24 June 2017

The Professional Statement

The Professional Statement

The Professional Statement for Barristers describes the knowledge, skills and attributes that all barristers should have on 'day one' of practice, ie the point at which barristers are issued a qualification certificate and may apply for a full practising certificate.  This version of the Professional Statement incorporating the threshold standard and competences was first published in September 2016.

Threshold standard and competences

The knowledge, skills and attributes stated in the Professional Statement cover a broad scope of competence. For example, a newly-authorised barrister would not be expected to have the same level of oral advocacy competence as one who has practised for many years.

A threshold standard has been developed to demonstrate the level of competence a barrister needs at the point of qualification. This is defined for each competence contained in the Professional Statement.

What is the Professional Statement and who is it for?

The Professional Statement and the threshold standard and competences contained within it can be used by:

The Bar Standards Board:It will assist us in maintaining standards of both those entering practice and those providing education and training. It will inform the development of alternative pathways to qualifications and the assessments that we control.

Those involved in the design and delivery of education and training for the Bar: It will be used to inform the development of education and training materials and pathways. In fact, it is a vital document in this regard, because it provides a list of all of the core competences that the training must deliver and precisely describes the standards that students must obtain.

Students / Aspiring barristers:Clearly understanding the competences that must be achieved in order to be authorised as a barrister will help students to make informed decisions about their future development and the training that they should expect to receive.

Practising barristers:The Professional Statement describes the essential knowledge, skills and attributes that barristers should expect of themselves and their peers. It sets the minimum standard that they must adhere to. It does not replace the Code of Conduct. All barristers must continue to comply with the regulations set out in the BSB Handbook, which will remain the sole reference point for disciplinary matters.

Consumers of barristers' services:The Professional Statement, threshold standard and competences may be used to inform an understanding of the barrister's role and the service a consumer can expect to receive. Complaints will continue to be dealt with under the Code of Conduct or the Legal Ombudsman.

Interested in helping us?

Visit our Get involved page to find out if there are any current opportunities for you to help inform this development, or any other Future Bar Training initiative.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our programme, please email

futurebartraining@barstandardsboard.org.uk.