of professional practice.
  • The skills, knowledge and experience to add real value to your employer or establish your own practice and provide the best legal services to your clients.
  • Complete and evidence more professional experience in your specialist area of law.
  • Attain your practice rights in your specialist area of law.
  • Study further professional skills.
  • Choose to further the optional study you began at Advanced stage in dispute resolution, criminal litigation, residential conveyancing, commercial conveyancing, employment law and practice, business and commercial law, wills, probate and private client, family law and litigation or immigration law.

If you would like more information please complete our enquiry form

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    Click on the links below for other things you might be interested in

    Click here to check out our CILEX Legacy courses
    Click here to look at our SQE Courses
    Click here to read our Law School FAQ

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