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Qualifying Session Waivers & Modifications

The Inns have agreed that the process and criteria below are applicable when considering applications to waive or modify Qualifying Sessions or waive the requirement to attend Call Ceremonies. The requirement to undertake Qualifying Sessions and attend Call Ceremonies applies to all candidates for Call, including transferring lawyers, except those seeking temporary Call.

Waivers and Modification of the Requirement to Attend Qualifying Sessions and Call Ceremonies

Inns of Court Protocol

1. The Inns have agreed that the process and criteria below are applicable when considering applications to waive or modify Qualifying Sessions or waive the requirement to attend Call Ceremonies, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, the Qualifying Sessions Framework and the Bar Qualification Manual. The requirement to undertake Qualifying Sessions and attend Call Ceremonies applies to all candidates for Call, including transferring lawyers, except those seeking temporary Call.

Waivers for Student Members & Transferring Lawyers
2. A waiver will remove the requirement to attend one or more Qualifying Sessions and/or the Call Ceremony.

3. Qualifying Session waiver applications will not normally be granted where there are further opportunities to attend Qualifying Sessions, unless paragraph 4 applies.

Waivers for Transferring Lawyers Only
4. Transferring lawyers who believe their previous experience means they have obtained the requisite level of skill and/or knowledge required in one or more of the Qualifying Session themes as set out in the Qualifying Session Framework may apply to have attendance at Qualifying Sessions related to those themes waived.

Modification
5. A modification will alter the requirements for successfully completing a Qualifying Session that was attended by the applicant. For example, to disregard partial attendance/late arrival at a Qualifying Session or treat as within the time limit a Qualifying Session that was completed outside the time limit (ordinarily to be completed within the 5 years prior to the date of Call).

6. When deciding whether to grant a request for modification in the event of partial attendance/late arrival consideration will be given as to whether the applicant has been able to take part in the substance of the Qualifying Session and whether therefore it has been possible for the learning outcomes to have been met. If an event contains a number of Qualifying Sessions (such as a residential weekend) the number of Qualifying Sessions awarded may be reduced proportionately to the outcomes not met.

7. When deciding whether to treat Qualifying Sessions falling outside the time limit as within the time limit consideration will be given to a range of factors including, but not limited to, how long outside the time limit the Qualifying Sessions are, how many of the Qualifying Sessions were completed within the time limit, and whether Qualifying Session/s are outside the time limit due to factors beyond the applicant’s control.

Applications
8. Waivers and modifications will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and when supported by documentary evidence.

9. Applications for waiver or modification are to be made using the form prescribed by the Inns for consideration by the Nominated Officer of the applicant’s Inn.

10. Appeal against the Nominated Officer’s decision will be made to the Treasurer of the applicant’s Inn or their representative(s). The decision of the Treasurer or their representative(s) will be final.

11. Normally consideration will only be given to waiving or modifying a maximum of two Qualifying Sessions.

12. Examples of exceptional circumstances are set out below: (the table is not exhaustive).

Event Evidence Required
a. Severe transport disruption National news report; travel document etc.
b. Medical condition (self or dependent) Doctor’s certificate or supporting statement
c. Bereavement Supporting document/statement
d. International visa/travel difficulties Supporting document/statement
e. Other compassionate reason Supporting statement

13. Inns may request further information in support of the waiver or modification application.

14. Applicants may be required to attend the Inn to explain why they seek a waiver or modification.

15. In cases where requests for waiver or modification are not granted the Inn will consider refunding the cost of the event to the applicant.

Application and Decision-Making Process at Lincoln’s Inn

Applicants for waivers or modifications will be required to complete a prescribed form. To simplify the forms, we have tailored them to the type of application. Therefore, there are four forms as detailed in the drop down menus below.

1. Application for Waiver – Student Members
This form should be used by Student Members who wish to apply to be exempted from attending one or more Qualifying Session and / or the Call Ceremony.

2. Application for Waiver – Transferring Lawyer
This form should be used by Student Members who are Transferring Lawyers and who wish to apply to be exempted from attending one or more Qualifying Session and / or the Call Ceremony and / or Qualifying Sessions in a particular theme/s because of their previous experience.

3. Application for Modification – Attendance
This form should be used by all Student Members who wish to apply for a modification in the event of partial attendance/late arrival.

4. Application for Modification – Extension of Time Limits
This form should be used by all Student Members who wish to apply to treat as within the time limit a Qualifying Session that was completed outside the time limit.

Applications for Waivers – All Student Members

1. Applications must be sent to the Registrar at Registry@lincolnsinn.org.uk.
2. Applications must be accompanied by supporting documents.
3. The Registrar will make an initial assessment to ensure that the application demonstrates potentially exceptional circumstances and sufficient evidence.
4. The Registrar will periodically but no less than once per month send applications for waivers to a panel convened by the Pre-Call Education Committee for this purpose. The next request to the panel will be sent on 24th March. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 19th March.
5. The panel will provide the Registrar with their decision which will then be communicated to the applicant. The panel may request further information or a meeting with the applicant before making their decision.
6. Appeals against the panel’s decision should be sent to the Registrar who will pass them on to the Chair of the Pre-Call Education Committee for determination. Their decision will be final.

The application form can be downloaded here.

Applications for Waivers – Transferring Lawyers

1. Applications must be sent to the Registrar at Registry@lincolnsinn.org.uk.
2. Applications must be accompanied by supporting documents.
3. The Registrar will make an initial assessment to ensure that the application demonstrates potentially exceptional circumstances and sufficient evidence.
4. The Registrar will periodically but no less than once per month send applications for waivers to a panel convened by the Pre-Call Education Committee for this purpose. The next request to the panel will be sent on 24th March. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 19th March.
5. The panel will provide the Registrar with their decision which will then be communicated to the applicant. The panel may request further information or a meeting with the applicant before making their decision.
6. Appeals against the panel’s decision should be sent to the Registrar who will pass them on to the Chair of the Pre-Call Education Committee for determination. Their decision will be final.

The application form can be downloaded here.

Applications for Modifications – Extension of Time Limits

1. Applications must be sent to the Registrar at Registry@lincolnsinn.org.uk.
2. Applications must be accompanied by supporting documents.
3. The Registrar will make an initial assessment to ensure that the application demonstrates potentially exceptional circumstances and sufficient evidence.
4. The Registrar will periodically but no less than once per month send applications for waivers to a panel convened by the Pre-Call Education Committee for this purpose. The next request to the panel will be sent on 24th March. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 19th March.
5. The panel will provide the Registrar with their decision which will then be communicated to the applicant. The panel may request further information or a meeting with the applicant before making their decision.
6. Appeals against the panel’s decision should be sent to the Registrar who will pass them on to the Chair of the Pre-Call Education Committee for determination. Their decision will be final.

The application form can be downloaded here.

Application for Modification – Attendance

1. Applications must be sent to the Education Services Manager at Booking@lincolnsinn.org.uk.
2. Applications must be accompanied by supporting documents.
3. The Education Services Manager will assess the application and make the decision on whether to grant the modification. The Education Services Manager may request further information or a meeting with the applicant before making their decision.
4. Appeals against the Education Services Manager’s decision should be made to the Director of Membership & Education. Their decision will be final.

The application form can be downloaded here.