For pupillages starting before 1 September 2019

AETOs can continue to use the pupillage checklists and should refer to section 3 below.

 

1. Using the Professional Statement to assess the competence of pupils

This section should be understood by AETOs, pupil supervisors and pupils.  It covers the competences and standards that the BSB requires pupils to achieve and how they are assessed.

AETOs are required to assess pupils in line with the threshold standard and competences specified in the Professional Statement for all pupillages commencing on or after 1 September 2019. This is a change to the previous requirement to complete the pupillage checklists.

1.1) The Professional Statement for Barristers, including the threshold standard and competences, describes the knowledge, skills and attributes that all barristers should have on “day one” of practice. The components of Bar training are designed to ensure that prospective barristers meet the threshold standards in the Professional Statement. It helps prospective barristers to understand the standards they need to meet, and it helps AETOs to understand what the outcomes of Bar training must be.

1.2) AETOs are required to assess pupils in line with the threshold standard and competences specified in the Professional Statement for all pupillages commencing on or after 1 September 2019. This is a change to the previous requirement to complete the pupillage checklists.

1.3) AETOs must develop their own training plan and records in place of the old checklists, to provide evidence to the BSB that pupils have met the competences, successfully completed each period of pupillage and are eligible to apply to the BSB for a Provisional Practising Certificate and a Full Practising Certificate. We do not prescribe templates for training records.

1.4) Since September 2017, it has been a requirement for vocational training providers to ensure that students understand how their learning relates to the Professional Statement, so pupils will be familiar with it.

Guidance on implementing the Professional Statement

1.5) The Professional Statement was rolled out with a group of early adopters for the 2017 and 2018 intakes of pupils in order to learn and share lessons before implementation to the Bar as a whole. The pilot group included 8 chambers and 4 organisations from the employed Bar (not otherwise regulated by the BSB). They provided a good cross-section of the Bar in terms of size, location and practice area.

1.6) The feedback from the early adopters about transitioning from the checklists to the Professional Statement was consistently very positive.

Feedback from the early adopters group about transitioning to the Professional Statement:

  • They found that they did not have to make significant changes to the content of their training programme; they felt that an AETO providing a high quality of training will already be addressing the range of competences covered by the Professional Statement. However, they found that they were more robust in documenting the training programme and providing transparency about how each competency is covered in the training programme, how it is assessed and how feedback is given to pupils.
  • AETOs found that the Professional Statement better reflects the training they were already delivering because it provides a more rounded framework of the competences needed to become a barrister.
  • AETOs in the employed Bar found good alignment with competence frameworks already in use in their own organisation.
  • In contrast, the checklists (previously mandated) focus on tasks to be completed and not on the competence of pupils. Some felt that the checklists are overly-long, providing a list of everything that might be seen in a particular area of practice, rather than focusing on what is important for a pupil and a newly qualified junior barrister. The documentation referred to in some checklists is out of date.
  • Using the Professional Statement competences was a trigger to develop more robust and transparent documentation of the assessment of pupils.
  • Some of the competences relating to expected behaviours provide a useful framework to tackle difficult conversations about development needs that were not addressed by the checklists.
  • Pupils bring with them different levels of experience and different strengths. The BSB’s flexible approach allows pupil supervisors to focus time on areas for development, rather than ticking off a list of activities to be completed. This is particularly useful where we have authorised reduced pupillages, based on prior experience.
  • Use of the Professional Statement helped to create a more balanced relationship between pupil and pupil supervisor. Whereas the onus before was on the pupil to tick off items on the checklists, AETOs found that it put a much clearer onus on the pupil supervisor (to actively assess competency), and the pupil (to reflect on their own development).
  • It helps pupils to get used to self-reflection, consistent with the CPD requirements, and QC and judicial appointments processes.

1.7) They also welcomed flexibility to develop their own documentation to suit their circumstances. However, they felt that guidance in the following areas would assist others. The feedback from the participants has helped to inform the guidance below for AETOs, pupil supervisors and pupils.

Training programme

1.8) Before pupillages start, AETOs should plan ahead to consider how their training programme will enable pupils to meet the competences to the threshold standard in the Professional Statement and how the pupil supervisors will assess competences.

1.9) The early adopters found that they did not have to make significant changes to the content of their training programme; they felt that an AETO providing a high quality of training will already be addressing the range of competences covered by the Professional Statement. However, they found that they were more robust in documenting the training programme and providing transparency about how each competency is covered in the training programme, and how it is assessed.

Case study:

An AETO maps each competence in the Professional Statement to identify:

a) the learning opportunities that are relevant, for example:

  • Sitting with the pupil supervisor
  • Interactions with the clerks
  • Interactions with solicitors
  • Observation in Court
  • In-house training course
  • Practising drafting
  • Completing work for the pupil supervisor and other barristers in the AETO
  • Practising as a pupil
  • Secondment

b) how they are assessed, for example:

  • oral and written feedback (solicitors, clients, clerks, pupil supervisors, other barristers)
  • assessment of in-house advocacy exercises
  • attendance at internal training

1.10) This process can help to identify where it may be difficult to support the pupil in meeting certain competences, eg. where pupils are not on their feet in the practising period, due to the complexity of practice area.

Competences that need to be met in order to apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate (PPC)

1.11) The BSB has not previously specified what threshold in relation to the checklists that pupils need to have met in order to apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate, other than to specify which of the compulsory courses during pupillage needs to be completed during the non-practising period of pupillage. 

1.12) The competences that need to be met to the threshold standard during each component of Bar training, including those that need to be met to the threshold standard before a pupil can apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate, are now set out in the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

Ensure that all pupil supervisors are familiar with the Professional Statement

1.13) Where an AETO has a number of pupil supervisors, ensure that they are all familiar with the training programme and the Professional Statement before their pupils start. This could be achieved by:

  • Holding a briefing session
  • Preparing a briefing pack for supervisors

Ensure that pupils understand how they will be assessed and when

1.14) Some pupils in the pilot were uncertain how they knew when they had done enough to meet the threshold standards. Pupil supervisors should discuss the training plan with their pupils as early as possible and agree how they are going to measure whether the competences are being met and what methods will be used to assess them, so that pupils are clear what is expected of them and how the supervisor is expecting them to demonstrate the competences.

Case study: formal review meetings

An AETO requires its pupil supervisors to hold formal appraisal meetings with their pupils every three months. A template is used to document progress in each of the four areas covered by the Professional Statement (barristers’ distinctive characteristics; personal values and standards; working with others and management of practice) and areas to focus on before the next review. The formal process reflects the discussions that are held, and the feedback given, on an ongoing basis during the quarter.

The record is reviewed by the Head of Pupillage, who is also available to meet pupils in the event of problems.

This approach:

  • provides transparency about whether the pupil is on track to meet the threshold standard in order to apply for a Provisional Practising Certificate or complete pupillage;
  • provides structure to focus on development needs and the plan to address them on a timely basis;
  • provides consistency between pupil supervisors;
  • alerts the Head of Pupillage to any problems;
  • enables effective handover between seat supervisors.

Self-reflection by pupils

1.15) The early adopters found that pupillage diaries continue to provide a useful record of training but wanted to ensure that it provided a clear link to the competences in the Professional Statement. Some pupils felt that they were spending too much time cross-referencing each case to the competences in the Professional Statement and wanted clearer guidance about the level of detail that their supervisors needed. On discussion, it was felt that an appropriate balance needed to be struck to enable pupils to self-reflect on their progress effectively.

Case study: encouraging self-reflection by pupils

An AETO devised a pro-forma pupillage diary that includes a column for self-reflection on the learning from the case and the key competences that were engaged.

Feedback from pupils and pupil supervisors

1.16) The larger early adopters in the pilot brought together their pupils and pupil supervisors, to discuss their experience of using the Professional Statement. This was helpful in reflecting on the first year of implementation, what worked well and what lessons were learnt.

Ensuring consistency of assessment

1.17) AETOs need to ensure that all those involved in assessing pupils take a consistent approach to assessment of the competences in the Professional Statement. This particularly applies to the following circumstances:

  • Where a pupil has more than one pupil supervisor over the course of their pupillage - Good quality record keeping will ensure that supervisors take a consistent approach to monitoring progress in meeting the required competences.
  • Where a pupil will be completing work for other barristers or others in the AETO - Structured feedback in relation to competences in the Professional Statement (perhaps focussing on those identified for development) provides a consistent and transparent framework for feedback.
  • Where the pupil will be undertaking a secondment outside of the organisation as part of their pupillage - The AETO and pupil supervisors will need to discuss and agree with the other organisation how the pupil’s performance will be assessed against the competences in the Professional Statement. Eg. the secondment may be arranged to help the pupil meet specific competences for which the AETO cannot provide the necessary experience.

Continued use of the specialist checklists

1.18) The BSB is no longer mandating the use of the checklists for pupillages starting on or after 1 September 2019 and, when the last pupillages that commenced before 1 September 2019 have been completed, they will no longer be maintained on the BSB’s website. However, opinions amongst the pilot group varied about their continuing value. Some of the early adopters found that the specialist checklists provided a useful reference point when planning the training programme and working with the clerks’ room to ensure that pupils were exposed to an appropriate range of work. Others thought that the checklists were too out of date and attempted to cover every possible type of document or procedure that a barrister might encounter, at the expense of focussing on those most often encountered at that stage of a barrister’s career.

1.19) It will be for the profession to decide with their Specialist Bar Associations (SBAs) whether there continues to be a demand for the checklists. We have provided this feedback to the SBAs. A list of SBAs is available here.

Monitoring, evaluation of progress and feedback

1.20) Monitoring, evaluation of progress, and regular feedback during pupillage are crucial. This enables pupils to understand their progress and what difficulties, if any, they face in successfully completing pupillage and tenancy selection. The form that this takes is a matter for the AETO and pupil supervisors to define.

1.21) The Authorisation Framework places specific requirements on AETOs in relation to evaluation, assessment and appraisal.

Authorisation Framework

Indicator 46.9. All AETOs must provide evidence of a variety of fair and objective evaluation, assessment and appraisal methods that support the development and demonstration of the Professional Statement Competences and are appropriately timed.

Indicator 46.11. All AETOs must provide evidence of the promotion of self-reflection that fosters the profession’s approach to Continuing Professional Development from an early stage

1.22) Giving constructive feedback and conducting an effective appraisal requires the pupil supervisor to develop the necessary skills and experience. AETOs should consider how they ensure that their pupil supervisors are equipped to do this, and pupil supervisors should reflect on this when planning their CPD for the year.

1.23) Formal appraisals, scheduled periodically, in addition to regular feedback and informal monitoring of progress, help to ensure that appropriate progress is made by pupils and that pupils understand the progress they are making and the areas for development. They give pupils the opportunity to address areas for development during the remaining period of pupillage. Pupil supervisors should ensure that they have regular meetings with pupils throughout the year to discuss progress and follow up any action that is agreed.

1.24) The appraisal process should provide a structured means of reviewing a pupil’s performance, providing objective feedback, identifying strengths and areas for development, and setting objectives to develop skills and competences. Appropriate documentation and forms should be developed by the AETO.

1.25) It is also an opportunity for pupils to provide feedback on their progress, the work they have done and the way they are being supervised. To enable the appraisal to be productive, both pupil and supervisor should take time to reflect before the appraisal takes place. Pupils can be encouraged to this by completing an appraisal preparation form.

1.26) It is important that pupils begin a habit of self-reflection on their own progress that should continue throughout practice, with a view to shaping a barrister’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD). During the first three full years as a practising barrister, barristers must comply with the CPD rules within the New Practitioners Programme (NPP). Once they have practised for more than three full years, they must comply with rules within the Established Practitioners Programme (EPP).

1.27) People other than the pupil supervisor may also contribute to the evaluation of pupils’ performance, eg. clerks, solicitors, members of the judiciary or clients. AETOs should establish appropriate mechanisms to do so, with transparent assessment criteria that are based on the competences in the Professional Statement.

1.28) Some AETOs develop their own structured written and oral assessment exercises. Again, these should reflect the competences in the Professional Statement

1.29) The Head of Pupillage, or equivalent, should monitor the appraisals so that the AETO is aware of the progress of all the pupils and can identify where there may be emerging issues.

Remedial work and extension of pupillage

1.30) Where it is not considered that the defined standards and competences have been met, the pupil supervisor must not sign off the pupil as having completed the non-practising or practising period of pupillage. This should not come as a surprise to the pupil. A transparent, effective and documented appraisal process should identify problems at an early stage, and the pupil should be clear what action is required to address them. The Head of Pupillage, or equivalent, should be kept informed.

1.31) Where a pupil is not signed off by their supervisor, opportunities may be provided for additional or remedial work to enable the pupil to attain the required level of competency, but there is no obligation for this to be provided by the AETO.

1.32) If a pupil is not signed off, the BSB should be informed by emailing pupillagerecords@barstandardsboard.org.uk

Plagiarism and cheating

BSB Handbook

Core Duty 3 requires that you (including pupils) must behave with honesty and integrity.

Rule C8 says that you must not do anything which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine your honesty, integrity and independence.

Rule C65.7 says that you must report promptly to the BSB if you have committed serious misconduct.

Rule C66 says that other barristers, if they have reasonable grounds to believe that there has been serous misconduct by a barrister, must report it to the BSB.

1.33) Plagiarism or cheating (eg. plagiarism of another pupil’s work, submitted for an assessment) must be properly investigated and reported to the BSB by the pupil or somebody else in the AETO, if the pupil has been Called to the Bar. It must also be reported to the pupil’s Inn and may be a reason for disciplinary action by the Inn.

Transferring pupillage

1.34) If the need arises for a pupil to transfer from one AETO to another during any stage of their pupillage, it is likely that the new AETO will need to apply for a waiver of the pupillage advertising requirements. If the funding for the remainder of the pupillage is not to be provided by the new AETO, the new AETO will also need to apply for a waiver of the pupillage funding requirements.

1.35) The former AETO must make available copies of their training records to date to the pupil and the new AETO. The pupil supervisor at the new AETO will need to be able to access these records in order to ascertain what skills and experience have so far been gained by the pupil, allowing them to plan the remainder of the pupillage accordingly.

2. Compulsory courses and assessments during pupillage

During pupillage, all pupils must attend certain compulsory courses and pass certain assessments to build on training received during the vocational component and to supplement work-based learning in an AETO during pupillage, so that pupils can meet the Competences in the Professional Statement.

The compulsory courses and assessments during the pupillage component are changing. This section summarises the current requirements and when the new requirements will take effect, as set out in the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy Pupils must ensure that they sign up for courses and assessments that they are required to take.

Summary of requirements and changes

2.1) The Curriculum and Assessment Strategy published on 1 April 2019 is complete for the academic and vocational components of training for the Bar.

2.2) The Curriculum and Assessment Strategy also contains information relating to the pupillage/work-based learning component of training. This includes a mapping document which outlines which competences in the Professional Statement should be covered at each stage of a prospective barrister’s training journey.

Future requirements...

Requirements from 1 September 2019

  • From 1 September 2019, any AETO delivering pupillage or work-based learning will have to adhere to the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy, and ensure pupils cover the relevant competences as outlined in the mapping document.

Requirements from 1 September 2020

Requirements from 1 September 2021

  • From 1 September 2021, there will be some further changes to pupillage, including the introduction of a compulsory course in Negotiation Skills and a centralised assessment in Professional Ethics. More information about the compulsory courses and the Professional Ethics will be confirmed in due course and the details will be added to the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

Course

When it must be completed

Method of delivery

Timing of changes

What has not changed

Advocacy Course

The non-practising period of pupillage cannot be signed off until this course has been satisfactorily completed.

Course and assessment provided in accordance with the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

N/A

Requirement that has been removed

Forensic Accounting Course

N/A

An online course provided by BPP.

Requirement removed with effect from

1 March 2019

Requirements that are being removed

Practice Management Course

During the non-practising period of pupillage.

Course provided by the Inns and Circuits.

Requirement removed for pupils starting on or after 1 September 2019

New requirements

Negotiation Skills

The non-practising period of pupillage cannot be signed off until this course has been satisfactorily completed.

Course and assessment provided in accordance with the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

This will come into effect for pupils starting on or after 1 September 2021.

Professional Ethics

Pupillage cannot be signed off until this course has been satisfactorily completed.

A BSB centrally set and marked open book examination during pupillage.

This will come into effect for pupils starting on or after 1 September 2021.

Advocacy

2.3) A fundamental objective of pupillage is that the pupil should develop and practise the skills necessary to be an effective advocate.

2.4) The standard of advocacy required was established together with the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (“ICCA” - formerly the Advocacy Training Council). The Advocacy Course provides training on core aspects of advocacy, including case preparation, witness handling, speeches and pleas in mitigation in accordance with the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

2.5) Courses consist of a minimum of 12 hours’ advocacy training, in the following four compulsory elements (based on the Dutton criteria):

  • Skeleton arguments
  • Oral submissions
  • Examination-in-chief
  • Cross-examination
  • Preparation

2.6) Details of advocacy courses can be obtained from the relevant Inn and/or Circuit.  Pupils in London or on the South Eastern Circuit are required to attend the course run by their Inn and pupils on Circuit are required to attend the course run by that Circuit.

2.7) Competences 1.13 to 1.15 of the Professional Statement relate to advocacy. This course, together with the advocacy training and practice that occurs during pupillage, is designed to enable pupils to meet competence 1.15 – “Have persuasive oral advocacy skills” to the threshold standard in order to complete the non-practising period of pupillage, at which point they can apply for their Provisional Practising Certificate.

2.8) The Advocacy Course must be satisfactorily completed in the non-practising period of pupillage. If the course is not satisfactorily completed, the non-practising period of pupillage can be extended.

2.9) In the event that a pupil fails to satisfactorily complete the Advocacy Training Course at the first or second attempt, a Stage 3 procedure will be invoked at the request of an Inn or Circuit. This is administered on behalf of the BSB by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA). Details of that procedure can be found on the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) website.

Guidance

Pupils must be given adequate time to prepare for compulsory advocacy training. Concerns have been raised in the past by ICCA about the preparation time made available for pupils. It is recommended that pupils are given at least a day for preparation.

Forensic Accounting

2.10) With effect from 1 March 2019, there is no longer a mandatory requirement to complete this course. Those already registered on the course will still have the opportunity to benefit from and complete the course if they wish to do so as BPP will provide continued support until 28 February 2020.

2.11) You should have access to course materials for 12 months starting from the date you enrolled onto the programme with BPP. If your enrolment to the programme has expired, you should contact BPP to discuss this matter further.

Practice Management Course

2.12) With effect from 1 September 2019, there is no longer a mandatory requirement to complete this course. This is because practice management is reflected in the competences in the Professional Statement and it is for for the AETO to determine the training and experience that their pupils need in order to meet the relevant competences to the threshold standard.

Professional Ethics

2.13) Assessment of Professional Ethics will be split between an assessment set by AETOs during the vocational component and a BSB centrally set and marked examination during pupillage.

2.14) The centralised assessment of Professional Ethics during pupillage will be an open book exam, better reflecting the real-life environment in which ethical questions are dealt with in practice.

2.15) Candidates must have been in pupillage for a minimum period of six weeks to sit the assessment in Professional Ethics, to ensure they have the benefit of context from their experience. It will not be a mandatory requirement to attend course in order to prepare for the exam.

2.16) Candidates will have three opportunities per year to sit the centralised Professional Ethics assessment (in December, April and August).

2.17) AETOs will not be able to sign off the practising period of pupillage unless the examination has been passed.

Negotiation Skills

2.18) Competences 1.7 of the Professional Statement relates to negotiation. This course, together with the negotiation training and practice that occurs during pupillage, is designed to enable pupils to meet competence 1.7 – “Negotiate effectively” to the threshold standard in order to complete the non-practising period of pupillage, at which point they can apply for their Provisional Practising Certificate.

2.19) It will be a requirement that the Negotiation Skills Course must be satisfactorily completed in the non-practising period of pupillage. If the course is not satisfactorily completed, the non-practising period of pupillage can be extended.

2.20) More information about the course, including who will provide it, will be available in due course

Extension of training in the event that a pupil fails to pass required assessments

2.21) If a pupil fails to satisfactorily complete a compulsory course or to pass an exam, it will be for the AETO to decide whether funded pupillage will be extended. This must be set out in a written agreement at the commencement of pupillage (see Part 2C (C1) of the Bar Qualification Manual).

Additional requirements set by AETOs

2.22) Some AETOs provide additional compulsory training courses as part of their training programme for their pupils. The provision of supplementary in-house training is not required by the BSB. It is for the AETO to decide how to enable pupils to meet and demonstrate the competences in the Professional Statement to the threshold standard.

Public Access Training

Good practice

Pupils who intend to intend to provide public access once qualified should have this supported during their pupillage. Some AETOs fund their pupils to attend public access training so that they can apply for accreditation for public access work promptly upon full qualification.

3. Pupillages commencing before 1 September 2019: pupillage checklists

This section only applies to pupillages that commenced before 1 September 2019 where AETOs have not implemented the Professional Statement in their pupillage training.

Pupillage checklists

For AETOs that are not yet using the Professional Statement as the basis of their pupillage training programme, pupils must achieve the specified standards in four core skills:

  1. Conduct and etiquette
  2. Advocacy
  3. Conferences and negotiations
  4. Drafting, paperwork and legal research

The standards are specified in a checklist, which is available on request to pupillagerecords@barstandardsboard.org.uk, for each of the core skills that must be completed, as evidence that the required standard has been met.

In addition to the four core skills checklists, pupil supervisors must provide their pupils with a fifth, specialist checklist, either from those available on request to pupillagerecords@barstandardsboard.org.uk, or designed by the AETO.

3.1) The primary purpose of the checklists is to provide guidance to pupils and pupil supervisors about the range of tasks that pupils are normally expected to cover during pupillage, and to provide a record of evidence of work and training completed to achieve them.

3.2) The levels to which such tasks are to be completed are defined below.

3.3) Checklists one to four cover the four core skills. In addition to the four core skills checklists, pupil supervisors must provide their pupils with a fifth, specialist checklist, either from those available from the BSB, or designed by the AETO, specific to those pupillages that they offer. These must relate to the common core skills. Specialist checklists do not have to be pre-approved by the BSB.

Conduct and etiquette

3.4) Pupils should have a thorough understanding and appreciation of the operation in practice of rules of conduct and etiquette at the Bar and achieve a working knowledge and understanding of the BSB Handbook and Code of Conduct.

3.5) Pupils should familiarise themselves with the BSB Handbook and Code of Conduct in the non-practising period of pupillage and ensure that they are prepared for dealing with common ethical dilemmas that may arise in the practising period.

3.6) If issues arise in practice, pupils should, wherever possible, consult with their pupil supervisor about the appropriate course of action. They may also contact the Bar Council’s Ethical Enquiries Service tel. 020 7611 1307.

Advocacy

3.7) A fundamental objective of pupillage is that the pupil should develop and practise the skills necessary to be an effective advocate.

3.8) The pupil must maintain a record of relevant work done and issues considered, demonstrating where the outcomes detailed above have been met. Reference should be made to the relevant checklist.

3.9) Formal assessment by the supervisor will not be expected but will be achieved by means of the Advocacy Training Course (refer to section 2 above). An appraisal of skills should take place at the end of the two periods of pupillage, with a written record.

Conferences and negotiations

3.10) Pupils must develop conference and negotiation skills.  This is likely to be largely by observation and discussion with the pupil supervisor. Pupils should be instructed with regard to the preparation for conferences and negotiations, including the making and retaining of a full and accurate note of all conferences. Even where participation is based on observation, pupils should be as actively involved as possible.  The objective should be to raise the pupil to a standard where they can competently conduct a conference or negotiation. Pupils and pupil supervisors should discuss in advance what is expected from pupils in a conference.

Drafting, paperwork and legal research

3.11) Although pupils will have had experience of paperwork as part of the vocational component of training, they will require assistance in making the transition to dealing with real cases and real circumstances. Pupils will develop writing and drafting skills through feedback on written examples of work, and their legal research skills will also be further enhanced.

3.12) Pupils must practice the necessary skills by producing their own work and receiving constructive feedback from their pupil supervisor; it is not sufficient solely to observe the work of the pupil supervisor. Feedback on a pupil's work should be given as soon as possible by a pupil supervisor while the work is still fresh in the mind of the pupil.

Good practice

Individual pupil supervisors may vary in the nature and extent of the feedback they give on paperwork, but pupils should always feel able to ask for more detailed comments on work if they are not sure where they have gone wrong. It is equally important for a pupil supervisor to identify what a pupil is doing well, so they can build on their strengths. Accuracy and speed of work are important factors.

Pupils should expect to read their supervisors’ opinions and draft pleadings and have the opportunity to discuss these with them.

3.13) By the conclusion of pupillage, a pupil should have demonstrated the appropriate proficiency in each of the relevant skills. The development of research skills will be largely pupil-centred but should be aided and directed by the supervisor as appropriate. A pupil should be assisted as necessary to learn how to locate and employ all relevant sources of information.

3.14) It is important that research skills are practised and developed, and feedback is provided. Written work must be submitted for assessment, and written feedback provided by the supervisor. An actual grade may or may not be provided.  Writing and research skills may be assessed by looking at written pieces of work, and elements of research will be evaluated as an integral part. Supervisors should be constructive without being too discouraging in the early stages.

3.15) The pupil must maintain a record of relevant work done and issues considered, demonstrating where the outcomes detailed above have been met.  The relevant checklist should be cross-referenced.

3.16) Filing (or otherwise retaining) copies of paperwork produced is good practice from the start of professional life.

Good practice

An index of names of cases and dates when work was done, filed in chronological order, is helpful when reviewing earlier cases and precedents. Pupils will then be able to look back at their previous cases and re-use legal research.

The ability for pupils to review their own work side by side with their pupil supervisor’s, or that of someone else with whom they have worked, is an excellent way to become self-critical and develop good paperwork skills.

If pupils apply for a tenancy in chambers, it is likely that they will be asked to submit work for consideration, so good record keeping is essential.

Specialist Checklists

3.17) Training in specialist areas will vary according to the AETO. The actual time spent on specialist areas should remain flexible. While some pupils prefer to specialise at an early stage, others may prefer to widen their experience in different areas.

Good practice

Some variation or rotation between supervisors, even for short periods, is recommended in order to provide broad experience.

It is also recommended that pupils from the Employed Bar spend some time in chambers, and that pupils from chambers spend some time at the Employed Bar, if this can be arranged.

3.18) The standard specialist checklists are available from the BSB. Items listed in the checklists which are marked with an asterisk are those which the Specialist Bar Associations consider essential to cover in their area of practice during pupillage. Outcomes must have been met but it is not essential for the pupil to cover every item on the checklist (a good range should be covered).

3.19) If none of the specialist checklists are appropriate, AETOs or supervisors must draw up their own specification to take into account the nature of their work and the type of pupillage that is provided.

3.20) Where the work of a pupil supervisor is highly specialised, consideration should be given to broadening the experience of the pupil, for example by secondment to others with a more general practice or marshalling (shadowing a judge). If the secondment is for a short period of time it is not necessary to notify the BSB, but for secondments of a month or more must be approved. This is to ensure that the primary pupil supervisor continues to maintain an overview of the pupil's progress and is able to sign off the pupil’s work.

3.21) If an AETO is unable to provide training for any essential elements set out in the core checklists, steps must be taken to ensure that these elements will be covered elsewhere.

3.22) There may be overlap between the core and specialist checklists. Cross-referencing of checklists is acceptable to save duplication of effort.

3.23) In a professional environment, the value and quality of work is judged by its worth to the client:

  • Advice given in conference or in writing must be clear, accurate, comprehensible and constructive. It must address all the issues which the client faces.
  • Where documents are submitted to court, they must represent the client’s case accurately and fairly, and be worthy of the respect of the court.
  • Oral advocacy must be measured against the client’s interests and needs. The advocate must be able to present an effective case for the client, in a persuasive and clear manner.

3.24) The standards of assessment applied to pupils should be equally client-oriented.

Good practice

Pupils should expect to see as much of their pupil supervisor’s court work as possible.

AETOs vary in the extent to which pupils are encouraged to attend court with other members, but it is important that pupils see court work done by junior members of the AETO to prepare them for court appearances in the practising six months.

Pupils will gain most benefit from observing court work if they are able to read the papers and discuss them before or after the court appearance, and it is always useful to prepare a skeleton submission or draft questions that should be asked.

A pupil should not offer an opinion regarding the case to the client. Any views should be discussed with the pupil supervisor alone.

Assessment of work

3.25) The checklists will be used by the pupil supervisor to review progress. The BSB may use them when supervising AETOs so they must be retained by the AETO. They may also be useful evidence for AETOs in considering chambers’ tenancy applications or employment after pupillage.

3.26) Pupils and pupil supervisors will need to discuss how the checklists will be used, but pupils must refer to the checklists regularly throughout pupillage, providing as much information as possible in the commentary sections.

3.27) The checklists can be used to plan the training pupils receive during pupillage, to check they are experiencing an adequate range of work, and to review progress during pupillage. Once checklists to be used during pupillage have been identified, pupils must ensure that they are familiar with them. If a checklist does not meet particular requirements, it can be discussed with the pupil supervisor how it might be amended.

Good practice

Pupils should keep diaries or portfolios of all work undertaken and go through the checklist at least every three months, filling in the relevant details of their experience. It will assist in the accurate completion of the checklist, which in turn aids the pupil supervisor in certifying the satisfactory completion of pupillage or identifying any gaps to be addressed.

Keeping a work diary is also useful if a pupil applies for another pupillage or tenancy, because completion of all requirements can be demonstrated to have been met. It provides an accurate record of experience and demonstrates organisational abilities that will be useful in practice.

3.28) It is not expected for pupils to cover all items in the specialist section of the checklist. However, any items identified as being essential should be covered in the non-practising period, and a good range of the other items should also be covered. Pupils should identify, in the appropriate section of the checklist, anything that has not been covered, and indicate how the gap in training can be remedied.