BSB starts push for more flexible qualification routes to the bar
22nd Apr 2015
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has begun pushing to make qualification routes to the bar more flexible, as a consultation to define the skills and attributes newly qualified barristers should have is launched.
Throughout the consultation, the BSB aims to develop a ‘professional statement’ to define what a barrister should do on their first day in order to assist educators and trainers when developing qualification routes to the bar. This ‘professional statement’ would consist of four elements: technical legal characteristics, personal values and standards, management of practice and ability to work with others.
The move follows a proposal by the BSB to take a less hands-on approach towards the design of pupillages in order to put chambers and employers back in charge.
Simon Thornton-Wood, director of education and training for the BSB, stated that the ‘professional statement’ aims to reflect “what a barrister needs to be able to do from the point at which they are issued a full practising certificate” and will “provide an invaluable point of reference for anyone designing the training.”
Although the BSB initially worked with the Solicitors Regulation Authority to develop the ‘professional statement’, the BSB said that the two bodies were unable to agree upon a common document, although there was a consistency of approach between them.
The BSB also have plans to develop threshold standards which will set out what barristers must be able to do when they enter the profession, contrasting the professional statement which will set out what barristers should be able to do.
The statement would not replace the requirements which are set out in the BSB Handbook; however, it will help barristers, trainers, and clients to understand what can be expected of a newly qualified barrister.
The consultation period began on the 16th of April, and will end on the 12th of June.