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Remote supervision of trainees

As working practices evolve, more trainees may work remotely which requires a new approach to the traditional methods of supervision. Here are some hints and tips for supervisors and training managers to support trainees effectively.

As part of changes to the Admission as Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations, all organisations that employ a trainee starting on or after 1 November 2019 will need to designate a qualified solicitor within the organisation to act as a training manager.

Employers with trainees who started before 1 November 2019, but who wish to transfer over to the new admission regulations allowing trainees to apply for admission between months three and 11 of their traineeship, will also need to designate a training manager.

What is a training manager?

They’re the named point of contact for us for all trainees at the training unit. They need to ensure compliance with the regulations and will make sure that all trainees at the training unit receive adequate training and proper supervision.

Training managers are also responsible for certifying that trainees are fit and proper people to be admitted and to have their traineeships discharged. They can also make some decisions on behalf of their organisations which previously had to be authorised by us.

What can a training manager authorise?

Secondments, the number of trainees a training unit employs and reductions and extensions of up to six months to training contracts (trainees must consent to reductions). All decisions must be reported to us within 14 days and training managers must comply with the published guidance.

Who can be a training manager?

A training manager must be a solicitor who has:

  1. practised as a solicitor for not less than than a cumulative total of three years
  2. has held a practising certificate without conditions throughout that period, at the time of appointment and while acting as training manager
How is a training manager appointed?

Please email with the name of your organisation's training manager and the date that they commenced the role.

What do the new admissions regulations mean for traineeships?

In the main, traineeships will look the same. However, what the new regulations do mean is that if you and your trainee agree that they're ready — and they meet the required criteria — trainees can now apply to be admitted as a solicitor after three months as a trainee.

We believe this offers an opportunity for trainees to gain valuable experience in a variety of matters which they need to be admitted to do, particularly court work. It also allows them to build on the practical skills they gained during the PEAT 1 Diploma at an earlier stage in their traineeship. We have information on our website about what trainees can and cannot do.

What do trainees need to do to apply for early admission?
  1. Complete 20 hours of sitting in training — shadowing a colleague in the type of court in which they will be appearing when admitted.
  2. Complete an advocacy course run by the Society. This course costs £50 and trainees can register via their online portal.

If a trainee started their traineeship before 1 November 2019 and the training manager has determined that they are fit and proper to be admitted prior to the completion of a year of training, they need to apply to transfer from the 2011 regulations to the 2019 ones. Requests should be emailed to

What if my trainee isn't applying for early admission?

There's no requirement to apply for admission before the end of the first year as a trainee, or indeed before a traineeship is discharged completely. If your trainee(s) began their traineeship before 1 November 2019, and are not intending to apply for admission before one year, you do not need to appoint a training manager at this stage. Please note you will need to identify a training manager when any new trainees are appointed after this date.

Under the new regulations trainees can still be admitted after 12 months of training or admitted and discharged at the end of their traineeship without the requirement for the sitting in training or the advocacy course.

For more information about these changes to the trainee admissions process have a look on the applying for admission as a trainee pages of our website. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please get in touch — we'll be happy to help. Email us at or call on 0131 226 7411 (option 3).


Training Manager Guidance Notes

 Advice and information on appearances after early admission