New Combined Qualifying Test for Deputy District Judge and Fee-Paid Judge of the First-tier and Employment Tribunals

Combined Qualifying Test selection exercise timeline.

Registration is now closed.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) will be running a single Combined Qualifying Test (CQT) in June 2020 as the first stage of three large selection exercises for fee-paid judges:

  • Deputy District Judge
  • Fee-paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal
  • Fee-paid Judge of the Employment Tribunal

In a change to the process used last year, the CQT will take place before candidates fill in their full application form. If you wish to apply for one or more of these roles, you will need to register for the CQT between 14 April and 5 May 2020, and express which role(s) you are interested in applying for. You may apply for all three. The JAC will not run another qualifying test for these roles until 2021, so if you are interested in any of the three roles, please make sure you register by 5 May. If you do not register for this test, you will not be able to apply for any of the above roles this year.

To register, all candidates need to do is provide their personal details and indicate which role(s) they wish to apply for. Though the registration period for the CQT will be in April/May, the actual CQT will take place in June 2020 and results from the test will be used to shortlist candidates for the next selection stage of each specific role.

Candidates who successfully complete both the combined and next-stage qualifying tests will then be invited to complete a full application when the role they are applying for opens later this year. Please note that although there is one CQT, there will be two separate exercises meaning you will need to apply for each exercise separately (Fee-paid Judge of the First Tier Tribunal and Fee-paid Judge of the Employment Tribunal will run as one exercise). Information on when each exercise opens will follow shortly.


Completing one Combined Qualifying Test means candidates get the opportunity to apply for three roles without having to take multiple tests for each. You will also not be required to submit a full application at the start of the process, as only shortlisted candidates will be invited to do this at a later stage.


The Combined Qualifying Test will take place on 2 June.

To help you manage your time in advance of the Combined Qualifying Test date, please be advised that the Combined Qualifying Test will consist of 2 parts and each part will last a maximum of 40 minutes. You will be able to take a break between part 1 and part 2.

If you have advised us that you require a reasonable adjustment for the test, you will be contacted separately with details of your individual test time allocation. Please refer to this information when taking the test.

Combined Qualifying Test Outcome

Shortlisted candidates will be notified of their progression to the next stage for each of the judicial roles they have chosen to apply for. The selection exercise for each role will then be run separately and candidates should be aware that the timings for each selection exercise will vary.


Our Combined Qualifying Test selection exercise timeline shows the next steps, the selection day dates are provisional as they will be dependent on the emerging COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and government guidance. We have arrangements in place which allow the online stages of this JAC selection exercise to go ahead as planned.

If you are unable to complete any part of our remote process as a result of COVID-19-related issues, please contact the JAC to discuss potential alternative arrangements at

Contact us

To find out the latest information on our CQT, please sign up to alerts here. If you have any queries, please check the JAC website for updates or you can email