You must complete Public Access training before registering to undertake Public Access with the Bar Council Records Office.

We have appointed the Bar Council, Barristers Direct and HJT Training to deliver Public Access training schemes.

Contact details for the Bar Council are: 020 7242 0082, [email protected] or visit their website.

Contact details for Barristers Direct are: 020 7822 7000, [email protected] or visit their website

Contact details for HJT Training are: 020 3766 3860, [email protected] or visit their website

Public access training courses are designed so that you achieve the following training outcomes:

  • know and understand the regulatory and legal requirements that apply to Public access work;
  • understand the circumstances when it would be in a client’s best interests to refuse instructions or withdraw from a case;
  • understand the relevant considerations for instructions from intermediaries;
  • identify and address the needs of vulnerable clients so that you can act in the client’s best interests;
  • know and understand the skills required for managing cases, including writing appropriate letters and keeping files; and
  • interact appropriately and effectively with lay clients in:
    • making initial contact and establishing a relationship;
    • discussing, explaining, and agreeing fees; and
    • explaining the role of a barrister and discussing whether it might be in the client’s best interests to instruct a solicitor.

If you want to, you can download a copy of the requirements for public access training providers below.


Qualified person requirement

If you are have less than three years' standing and are seeking to register for Public Access work, you will need to nominate a qualified person who has registered for Public Access with the Bar Council Records Office.

Exemption Application

You may apply for exemption from the public access training requirement or from the requirement to work with a public access-registered qualified person.

Conducting Litigation

If you are a self-employed barrister, you are allowed to apply for an extension to your practising certificate  in order to be able to conduct litigation.

This means that, as long as you are a Public Access barrister and you have the correct authorisation, your clients no longer have to act as a self-representing litigant or instruct a solicitor, should the case go to court.

Legal Aid work and Public Access barristers

The Public Access scheme has been widened to include clients who might be entitled to Legal Aid.

Please refer to the BSB Handbook for further guidance on the rules relating to Public Access.