CILEX CPQ Foundation:
Your Comprehensive Guide


The CILEX CPQ Foundation Level offers an exciting entry point into the legal profession. Whether you are new to the field or looking to formalise your experience, this qualification serves as a gateway to a rewarding career in law.

Designed by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX), the CILEX CPQ is both accessible and inclusive, providing a solid grounding in core legal areas.

The Foundation Level equips you with essential skills and knowledge, opening doors to various roles within the legal sector. Respected across the industry, this qualification can help you make a real impact through law.

Explore the full guide below to learn more about how the CILEX CPQ Foundation Level can shape your future in law.

What is CILEX?

Before diving into the specifics of the CPQ Foundation, let’s get to know the organisation behind it all.

CILEX has been at the forefront of providing legal education and training for over 50 years. Recognised and respected in the legal industry, CILEX is known for its dedication to offering practical and accessible routes to becoming a legal professional.

CILEX members work in various roles within the legal sector, from Paralegals and Legal Executives to solicitors. By focusing on flexibility and inclusivity, CILEX has opened the

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What is the CPQ Foundation qualification?

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Astranti CILEX CPQ Courses
Astranti has helped over 125,000 people get the qualifications they need to take their careers to the next step. Why not find out how we can help you, too?

What is the CPQ Foundation qualification?

Quite simply, Foundation is the first step in the CPQ framework, designed to equip you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to kickstart your legal career.

It’s like building the base of a skyscraper—solid, reliable, and essential for reaching the heights of legal expertise as a CILEX Lawyer.

So, what exactly does the CPQ Foundation entail? This programme is tailored for those who are new to the legal field or those looking to formalise their existing legal knowledge.

It’s the first step in the CPQ framework, followed by the CPQ Advanced and CPQ Professional stages.

CILEX CPQ Foundation

What’s covered?

The CPQ Foundation covers a broad spectrum of essential legal topics to give you a well-rounded introduction to the profession. Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn:

Legal systems and processes: Understand the structure of the legal system in England and Wales, including key institutions and procedures.

Contract law: Dive into the principles of contract law, an essential area for any legal professional.

Criminal law: Get to grips with the basics of criminal law, from types of offences to the workings of the criminal justice system.

Legal research skills: Develop the ability to find and interpret legal information effectively – an invaluable skill in any legal role.

Professional ethics: Learn about the ethical standards and professional responsibilities expected of legal practitioners.

Who’s it for?

The CPQ Foundation is perfect for anyone starting their legal career journey. Whether you’re a recent school leaver, a law student wanting to boost your credentials, or someone considering a career change, this qualification offers a flexible and practical entry point.

It’s also ideal for those already working in legal support roles who want to formalise their knowledge and skills.

Why the CILEX CPQ Foundation is perfect for law students and graduates…

If you’re a law student or recent graduate, the Foundation offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced employability: Adding it to your CV demonstrates your commitment to the legal profession and can make you stand out in the competitive job market.
  • Practical experience: It includes practical elements that give you a taste of real-world legal work, making you more job-ready.
  • Networking opportunities: As a CILEX student, you’ll have access to a network of legal professionals and resources that can help you in your career.

Where can the qualification lead?

Completing the CPQ Foundation opens up a world of opportunities. It sets you on the path to becoming a CILEX Lawyer, a role that offers the same standing and responsibilities as traditional solicitors.

Here are some potential career destinations:

CILEX Paralegal:
After completing the Foundation stage, you can work as a CILEX Paralegal, supporting solicitors and CILEX Legal Executives in various tasks.

CILEX Advanced Paralegal:
With further study and experience, you can progress to more complex and specialised roles.

CILEX Legal Executive:
Ultimately, you can become a Chartered Legal Executive, enjoying the same professional recognition and opportunities as a solicitor.

The CPQ Foundation can also be a stepping stone if you later decide to pursue qualification as a solicitor.

Why choose CILEX over becoming a Solicitor?

You might be wondering why you should choose the CILEX route instead of the traditional solicitor pathway.

Here are some compelling reasons:

Flexibility and accessibility: The CILEX qualification is designed to be flexible, allowing you to study while working or managing other commitments. This is a huge advantage for those who need to balance their studies with other responsibilities.

Cost-effective: Becoming a solicitor typically involves a significant financial investment. The CILEX route is more affordable, making it an attractive option for those mindful of costs.

Advantages of CPQ Foundation
CPQ Foundation Benefits

Practical focus: CILEX qualifications are known for their practical approach, equipping you with the skills and knowledge directly applicable to your work. This practical emphasis can make you more attractive to employers.

Clear progression: The CILEX CPQ framework provides a clear, structured pathway to advancing your career. Each stage builds on the previous one, ensuring you develop a comprehensive understanding of the legal field.

The CILEX journey: From Foundation to Professional

Your journey with CILEX doesn’t end with the CPQ Foundation. Here’s a glimpse of what lies ahead:

CPQ Advanced

After completing the Foundation stage, you can move on to the CPQ Advanced level. This stage dives deeper into specific areas of law, such as:

  • Litigation: Learn about the processes and procedures involved in civil and criminal litigation.
  • Property law: Gain insights into the legal aspects of property transactions.
  • Family law: Understand the legal principles related to family matters, including divorce and child custody.
CPQ Professional

The final stage, CPQ Professional, prepares you for high-level roles and responsibilities. This stage includes:

  • Advanced legal practice: Develop expertise in complex legal issues and advanced practice areas.
  • Leadership and management: Equip yourself with the skills needed to lead teams and manage legal departments.
  • Client care and professional standards: Ensure you can deliver the highest standards of client care and professional conduct.

Potential salaries and job opportunites

One of the most appealing aspects of the CILEX CPQ Foundation Qualification is the potential for rewarding career opportunities and competitive salaries.

Potential salaries

The salaries for roles within the legal sector can vary significantly depending on the level of qualification, experience, and location. Here are some indicative figures:

CILEX salaries

CILEX Paralegal: Entry-level salaries typically range from £18,000 to £25,000 per year. With experience, this can rise to £30,000 or more.

CILEX Advanced Paralegal: Salaries for advanced paralegals can range from £25,000 to £35,000, with higher potential earnings in larger firms or specialised areas.

CILEX Legal Executive: Fully qualified Chartered Legal Executives can expect to earn between £35,000 and £55,000 per year. Those in senior positions or specialised fields can earn upwards of £70,000.

Solicitor: If you decide to transition to becoming a solicitor, starting salaries typically range from £25,000 to £40,000, with potential to earn significantly more with experience and specialisation.

Where can I work with a CILEX qualification?

With a CILEX qualification, you can work in a variety of fields within the legal sector, including:

  • Private practice: Working in law firms of all sizes, from small local firms to large international practices.
  • Corporate sector: Providing legal advice and support to businesses and corporations.
  • Public sector: Working in government departments, local authorities, or regulatory bodies.
  • Non-profit and charity sector: Offering legal services and support to non-profit organisations and charities.

Will my employer pay?

Many employers recognise the value of CILEX qualifications and may be willing to support their employees’ studies. This support can come in various forms:

Sponsorship: Some employers offer full or partial sponsorship for their employees’ course fees.

Study leave: Employers may provide paid study leave to allow you time to focus on your studies.

On-the-Job training: Combining work and study can give you practical experience while you learn, with some employers offering structured training programmes.

It’s always worth discussing these options with your current or prospective employer to see what support they can offer.


CILEX recognises prior learning and experience, offering exemptions for certain modules within the CILEX CPQ framework. This can save you time and money, allowing you to progress more quickly through the qualification.

Here are some common exemptions:

Academic qualifications

  1. Law degree holders: If you have a qualifying law degree, you may be exempt from some or all of the Foundation stage modules or eligible for the CILEX Graduate Fast-Track.
  2. Other legal qualifications: Holders of other recognised legal qualifications may also be eligible for exemptions.

Professional experience

  1. Legal work experience: Relevant professional experience in a legal setting can sometimes be counted towards exemptions.
  2. Paralegals and legal support staff: Those with significant experience as a paralegal or in a similar role may qualify for exemptions.

To apply for exemptions, you’ll need to provide evidence of your qualifications and experience. CILEX will review your application and determine your eligibility.

Common questions

What is the duration of the CILEX CPQ Foundation Qualification?

The duration varies depending on your study mode (full-time or part-time) and personal pace. Typically, it can be completed within 12 to 18 months.

Can I study online?

Yes, there are flexible online study options, allowing you to learn at your own pace and from anywhere.

What are the entry requirements?

There are no specific academic prerequisites, making it accessible for everyone, whether you’re a school leaver or looking to change careers.

How much does the CPQ Foundation cost?

The cost varies depending on the provider and study method. It’s generally more affordable than traditional law degree programmes, with flexible payment options available.

Can I work while studying?

Absolutely! The flexible nature of the course means you can balance your studies with work and other commitments.

What support is available during my studies?

You’ll have access to a range of support services, including tutor guidance, online resources, and peer support networks.

Is the CPQ Foundation recognised by employers?

Yes, CILEX qualifications are highly respected within the legal industry, and many employers recognise the value of CILEX-trained professionals.

Can I transfer to the solicitor pathway after completing the CPQ Foundation?

Yes, the CPQ Foundation can serve as a stepping stone if you decide to pursue qualification as a solicitor later on.


Embarking on a legal career with the CPQ Foundation Qualification is a smart, practical, and flexible choice. Whether you’re a law student, a recent graduate, or someone looking for a career change, it provides a solid starting point. With CILEX’s respected qualifications, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the legal landscape and achieve your professional goals.

Start CPQ Foundation

So, why wait? Take the first step towards an exciting and rewarding legal career with the CPQ Foundation Qualification. Your journey to becoming a CILEX Lawyer starts here!

For more information or to enrol in our CPQ Foundation course, visit our website (link) or contact us today (contact details). Let’s build your legal future together!


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