2 Mar 2021

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today announced that the annual Authorisation to Practise (AtP) process is now open. AtP is the process by which barristers in England and Wales make a number of regulatory declarations and pay the Practising Certificate Fee (PCF) in order to renew their practising certificates.

The PCF paid by individual barristers depends on their income in the preceding year. So, in 2021 it is determined by earnings in 2020. As many barristers’ incomes have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, both the BSB and the Bar Council – who take shares of the money raised by the PCF – have budgeted accordingly in anticipation that many barristers may be in lower PCF income bands this year. The level of PCF due from each barrister in each income band is the same as it was in 2020.

The Bar Council – who are responsible for collecting the PCF – have confirmed that those who pay their PCF via “block payments” may again do so by paying in two instalments with a minimum 50% first instalment due by 31 March and the second balance payment due by 30 September.

When completing AtP, barristers must make a number of regulatory declarations to the BSB including providing certain details about their practice such as the declarations required for Youth Court work, immigration supervision, and for anti-money laundering purposes. They must also confirm compliance with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements during 2020.

Barristers are required to complete the AtP process via the MyBar portal by 31 March 2021. Instructions on how to complete this year’s process will be emailed directly to barristers’ practices over the next few days.

More information about the 2021 AtP process is available on the BSB website.



Notes to editors

About Authorisation to Practise

Following changes to the internal governance rules within the General Council of the Bar, for the first time this year, the AtP process is being directly managed by the BSB rather than the Bar Council. However, the collection of fees – including the Practising Certificate Fee – remains the responsibility of the Bar Council.

The PCF varies depending on how much income a barrister earned in the previous calendar year. Please see below for the 2021-22 PCF rates.


Income Band

2020/21 Fees


£0 - £30,000



£30,001 - £60,000



£60,001- £90,000



£90,001 - £150,000



£150,001 - £240,000



£240,001 - £500,000



£500,001 - £1,000,000



£1,000,001 and above



More information about the 2021 AtP process is available on the BSB website.


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


Contact: For all media enquiries call: 020 7611 4691 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk

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