23 September 2019

Latest draft of the framework for authorising Bar training providers published

We have published the latest version of the Authorisation Framework for the Approval of Education and Training Organisations (AETOs), who provide vocational training and pupillage and other forms of work-based learning for those training for the Bar.

The latest version takes into account comments received on previous drafts which were first published for consultation in October 2017 and which have subsequently been the subject of an extensive programme of consultative engagement with relevant stakeholders.

The purpose of the Authorisation Framework is to explain to training providers what they must do to meet our requirements to be authorised to deliver Bar training. In particular, it explains what will be required to comply with the four principles of accessibility, affordability, flexibility and sustaining high standards.

We also published guidance for those who wish to become authorised to deliver the vocational component of Bar training eg Universities. Guidance will be published for those providing pupillage and other forms of work-based learning in the future.

These separate guidance documents will explain the different sets of evidence which we will require from the two types of AETO to reflect the different components of training which they will provide. The evidence sought from a training provider offering vocational training to a large number of students will be of a different scope and nature to that required from a chambers with only one or two pupils, for example. This reflects our risk-based approach to Bar Training. The guidance for those providing pupillage will be piloted before publication to ensure that it is easy to use by chambers and other providers of work-based learning.

We hope that these documents will help training providers to prepare for the new authorisation arrangements and will encourage them to innovate in providing new ways of training for the Bar. We are very grateful to all those who commented on the framework during the consultation period and who have contributed to the framework and guidance work since then. We look forward to discussing the guidance for vocational training with existing and potential providers, and in due course to working closely with chambers to pilot the guidance that they will need.