Scrap BPTC in favour of two-year pupillage, says Criminal Bar Association head

The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) should be scrapped in favour of a two-year pupillage, the head of the Criminal Bar Association has said.

Speaking at the Bar Council’s annual conference at the weekend, Mark Fenhalls QC questioned the need for the course, and suggested a two-year pupillage would better prepare young barristers for life in practice.

Writing in on his blog, he added: “The Bar needs to take a long hard look at whether or not there is any need for the BPTC at all. I am beginning to think that all the necessary skills could be taught during pupillage, when our prospective talents could work, earn money and start to build their careers.

“Why not, for example, have modular courses taught by properly accredited barristers in practise that fit around and within pupillage?”

The Bar Standards Board is currently running an open consultation on the future of training at the BAr which is due to close at the end of next week.