BSB opens consultation on “crucial” review of the BPTC and pupillage

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has opened a consultation on a review that could introduce “the most sweeping reforms to bar training in a generation”.

The regulator is seeking the views of anybody with a stake in bar training on issues such as striking the right balance between acquiring skills and knowledge and how to ensure that the bar develops in a diverse fashion.

It is also considering how the approach to academic and vocational qualifications might be altered to better improve prospective barristers for working life and whether to fundamentally change any part of training or interweave the academic, vocational and pupillage stages of training.

The consultation closes on 30 October and has been developed in conjunction with a number of focus groups totalling 51 people and comprising 21 barristers, 18 Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) tutors, seven BPTC graduates, three pupils and two BPTC students.

The focus groups identified a number of issues with bar training’s current format and made suggestions as to how those issues could be resolved.

BSB education and training director Simon Thornton-Wood said: “We have reached a crucial stage of considering what the future of a more flexible system of training and qualifying might look like.

“We urge all interested and affected parties to read and consider the approaches in our latest consultation paper, or come up with approaches of your own.

“The outcome is central to assuring the quality of the next generation of barristers and attracting able candidates – no matter what their background – to the bar.”