Higher Rights of Audience (Civil or Criminal)
Obtain the skills and qualification necessary to represent clients in the civil or criminal higher courts in England and Wales by achieving the Higher Rights of Audience accreditation.
To exercise these rights, the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) specifies the completion of an advocacy assessment for either the civil or criminal courts. To gain rights in both courts, you will need to undertake an assessment for each pathway. Unless you have comprehensive experience in advocacy, we recommend you undertake at least one of either the written or practical training courses to give yourself the best possible chance of passing the assessment.
Our supplementary, beneficial four-day training course covers the various essential aspects of Crown Court and High Court preparation and advocacy, designed to guide candidates through the assessment process and to stand them in good stead for life as an advocate in the higher courts.
- Altior is accredited by the SRA to deliver Higher Rights of Audience assessments under the Higher Rights of Audience Regulations 2011.
- Both our assessments and training are delivered by our team of highly experienced trainers who are all practising Higher Court Advocates.
- Practical programme to ensure learning is directly applicable in the workplace.
- Successful completion of the course will enable you and your firm to handle all aspects of litigation work on behalf of clients.
- Qualification is designed to equip candidates for work in the Higher Courts, and the skills and experience obtained will help you to conduct more effective advocacy in all courts.
- Aspects of the programme will also enhance your knowledge of evidence and ethics that will help develop wider litigation expertise.
- Those with sufficient advocacy experience can choose to take the assessment only option.
In addition, for delegates the benefits of becoming a Higher Court advocate include:
- Offer a complete service to clients
- Greater professional status and reputation
- Higher earning potential
- Enhanced advocacy, communication and case management skills
Please note, the current Higher Rights of Audience regulations are due to change on January 31 2021.
Please visit the Solicitors Regulation Authority website to find out what these changes are and how they will affect the current training and assessments going forward: Higher Rights of Audience Regulation Change.
Read more about the new Civil Regulations here.
Read more about the new Criminal Regulations here.
- The Higher Rights of Audience qualification is available to any solicitor involved in advocacy work. On completion it will enable you to conduct advocacy in either the civil or criminal Higher Courts.This course is suitable for you if:
- You already have sufficient advocacy experience and would like to be accredited as a solicitor advocate
- Would like to enhance your capabilities as a dispute resolution practitioner you can undertake the training alone without the need to undertake the assessment
- Trainee solicitors and others qualifying as solicitors who wish to take Higher Rights of Audience as their elective option*.
*Trainee solicitors can also take the assessment during their training contract (satisfying the elective requirement of the PSC through the associated training if they wish) however a trainee solicitor must wait until they qualify before they can apply to the SRA for Solicitor Advocate status.
- The ability to see a client’s litigation through from start to finish without needing to hire a barrister can be more cost-effective for your client – and more profitable for the firm. Specialist knowledge and expertise in advocacy, will also provide your firm a competitive edgeThe Higher Rights of Audience qualification is designed to equip candidates for work in the Higher Courts, the skills and experience you will obtain will help you conduct more effective advocacy in all courts. Aspects of the programme will also enhance your knowledge of evidence and ethics which will help you develop wider litigation expertise.
- Designed and delivered by experienced practitioners
- Practical programme to ensure learning is directly applicable in the workplace
- On successful completion the course will enable you and your firm to handle all aspects of litigation work on behalf of clients.
- Those with sufficient advocacy experience can choose to take the assessment only option.
- Our Higher Rights Assessments have been accredited by the SRA under the 2011 Regulations.
Is there a need for training?
Although there is no requirement to undertake training before attempting the new assessment, in our experience, training greatly helps candidates make the transition from lower court advocacy to Higher Court advocacy. In addition, the SRA’s standards are now more far-reaching, and candidates could be assessed against any of them. We therefore strongly recommend that all of our candidates undergo training to give them the best possible chance of passing the assessment at the first attempt.
Delegates can choose to undertake the higher rights of audience in a number of ways depending on your current level of advocacy experience and whether or not you wish to simply enhance your skills with our training or if you would like to be accredited as a solicitor advocate.
• Assessment only
• Written training only
• Practical training only
• Combined written and practical training – no assessment
• Written training plus assessment
• Practical training plus assessment
• Combined written and practical training with assessment
Written Assessment – 2½ hour open book exam with an additional 30 minutes of reading time.
Practical Assessment – Split into 2 parts – a contested hearing and a mini mock trial.
Written Training – 1 day preparation for the written assessment delivered through Live Online
Practical Training – 3 day opportunity to practise advocacy skills in a safe environment with expert trainers.
How is the assessment structured?
The single assessment comprises of two elements; a written examination and a practical advocacy assessment.
This part consists of a 2½ hour examination with an additional 30 minutes of reading time. The paper contains a section of short answer questions based on case studies and a section of multiple choice questions. You are able to take permitted materials into the examination (please see candidate information guide below for further details).
This element is split into two parts and lasts for approximately 50 minutes. The first part requires candidates to submit a skeleton argument and conduct a contested interim hearing. The second part revolves around a mini mock trial and requires candidates to submit a trial plan and be assessed in two or more of the following areas:
• Opening Speech
• Examination in Chief
• Cross examination
• Closing Speech
Candidates will receive the case papers for the assessment approximately 5 working days before the assessment date. This allows you the appropriate time to prepare your skeleton argument (for the interim hearing) and your trial plan (for the mini mock-trial). Both will need to be emailed to us prior to the assessment, and hard copies brought to the assessment day.
The written and practical parts of the Assessment each account for 50% of the total available marks. Candidates must achieve a minimum of 60% across both parts (an aggregate mark) to pass the Advocacy Assessment. Candidates will also be required to satisfy the Equality and Diversity and Ethics Standards throughout the assessment.
The two parts of the assessment comprise one assessment and candidates will only be notified of their final aggregate pass or fail result.
Our training programme is split into two parts: written (1 day) and practical (3 days). You may chose to undertake one or both elements.
Written Training (One Day) – 6 CPD hours
The written part of the assessment will centre on the knowledge-based or document-based standards. Our one day written training programme is designed to prepare candidates to be assessed against all of these standards.
Specifically, it covers:
• Evidence – hearsay, bad character, disclosure, experts etc
• Dealing with vulnerable witnesses.
• Ethics and diversity
• Code of Conduct issues
• Preparation and identification of deficiencies in written documentation such as indictments, particulars of claim etc
• Practice specific elements. For example ADR and Pre action Protocols for Civil and PCMHs and sentencing for criminal
Practical Training (Three Days) up to 18 CPD hours
Our practical training is extremely hands-on and allows delegates the opportunity to practise their advocacy skills in a safe environment, and get detailed feedback from the trainer. We keep trainer to delegate ratios low to maximise one-to-one contact. Our trainers are also assessors, and so they are ideally placed to coach delegates on their performance and advise them on any areas for improvement ready for the assessment.
The programme covers:
• Trial analysis and planning, including formulating a trial strategy plan
• Preparing and conducting an interim application
• Preparing and delivering an opening speech
• Planning and carrying out an examination in chief
• Preparing for, and conducting, an effective cross examination
• Preparing and delivering a closing speech
Package fees are the same for both the civil and criminal pathway.
- Written and Practical Training & Assessment £1,475 + vat
- Assessment only £495 + vat
- Written + Practical Training £1010 + vat
We can also offer the written or practical training as independent modules. Please call us on 029 2045 1000 to enquire.
PSC Core Modules & Written and Practical Training £1785.00 +vat
PSC Core Modules & Written and Practical Training & Assessment £2185.00 +vat
Go to Professional Skills Course page for more information.
Following this course you will:
- Enhance your professional standing and reputation.
- Handle all aspects of litigation work on behalf of clients.
- Give the firm you work for a competitive edge.
Although the qualification is designed to equip candidates for work in the Higher Courts, the skills and experience you will obtain will help you conduct more effective advocacy in all courts. Aspects of the programme will also enhance your knowledge of evidence and ethics which will help you develop wider litigation expertise.