BSB publishes Professional Statement defining what barristers should know on day one

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has published its Professional Statement, describing the knowledge and skills newly qualified barristers should hold on day one of their career.

The statement sets out what abilities barristers should have in relation to working with others and management of their practice and covers the personal values and standards they should adhere to. It also lists the distinctive characteristics that junior barristers should have, which includes advocacy skills and legal knowledge.

The regulator believes that the statement could be key in making qualification routes more flexible and, by extension, making the bar more diverse. It ties in with the Future Bar Training programme launched in 2014, which itself was established due to the Legal Education and Training Review, which aimed to review the entirety of legal training.

BSB director of education and training Simon Thornton-Wood said: “This is an entry standard which practising barristers should expect of themselves and their peers. Thanks to valuable feedback from members of the bar, consumer groups and training providers we are confident the Professional Statement captures the distinctive nature of practice at the bar.

“Our role is to make sure barristers are trained to an appropriate standard and provide a high quality service to their clients. The Professional Statement will help us to maintain standards for education and training providers and barristers entering practice.”

The statement is still in development and more detailed ‘threshold standards’ will be developed and consulted on in early 2016.