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.  


Announcements 

November 2021

We are finalising pupillage registrations and dealing with related queries this month. Please see our drop-down panel on this page for the latest information on our processing times for these forms and queries.

If you want an application prioritised for assessment, you will need to submit a request in writing to the Authorisations Manager, providing any grounds and the date by which the decision is required.

We are focussing on the PTO to AETO Transitional Arrangements - do continue to visit this page for updates.

We are keen to hear from organisations who are interested in becoming authorised as an AETO whether they are currently authorised as a PTO or have never offered pupillage before. If you are interested in becoming an AETO, please contact the Authorisations Manager.

December 2021

We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

The Authorisations Team would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience during 2021 while we tackled a backlog of work and applications were delayed.

If you would like your application to be prioritised for assessment, you will need to submit a request in writing to the Authorisations Manager, providing any grounds for your request and the date by which a decision is required.

We continue to focus on the PTO to AETO Transitional Arrangements, which are due to conclude in March 2022. We will be publishing updates and issuing emails regularly and ask that you continue to visit this page for the latest information.

We are keen to hear from organisations who are interested in becoming authorised as an AETO whether they are currently authorised as a PTO or have never offered pupillage before. If you are interested in becoming an AETO, please contact the Authorisations Manager.

January 2022

The return from the Christmas break sees the Authorisations Team busier than ever. We are pleased to announce that we are still processing applications within eight weeks.

This month we will continue to focus on the PTO to AETO Transitional Arrangements, which are due to conclude in March 2022. We will be publishing updates and issuing emails regularly between January and March and ask that you check the Regulatory Update as well as visiting this page for the latest information.

If you are a pupillage provider and have not yet been authorised as an AETO, please contact the Authorisations Manager, Sam Jensen via email to authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk for advice and guidance on what this means for you and any planned pupillages after March 2022.

We are keen to hear from organisations who are interested in becoming authorised as an AETO whether they are currently authorised as a PTO or have never offered pupillage before. If you are interested in becoming an AETO, please contact the Authorisations Manager.


Applications for Exemptions & Waivers  

We are currently processing the usual number of applications for exemptions and waivers from the Bar Qualification Rules. A number of these applications relating to Transferring Qualified Lawyers and Pupillage have been prioritised 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.

If you are waiting to hear about a decision for an application submitted to us over eight weeks ago, we would like to reassure you that you can expect to hear from us during the next two weeks. The table below should be used as a guide for when you should expect to receive a decision, based on when your application was/is received by us. Please do not contact us about the progress of your application as the information we can give you about likely completion time is set out below. 

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

Received by us  

Expected date for assessment between

Up to 24 December 2021 5 January and 22 February 2022
25 December to 31 January 2022

23 February and 19 March 2022


Transferring Qualified Lawyers

If you are a transferring qualified lawyer who submitted an application before 12 November 2021, you can expect to receive a decision from us by 31 January 2022. We apologise for the delay in processing these applications which is due to ongoing training within the team.

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)

If you have applied within the last 12 weeks to be Authorised as an AETO for the purpose of delivering work-based learning (pupillage) and were not previously authorised as a Pupillage Training Organisation (PTO), you can expect to receive a decision by 31 January 2022.

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 21 January 2022, we have a total of 310 applications being transitioned:

  • 81 applications pending submission by existing PTOs
  • 5 applications pending assessment.
  • 99 applications in assessment.
  • 3 applications pending a decision.
  • 5 applications on hold (submission postponed by applicant).
  • 12 applications require further information to complete the assessment.
  • 108 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 NOTE that 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.


We are now entering the busiest period of the year for pupillage related enquiries and administration. 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 registrations

Date received Number of emails
1 January to 14 January 2022 4
14 January to 21 January 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. 

Pupillage Completion (sign off)

  • 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. 

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

130 entities renewed their authorisation successfully with us during 2021.

There are currently 140 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 3 entities that are waiting to be assessed, and there are 15 applications in assessment / with decisions pending.

For details on the application process, please visit the Becoming a BSB Entity page on our website. 


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.