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 9:30 am and 12:00 pm in the morning and between 1:00 pm and 3:30 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 ([email protected]) and we will respond in writing as soon as we are able.

If your query relates to the application for admission to the Bar as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer, members of the team will be available to discuss these applications by telephone at the following times:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

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

Announcements 

AUTH February 2024

We are continuing to contact all applicants with outstanding exemption or waiver applications on a monthly basis. The most recent of these general emails was sent on 21 December. On 1 February 2024, we sent out emails to all applicants where we had identified outstanding information/documents or fees. If you did receive one of these emails, please respond as soon as you are able so that we can either progress or withdraw your application, as appropriate.


We are continuing to deal with a very high volume of applications across all categories, and so applications are now likely to take at least 12-16 weeks to process.

Due to the overall volume of applications at present, we have very limited capacity to consider requests for priority processing of exemption or waiver applications. As far as possible, we will continue to consider such requests:

  • if the outcome is required to confirm registration on a GDL or vocational component Bar Course, or for Bar Transfer Test assessments; or
  • if the outcome is required for an upcoming court appearance (eg authorisation as a licensed access client).

We cannot otherwise guarantee to prioritise any applications, at present.

If you would like your application to be prioritised for assessment, you will need to submit a request (in writing), as follows:

  • For Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications, please email [email protected]
  • For all other application types, please email [email protected] marked for the attention of the Head of Authorisations Operations

You will need to set out any grounds for the urgent processing of your application and confirm the date by which a decision is required.

If you have already submitted a request for your application to be prioritised, this will be reviewed as soon as possible in order to provide you with an anticipated decision date for your application.

We will be processing non-prioritised outstanding exemption or waiver applications based on the date that the application is regarded as ‘complete’ (ie when we have received all relevant documents and payment of the application fee) so we will be dealing with the oldest outstanding applications first.

If you need, or would prefer, to withdraw your application, please contact us directly on [email protected]. If you have already paid an application fee and your application has not been processed by us, we will arrange a refund of that payment.


We now have a dedicated sub-group within the Authorisations Team to process applications for admission to the Bar as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer. These additional resources should enable us to issue application decisions more quickly and we will be publishing a timetable on this page with anticipated decision dates for outstanding TQL applications, shortly.

Please note that if you have submitted an online application as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer, your application will not be processed until your application fee has been paid and we have received all necessary supporting documents including:

  • your Certificate of Good Standing
  • your CV and
  • your Personal Statement (please see the application guidelines for further details).

Any correspondence relating to Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications should now be directed to our dedicated email address – [email protected].


Pupillage Forms

Updated versions of the Certificates of Satisfactory Completion, Registration, and Material Change form templates can now be downloaded from our website. Please note that forms must include handwritten or digital signatures – typed signatures will not be accepted, and this will delay the processing of the form.

Further details of our current pupillage-related correspondence may be found in the expandable panel below (‘Pupillage Registration, Sign Off and Waivers’).

Queries relating to the pupillage completion and registration processes should be sent to us by email to [email protected].  


Our team is working to conclude the transitional process for pupillage providers previously authorised as Pupillage Training Organisations (PTOs) seeking to become Authorised Education and Training Organisations (AETOs).

If you have received a conditional authorisation decision from us, please respond to any conditions set out in your authorisation letter, as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt but may not be able to provide a formal reply immediately, while we are prioritising applications from existing PTOs that have not yet obtained AETO status.

Authorised AETOs may advertise for, and recruit, new pupils as soon as they have received an authorisation decision letter (whether conditional or unconditional).

Authorised AETOs will start to receive their formal AETO Agreements from us in the Spring of 2024.

AUTH March 2024

We are continuing to contact all applicants with outstanding exemption or waiver applications on a regular basis – the next of these emails will be sent before the end of March 2024. We will also contact applicants by email to request outstanding documents and/or fees but applicants should ensure, as far as possible, that their applications are complete before submitting them to the team.


We are continuing to deal with a very high volume of applications across all categories, and so applications are now likely to take at least 12-16 weeks to process.

Due to the overall volume of applications at present, we have very limited capacity to consider requests for priority processing of exemption or waiver applications. As far as possible, we will continue to consider such requests:

  • if the outcome is required to confirm registration on a GDL or vocational component Bar Course, or for Bar Transfer Test assessments; or
  • if the outcome is required for an upcoming court appearance (eg authorisation as a licensed access client).

We cannot otherwise guarantee to prioritise any applications, at present.

If you would like your application to be prioritised for assessment, you will need to submit a request (in writing), as follows:

  • For Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications, please email [email protected]
  • For all other application types, please email [email protected] marked for the attention of the Head of Authorisations Operations

You will need to set out any grounds for the urgent processing of your application and confirm the date by which a decision is required.

If you have already submitted a request for your application to be prioritised, this will be reviewed as soon as possible in order to provide you with an anticipated decision date for your application.

We will be processing non-prioritised outstanding exemption or waiver applications based on the date that the application is regarded as ‘complete’ (ie when we have received all relevant documents and payment of the application fee) so we will be dealing with the oldest outstanding applications first.

If you need, or would prefer, to withdraw your application, please contact us directly on [email protected]. If you have already paid an application fee and your application has not been processed by us, we will arrange a refund of that payment.


We now have a dedicated sub-group within the Authorisations Team to process applications for admission to the Bar as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer.

Please note that if you have submitted an online application as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer, your application will not be processed until your application fee has been paid and we have received all necessary supporting documents including:

  • your Certificate of Good Standing
  • your CV 
  • Certificates/transcripts of any formal qualifications listed in your application and
  • your Personal Statement (please see the application guidelines for further details).

Any correspondence relating to Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications should now be directed to our dedicated email address – [email protected].


Pupillage Forms

We are now entering the Spring peak of non-practising pupillage completion. Certificates of Satisfactory Completion of the non-practising period will be prioritised in order to ensure that provisional practising certificates (PPCs) can be issued to pupils entering the practising period of their pupillage.

We will be dealing with a very high number of requests for PPCs over a relatively short period of time so please do bear with us while we are processing these requests, as quickly as we are able. We will require confirmation that the pupil has completed the Pupils’ Advocacy Course during their non-practising period of their pupillage in order to issue a PPC.

If the pupil is intending to change their pupil supervisor for the practising period of their pupillage, we will need to receive a Notification of Material Change form setting out the details of the change and the relevant dates.

Updated versions of the Certificates of Satisfactory Completion, Registration, and Material Change form templates can now be downloaded from our website. Please note that forms must include handwritten or digital signatures – typed signatures will not be accepted, and this will delay the processing of the form.

Further details of our current pupillage-related correspondence may be found in the expandable panel below (‘Pupillage Registration, Sign Off and Waivers’).

Queries relating to the pupillage completion and registration processes should be sent to us by email to [email protected].  


Our team is working to finalise the transitional process for pupillage providers previously authorised as Pupillage Training Organisations (PTOs) seeking to become Authorised Education and Training Organisations (AETOs).

If you have received a conditional authorisation decision from us, please respond to any conditions set out in your authorisation letter, as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt but may not be able to provide a formal reply immediately, while we are prioritising applications from existing PTOs that have not yet obtained AETO status.

Authorised AETOs may advertise for, and recruit, new pupils as soon as they have received an authorisation decision letter (whether conditional or unconditional).

Authorised AETOs will start to receive their formal AETO Agreements from us in the Spring of 2024.

AUTH April 2024

We are continuing to contact all applicants with outstanding exemption or waiver applications on a regular basis – the next of these emails will be sent before the end of April 2024. We will also contact applicants by email to request outstanding documents and/or fees but applicants should ensure, as far as possible, that their applications are complete before submitting them to the team.


We are continuing to deal with a very high volume of applications across all categories, and so applications are now likely to take at least 12-16 weeks to process.

Due to the overall volume of applications at present, we have very limited capacity to consider requests for priority processing of exemption or waiver applications. As far as possible, we will continue to consider such requests:

  • if the outcome is required to confirm registration on a GDL or vocational component Bar Course, or for Bar Transfer Test assessments; or
  • if the outcome is required for an upcoming court appearance (eg authorisation as a licensed access client).

We cannot otherwise guarantee to prioritise any applications, at present.

If you would like your application to be prioritised for assessment, you will need to submit a request (in writing), as follows:

  • For Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications, please email [email protected]
  • For all other application types, please email [email protected] marked for the attention of the Head of Authorisations Operations

You will need to set out any grounds for the urgent processing of your application and confirm the date by which a decision is required.

If you have already submitted a request for your application to be prioritised, this will be reviewed as soon as possible in order to provide you with an anticipated decision date for your application.

We will be processing non-prioritised outstanding exemption or waiver applications based on the date that the application is regarded as ‘complete’ (ie when we have received all relevant documents and payment of the application fee) so we will be dealing with the oldest outstanding applications first.

If you need, or would prefer, to withdraw your application, please contact us directly on [email protected]. If you have already paid an application fee and your application has not been processed by us, we will arrange a refund of that payment.


Any correspondence relating to Transferring Qualified Lawyer applications should now be directed to our dedicated email address – [email protected].

Our dedicated sub-group within the Authorisations Team for the processing of applications for admission to the Bar as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer is now up and running. The group is working to issue application decisions and to ensure any outstanding applications are ‘ready for assessment’ (ie when we have received all relevant documents and payment of the application fee).

If you have submitted an online application as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer, your application will not be processed until your application fee has been paid and we have received all necessary supporting documents including:

  • your Certificate of Good Standing
  • your CV 
  • Certificates/transcripts of any formal qualifications listed in your application and
  • your Personal Statement (please see the application guidelines for further details).

Pupillage Forms

Queries relating to the pupillage completion and registration processes should be sent to us by email to [email protected].  

We are now coming towards the end of the Spring peak of non-practising pupillage completion. 

Any outstanding requests for Certificates of Satisfactory Completion of the non-practising period will be prioritised in order to ensure that provisional practising certificates (PPCs) can be issued to pupils entering the practising period of their pupillage. At present, there are approximately 70 of these.

Please do bear with us while we are processing requests, as quickly as we are able. We will require confirmation that the pupil has completed the Pupils’ Advocacy Course during their non-practising period of their pupillage in order to issue a PPC.

If the pupil is intending to change their pupil supervisor for the practising period of their pupillage, we will need to receive a Notification of Material Change form setting out the details of the change and the relevant dates.

Updated versions of the Certificates of Satisfactory Completion, Registration, and Material Change form templates can now be downloaded from our website. Please note that forms must include handwritten or digital signatures – typed signatures will not be accepted, and this will delay the processing of the form.

Further details of our current pupillage-related correspondence may be found in the expandable panel below (‘Pupillage Registration, Sign Off and Waivers’).


Our team is working to finalise any outstanding transitional applications for pupillage providers previously authorised as Pupillage Training Organisations (PTOs) seeking to become Authorised Education and Training Organisations (AETOs).

If you have received a conditional authorisation decision from us, please respond to any conditions set out in your authorisation letter, as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt but may not be able to provide a formal reply immediately, while we are prioritising applications from existing PTOs that have not yet obtained AETO status.

Authorised AETOs may advertise for, and recruit, new pupils as soon as they have received an authorisation decision letter (whether conditional or unconditional).

Authorised AETOs will start to receive their formal AETO Agreements from us in the Spring of 2024.

Students impacted by the Marking Boycott 2023

If you are a current undergraduate degree or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) student intending to start vocational Bar training in the Autumn, please read our Guidance for undergraduates affected by the University and College Union (UCU) marking boycott.

Applications for transition from PTO to AETO

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

As of 11 April 2024, we have a total of 311 applications being transitioned:

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

Authorised AETOs will start to receive their formal AETO Agreements from us in the Spring.

If you have received a conditional authorisation decision from us, please respond to any conditions set out in your authorisation letter, as soon as possible. We will acknowledge receipt but may not be able to provide a formal reply immediately, while we are prioritising applications from existing PTOs that have not yet obtained AETO status.

Authorised AETOs may advertise for, and recruit, new pupils as soon as they have received an authorisation decision letter (whether conditional or unconditional).

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 [email protected] to advise us of any changes.

Pupillage Registration, Sign Off and Waivers

Contact us: [email protected]


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. 

*The team is working on 15 outstanding emails relating to pupillage registration. 


Pupils' Advocacy Course

Once your pupillage has been registered, please contact your Inn of Court or Circuit to book on to the Pupils' Advocacy Course, as soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • You will not be able to progress to the practising period of pupillage until the Pupils' Advocacy Course has been completed. The date(s) of your Advocacy Course should be noted on your non-practising period completion form.
  • If you are completing a voluntary period of non-practising pupillage, arranged between yourself and your AETO (ie not required by the Bar Standards Board), you will not be required to complete the Pupils' Advocacy Course. For example, if you have been granted a reduction in pupillage by us and we have recommended that you complete only a period of practising pupillage but your AETO would prefer you to complete a short non-practising pupillage on a voluntary basis before commencing that recommended period of practising pupillage.

Professional Ethics assessment

Please see our guidance on the introduction of a new Professional Ethics assessment during pupillage.


Pupillage Completion (sign off)

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.

  • 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. 

*The team is working on 15 outstanding emails relating to pupillage completion.


Material changes

Please note that there may be delays in the processing of these forms at times when we need to prioritise pupillage completion processes and provisional practising certificate requests.

*The team is working on 65 outstanding emails relating to material changes.


Queries

*Currently, we are dealing with approximately 300 pupillage-related enquiries, separate from requests for pupillage registration and non-practising and practising period completion.


Waivers

If you have applied for a pupillage reduction or dispensation then your application will take at least 12 weeks to process, at present. 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.

Pupillage Advertising - accepting multiple/additional pupils

If a pupillage provider AETO has advertised for a pupillage(s) commencing on a particular date and then wishes to make offers to additional candidates who applied in the same recruitment round, they may do so provided that the additional candidate(s) will be starting their pupillages within six months (either before or after) the originally intended starting date.

If the additional candidate(s) will be starting their pupillage more than six months either before or after the other pupil(s), the pupillage provider AETO will need to apply for a waiver of the advertising requirements. This is because other candidates may have responded to the advert if they were aware that alternative starting dates were being considered.

Any additional pupillage candidates offered pupillage in this way must be fully funded in line with any other pupillages offered by the pupillage provider AETO at that time. If any variance in funding is intended, the pupillage provider AETO would need to apply for a waiver of the pupillage funding requirements.

If needed, the waiver application form and guidelines may be found in the Training & Qualification section of our website.

Transferring Qualified Lawyers

We will need to create a profile for you on our CRM in order for you to access the online applications listed below. In order for us to do so, please email [email protected] with the following details:

  • your full name and title
  • your postal address and
  • your contact email address

We will confirm your CRM Contact number by return of email, once your profile has been created. 


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. The other application types (eg. 'Transferring Solicitor') are still under development.


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

If you have submitted an online application as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer and have not yet paid the application fee of £440, please do so. 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

If you have a query relating to the application for admission to the Bar as a Transferring Qualified Lawyer, members of the Authorisations team will be available to discuss these applications by telephone (020 7611 1444) at the following times:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

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

Entity Regulation

The 2024-25 BSB Entity Renewal process opened on 4 March 2024. On that date, we issued an email notification to all entities who will need to renew their BSB authorisation, this year. If you have not received such an email, please check your junk mail folder and follow this up with the Entities Team, if necessary.

To date, 85 entities have completed the renewal process but 63 are still to do so - please see the Entities Register for the current status of any BSB entity.

All renewals should be completed by 31 May 2024. Renewals must be completed through the Entities Portal. The renewal process consists of answering a few questions, paying the renewal fee, and emailing an insurance certificate to [email protected].  

If you encounter any technical issues with the online renewal process, please do contact us on [email protected] or telephone (020 7611 1444).


If you have a registered entity with us but do not wish to renew your authorisation, you will still need to begin the online renewal process. You should indicate that you do not wish to renew in response to the first question on the online form. We will then get in touch with you directly about any other steps you may need to complete before your authorisation is revoked.

Please note that we will not withdraw your authorisation as an entity without providing written notice to you (by email).


There are currently 144 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.

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 [email protected] and quote ‘Web Update’ in the subject header.