Introduction 

Welcome to our Service Update page, which has been developed in response to feedback from our stakeholders. We hope you find this page helpful and an easy way to check the progress of any application you submit to us. Please note that this is a 'dynamic' page and is designed to offer the most up to date information based on our current volume of work; as such, the expected dates for assessment may change from time to time. 

Contacting the Team 

If you would like to speak to a member of the Authorisations Team, we are available between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm in the morning and between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm in the afternoon (Monday to Friday). Please call 020 7611 1444 and you will be connected to a member of the team. If you are unable to call during these hours, please email us (authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk) and we will respond in writing as soon as we are able.


Announcements 

April 2022

April is perhaps our busiest period of the year and 2022 is no exception! This April we are focussing on finalising the transitional arrangements for 191 pupillage providers, which I am sure you will appreciate is a challenge. 

In addition, we are processing pupillage ‘sign off’ forms and issuing Provisional Practising Certificates (PPCs). This process can be time consuming, and we do ask that you submit your forms to us as early as possible (up to 10 days in advance of your non-practising period end date) to allow us time to complete the necessary checks prior to issuing your certificate. 

On your feet from 11 April? Your form will be prioritised and forwarded to you by email before 10 am Monday 11 April. If you have a pupillage related question please email us at authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk with the subject header 'PUPILLAGE 2022' so we are able to prioritise your enquiry.

The entity renewal process continues with the portal closing for applications on 31 May 2022.

Please be aware that due to the high volume of work during this period we may not be able to give priority to general enquiries via email and telephone, and we will be unable to expedite applications which are not related to either pupillage or AETO authorisation. We thank you for your patience while we are carrying out this essential work.

May 2022

Following the loss of access to our IT systems on 13 April 2022, the Authorisations Team have been unable to access any applications made in respect of:

  • exemptions or waivers from training requirements;
  • approval as a BSB Entity (including renewals); and
  • authorisation as an AETO (Authorised Education & Training Organisation) to provide pupillage. 

It is regrettable that we are unable to access any applications received prior to the technical failure and as such we are unable to provide any updates on the status of these applications, or to progress the assessment of these applications, until full access to our systems has been restored. This means there will be a significant delay in processing all applications received both prior to the loss of service and any made subsequently.

Please be assured that we are doing all we can to ensure that applications are processed as soon as possible once our access is fully restored. 

We are continuing to work remotely, and hard copy and postal documentation is forwarded to us via email. We have not yet received all of the digital copies of documents submitted since 14 April; however, as soon as we have done so, confirmation will be provided to applicants, via email.

If you have an urgent court appearance (which cannot be deferred) within the next four weeks which requires a particular waiver, exemption or authorisation to be granted, please email authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk for the attention of Sam Jensen, Authorisations Manager for further information.

AETO Transitional Arrangements and the current technical difficulties

The current technical difficulties have not only prevented the Authorisations team from progressing any assessments but have also prevented currently authorised pupillage providers and prospective pupillage providers from submitting applications. We acknowledge how frustrating and concerning this is for those providers who have pupillages in progress or due to commence in 2022. Our intention is to safeguard all pupillages while we continue to transition PTOs to AETOs and we will therefore extend current PTO authorisation until 31 December 2022 to facilitate the assessment process. We will continue to accept applications from current pupillage providers until 31 August 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have two pupils starting in October 2022 but are yet to receive a decision about our AETO application.  Do we need to defer their start date?

No, we will extend your current authorisation to facilitate our assessment. None of your existing or planned pupillages for this year will be affected.

We were given an extension to apply as an AETO until 30 April but were unable to submit our application via MyBar, what happens now?

We will extend your current authorisation until 31 December 2022 and extend your deadline for submission until 31 August 2022.

I submitted an application as a Transferring Lawyer in February and was expecting a decision in April, this is preventing me from progressing within the profession, how much longer am I expected to wait?

It is regrettable that we are unable to provide any further updates on your application at the present time, but we would like to reassure you that your application will be prioritised ahead of any received after the date of submission of your application in February 2022.

I cannot access MyBar to check the progress of my application, do you need any further information from me?

Unfortunately, we are unable to access the data in MyBar either and cannot provide any updates until our systems are fully restored.

I posted my transcripts in March and have not heard from you, can you confirm receipt? I enclosed a prepaid envelope for return of documents when can I expect to receive them?

We will schedule your documents for logging once our systems have been restored. Once we have logged your documents on the system, we will arrange for the return of your documents to you. If you have still not received your documents by 31 May 2022, please contact authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk using “Document Return Enquiry” in the subject header.

IT Systems Update - June 2022

We appreciate the frustration that will be felt by anyone waiting to hear from us about an application or a query following the loss of access to our IT systems.

We hope you will also appreciate that time spent dealing with enquiries about the progress of individual applications is time that could be spent by us working on those very applications. We have therefore set out below some detailed information which will assist you in identifying where your application will fall in terms of priority order.

Please do not contact us about your application unless it relates to an imminent court appearance within the next four weeks. We will work as quickly as we can to get to you and you will hear from us in due course. Thank you for your understanding.


Access to our IT systems has now been restored and the Authorisations Team is now able to begin processing outstanding applications and logging new applications for:

  • exemptions or waivers from training requirements;
  • approval as a BSB Entity (including renewals); and
  • authorisation as an AETO (Authorised Education & Training Organisation) to provide pupillage or vocational Bar training. 

We will be prioritising any outstanding applications received before the loss of access to our IT systems on 13 April 2022 and will be issuing decisions in respect of those applications in accordance with the following timetables.

Received and Ready for Assessment Scheduled for a decision to be issued
On or before 29 April 2022 Between 27 June and 1 July 2022
Between 30 April and 31 May 2022 Between 8 August and 12 August 2022
Between 1 June and 30 June 2022 Between 19 September and 23 September 2022

Expediting applications

  • We will aim to honour any requests for applications received before 13 April 2022 to be expedited that were approved by the Authorisations Manager.
  • Decisions in respect of these applications will be issued by the end of June 2022.
  • We will be unable to expedite any other applications received either before or after 13 April 2022 unless the application relates to an urgent court appearance (which cannot be deferred) within the next four weeks which requires a particular waiver, exemption or authorisation to be granted.

New applications, supporting documents and fee payments

  • As well as processing outstanding applications, the Authorisations Team will be working to log new applications, supporting documents and fee payments received after 13 April 2022.
  • You should expect to receive an email acknowledgement/receipt between 1 June and 15 June 2022 once these applications, documents and fees have been logged on to our system.
  • We thank you for your continued patience while we work to address the backlog of correspondence resulting from the loss of access to our IT systems.

Hard copy applications and other supporting documents

  • We are continuing to work remotely, and hard copy and postal documentation is being forwarded to us via email. 
  • We have not yet received digital copies of all of the documents submitted after 13 April 2022; however, as soon as we have done so, confirmation will be provided to you, via email.

Pupillage processes

Now that access to our IT systems has been restored, we will be working to process any outstanding pupillage sign off forms (for both the non-practising and practising periods) and new registrations.

Provisional Practising Certificates and Confirmation of Full Qualification Letters will be issued, via email, as soon as possible and will be backdated where appropriate.

If you have sent in a Notification of Material Change form, this will be processed; however, pupillage sign off and registration processes will be prioritised over these forms Your patience is appreciated until we are able to send email confirmations that these material changes have been recorded.

If you have not received a response to a pupillage sign off request, registration, or material change form by 23 June 2022, please email authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk for further information.


Transferring Qualified Lawyer applicants

We have now restored access to our IT systems and so we are able to re-open the MyBar portal for applications. Once your CRM profile has been created by us , you should select ‘Online application for transferring Lawyers’ and ‘Transferring Qualified Lawyer’ on the MyBar portal.

Please refer to the application guidelines as you prepare your application and collate any required supporting documents.

If you are unable to submit your application within the three-month period of validity (eg for Certificates of Good Standing) due to the shutdown of our IT systems, this will be taken into consideration and we will not require you to obtain further copies of these documents when submitting your application through the MyBar portal.


PTO to AETO transitional applications

Current pupillage provider PTO authorisation has been extended to 31 December 2022. Existing pupillage provider PTOs will have until 31 August 2022 to complete and submit their transitional AETO applications.


Entities

If you are waiting to hear the outcome of an application for authorisation as a BSB entity which was submitted after 1 January 2022, you can expect to hear from us by 1 August 2022.

We have extended the deadline for renewal of existing BSB entities to 31 July 2022.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in completing the renewal process, please email authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk for further assistance.


Applications for Exemptions & Waivers  

Although we are currently processing the usual number of applications for exemptions and waivers from the Bar Qualification Rules, we are currently delivering training for newly appointed staff which may impact on processing times. We will continue to prioritise applications from Transferring Qualified Lawyers and Pupillage administration processes for urgent attention over the next few weeks. The team are also processing applications from existing PTOs (Pupillage Training Organisations) seeking authorisation as AETOs (Authorised Education and training Organisations) within our transitional arrangements. More information about these arrangements can be found below and within our General Information and FAQs section.

NB. Please see below for specific guidance on the processing of AETO and transferring qualified lawyer applications.

Application Fees

Our Policy on Application Fee Payments, Waivers and Refunds includes guidance on:

  • making application fee payments by bank transfer (BACS) or credit/debit card
  • fee waivers
  • refunds

Transferring Qualified Lawyers

UPDATE - June 2022

Please note that access to the MyBar portal for both practising barristers and Transferring Qualified Lawyer applicants was suspended following the recent cyber-attack on the Bar Standards Board and Bar Council which resulted in a total IT systems shutdown between 13 April and 19 May 2022. 

We have now restored access to our IT systems and so we are able to re-open the MyBar portal for applications. Once your CRM profile has been created by us , you should select ‘Online application for transferring Lawyers’ and ‘Transferring Qualified Lawyer’ on the MyBar portal.

Please refer to the application guidelines as you prepare your application and collate any required supporting documents.

If you are unable to submit your application within the three-month period of validity (eg for Certificates of Good Standing) due to the shutdown of our IT systems, this will be taken into consideration and we will not require you to obtain further copies of these documents when submitting your application through the MyBar portal.


In June 2021 we published important information for transferring qualified lawyers and for those with outstanding BTT requirements.

Applications for Authorisation as an Authorised Education and Training Organisation (AETO)

We are temporarily unable to process applications to be Authorised as an AETO for the purpose of delivering work-based learning (pupillage) due to our current technical difficulties. Please see our IT Systems Update - June 2022, above.

If you applied more than 12 weeks ago and are yet to receive a decision, please contact the Authorisations Manager.

Applications for transition from PTO to AETO

PTO to AETO Transitional Arrangements 2021/22 - please see our FAQs and our detailed guidance on the transition process for existing pupillage providers.

As of 1 July 2022, we have a total of 354 applications being transitioned:

  • 83 applications pending submission by existing PTOs
  • 22 applications pending assessment.
  • 80 applications in assessment.
  • 0 applications pending a decision.
  • 4 applications on hold (submission postponed by applicant).
  • applications require further information to complete the assessment.
  • 155 applications processed with authorisation decisions issued, via email.

Have we got the right contact details for your organisation? We are unable to send you the latest information relating to AETO transitional arrangements without a current email address. Please contact the team via email at authorisations@barstandards.org.uk to advise us of any changes.

Pupillage Registration, Sign Off and Waivers

Please see our IT Systems Update - June 2022, above.


The pupillage registration process is changing! We are already working with the Inns to streamline our process with them, so that pupils can register for assessments and courses with fewer delays.

Please look out for more information about proposed changes and how you can help shape the process. Contact us via email to authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk if you would like to know more.


PLEASE NOTE - you can submit Pupillage forms up to 10 days in advance of pupillage start and end dates. This helps us to help you by preventing delays in the process created by last minute submissions.


Pupillage Registration

PLEASE NOTE - you may commence pupillage pending receipt of confirmation of registration from us. Due to current processing times, this may be up to four weeks after you submit your form. Please refrain from contacting us to follow-up on your registration form unless you have not heard from us after four weeks, following the submission of your form.

Pupillage registrations

Date received Number of emails
Up to 31 March 2022 2
1 April to 15 April 2022 3
16 April to 29 April 2022 6

The table above shows the number of emails received by the Authorisations Team relating to pupillage registration within the periods shown. This does not necessarily represent the total number of pupillages to be registered as this includes responses to information requests from our team, follow-up emails from pupils/AETOs who have already sent in forms, and general queries relating to the registration process. 


Pupils' Advocacy Course

Once your pupillage has been registered, please contact your Inn of Court to book on to the Pupils' Advocacy Course, as soon as possible. Please note that you will not be able to progress to the practising period of pupillage until the advocacy course has been completed. The date(s) of your advocacy course should be noted on you non-practising period completion form.


Pupillage Completion (sign off)

April 2022 - We are entering the peak period for non-practising pupillage completion.  

  • If you have submitted a pupillage sign off form for the non-practising period you should expect this to be processed within 10 working days or before you commence the practising period whichever is sooner. 
  • If you have submitted a pupillage sign off form for the practising period you should expect this to be processed within one month or before your Provisional Practising Certificate (PPC) expires whichever is sooner. 

Any anticipated delays to the pupillage administrative process will be published on this page. 


Material changes

Currently, we are dealing with approximately 80 requests for material changes (eg notification of a change of pupil supervisor). Please note that there may be delays in the processing of these forms as we are prioritising pupillage completion processes and provisional practising certificate requests.


Waivers

If you have applied for a pupillage reduction or dispensation then your application should be determined within 6 to 8 weeks.  When applying, please allow enough time for your application to be considered as we cannot guarantee that it will be expedited at your request. Please note that you can commence pupillage while waiting for a decision for a reduction in pupillage and amend the duration of your registered pupillage in the event of a successful outcome to your application.

Entity Regulation

Please see our IT Systems Update - June 2022, above.


130 entities renewed their authorisation successfully with us during 2021.

We are in the midst of the 2022/23 entity renewals process and have extended the deadline for renewal until 31 July 2022. Please check this page for further information and updates. We will be making further announcements via social media, email and our monthly regulatory updates.

There are currently 143 BSB authorised Entities – you can view the Entity Register on our website. 

Please allow six to nine months for us to complete our assessment of your application, depending on the complexity of your proposed business model.   

We request that you respond to information requests from us in relation to your application within 10 working days.

We currently have 7 entities that are waiting to be assessed, and there are 8 applications in assessment / with decisions pending.

For details on the application process, please visit the Becoming a BSB Entity page on our website. To arrange an informal discussion with a member of the team, please email the Authorisations Manager.


About this page 

If you have any comments or suggestions about our page, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us via email to authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk and quote ‘Web Update’ in the subject header.