17 November 2018

Training during pupillage

Training during pupillage

All pupils must attend an Advocacy Training Course and currently, a Practice Management course during pupillage. A full qualification certificate will not be issued at the end of pupillage unless these requirements have been met. Barristers are also currently required to undertake a Forensic Accountancy Course during pupillage or during the first three years of practice.

Pupils Advocacy Course 

The Pupils' Advocacy Course provides training on core aspects of advocacy, including case preparation, witness handling, speeches and pleas in mitigation.

All Inns and circuits provide Advocacy Training Courses for their pupils. Pupils in London or on the South Eastern Circuit are required to attend the course run by their Inn; pupils on circuit are required to attend the course run by that circuit. Advocacy training should, except in exceptional circumstances, be completed in the first six months of pupillage. If the course is not completed in the first six months, the non-practising months of pupillage will be extended until the course has been satisfactorily completed.

Practice Management Course

The purpose of the course is to provide information about a number of matters regarded as essential to those starting out in practice and to help make a bridge between pupillage and practice.

This course is run by the Inns for pupils in London and on the South Eastern Circuit. Pupils outside of London are able to attend a course run by their Circuit. The course should be undertaken early on in pupillage.

Forensic Accountancy Course

The Forensic Accountancy Course introduces practitioners to the use of financial and accounting information in practice at the Bar. Most litigations involve financial affairs; this programme helps strengthen pupils' ability to ask the right questions and cross-examine in court. Topics include:

  • know what business, financial and accounting documents are relevant for the purpose of litigation;
  • have a basic understanding of standard accounting systems, both documentary and computerised;
  • be able to communicate effectively with accountants and experts on matters relating to monetary claims;
  • be more confident in dealing with business, financial and accounting information in practice.

This online course is provided by BPP Professional Education in conjunction with BDO LLP.

Failure to Complete

Pupils who do not complete all required elements of training during pupillage will not be entitled to a full qualification certificate, even if they have completed 12 months pupillage. Without a full qualification certificate, they will not be entitled to a practising certificate and so will not be able to enter into independent practice or exercise rights of audience as an employed barrister. A pupil who holds himself or herself out as a practising barrister before the grant of a full qualification certificate is in breach of Rule C19 of the Code of Conduct in the BSB Handbook and will be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.

Future Bar Training (FBT) - What's changing?

Once the changes have been implemented, the need to complete courses in Forensic Accountancy and Practice Management during pupillage or another form of work-based learning, will cease.

A new mandatory Negotiation Skills course will be introduced and will need to be completed during this component of training.

The compulsory advocacy course will remain and will still need to be completed during the non-practising period of pupillage or work-based learning.

Pupils who have trained under one of the new pathways, (ie those how have only taken an AETO set Ethics exam during the vocational component), will need to take and pass the centralised Ethics exam during pupillage.

We publish the applicable dates in due course; for current pupillages, there are no changes to the current requirements.

If you would like to read more about all the FBT changes in one place, please visit our Future Bar Training webpage.