14 Jul 2020

In the very difficult circumstances of the current health emergency the Bar Standards Board, the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers and our contractor, Pearson VUE, are working hard to ensure that as many as possible of the Bar students who are due to sit the assessments in Professional Ethics and Criminal and Civil Litigation, which form part of their BPTC exams, can do so. 

Not all students are sitting all three assessments but in all 6,487 bookings need to be made of which 871 bookings need to be made by those who need reasonable adjustments to sit their exams. 4,300 bookings have been made so far, of which 338 have been made by those needing reasonable adjustments. So good progress is being made.

Of the 4,300 bookings made so far, 4,160 have been made by students who have chosen to sit their exams at home using online proctoring. This option can also accommodate some of those who require reasonable adjustments to do their exams. 

But we are very conscious that online proctoring will not suit everyone and the option of sitting the exams in Pearson VUE’s many test centres is also therefore available. Because this option is particularly suited for some of those who need reasonable adjustments we are determined to ensure that their needs can be accommodated where possible before bookings for test centres opens for other students. For that reason we have decided to delay the opening of test centre bookings for other students, which had been planned for Wednesday 15 July, until Monday 20 July at 9.00am. We hope that students waiting to book their exams in test centres will understand that those needing reasonable adjustments must be given priority. 

We have also asked BPTC providers to give us the details of candidates who can’t be accommodated through the remote proctored system or at a Pearson VUE test centre and for whom there is no other suitable venue, such as a university campus, for them to take their assessments. We will be reviewing the information provided this week and will be in contact with those candidates to discuss their requirements.

Students should not contact the BSB about their examination arrangements as we are not in a position to discuss these with individuals. For queries about exam bookings, students should contact Pearson VUE and those who require reasonable adjustments should email [email protected]. For all other queries, students should contact their BPTC or BTT provider.

Arranging to deliver these exams under current conditions is a challenging task and we apologise to those students who have experienced difficulty making their bookings. We remain determined to do the best we can to meet the needs of students.

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