Training and Qualification of Barristers
As part of its ongoing Future Bar Training (FBT) programme, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has launched a new consultation on a number of aspects of the way in which barristers train and qualify.
- the extent to which the BSB should prescribe the role of the Inns of Court in the training and qualification of barristers; and
- future rules and regulatory arrangements for the work-based component of training (pupillage).
The consultation paper makes it clear that the BSB understands the historic and supportive role played by the Inns and by pupil supervisors in preparing new barristers for the realities of practice. The regulator has no intention of changing what works well, but it does want to deregulate in these areas if it can. For example, by removing certain prescriptive rules around pupillage, it may be possible to remove barriers to those parts of the Bar wanting to provide more innovative and flexible pupillage opportunities.
The BSB is also seeking views on a draft of a new framework which will enable training providers (in the academic, vocational and professional stages of training) to develop new and innovative training programmes for aspiring barristers. This follows on from the publication of a policy statement in March 2017 in which the regulator said it would authorise a limited number of new training routes for prospective students to qualify as barristers in the future, based on four core principles of flexibility, accessibility, affordability and high standards.