27 Jan 2022

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today announced that it has contracted with BTL Group Ltd to use the Surpass Assessment Platform to help it deliver the new centralised assessment in Professional Ethics to be sat by pupils during the pupillage component of Bar training. The first such assessment will be taken in April 2022 by pupils who commenced Bar Training from 2020 onwards or who completed the Bar Transfer Test (BTT) from August 2021 onwards.

Surpass software and services are used by professional awarding and accreditation bodies around the world to create, deliver and analyse results from millions of exams across the healthcare, financial and legal sectors.

In December 2020, the BSB invited expressions of interest from suppliers with the knowledge, expertise and experience to design and deliver computer-based testing services. This was to provide an end-to-end solution for the creation, delivery, marking and moderation of the new Professional Ethics assessment which, following the introduction of new Bar Qualification Rules in 2019, will take place during the work-based learning/pupillage component of Bar training.

The contract also includes the writing and storing of questions for the Civil Litigation and Criminal Litigation multiple choice centralised examinations sat by candidates during the vocational component of Bar training. In the tendering process and the choosing of a supplier, the BSB was mindful of the findings of last year’s independent review of computer based assessments.

Dr Victoria Stec, BSB Head of Authorisation, said: “We are delighted to say that we have now contracted with BTL and look forward to working with them on the future delivery of our exams.”

Sonya Whitworth, Managing Director at BTL commented: ‘It’s fantastic news to be able to welcome another prestigious professional organisation to the Surpass Community. We look forward not only to supporting them in their e-assessment journey, but also having their expertise contribute to the wider discussion of improving the assessment experience for everyone’.



Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

About BTL

Established in 1985, BTL Group Ltd. has grown into a global provider of assessment technology and services used by some of the world’s highest profile providers of high-stakes summative assessments. Since 2007, BTL’s core focus has been the development of its award-winning assessment platform, Surpass, and related services. Surpass has been used internationally to create, deliver and mark over 30 million computer-based tests to date.


Contact: For all media enquiries call: 020 7611 4691 or email [email protected].

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