Bar Qualification Rules

BSB Handbook

Rule Q3 To be called to the Bar by an Inn an individual must have successfully completed the following:

.1    academic legal training;

.2    vocational training;

.3    the number of qualifying sessions as a student member of an Inn as prescribed from time to time by the BSB; and

.4    pay such fee or fees as may be prescribed.

Rule Q6 The BSB shall set out in writing:

.1    the requirements to be met by an Inn in admitting student members and calling individuals to the Bar;

.2    the manner in which an Inn shall assess whether such individuals are fit and proper; and

.3    the minimum requirements for the delivery of qualifying sessions by an Inn.


1) To ensure that only those who are fit and proper persons to practise as barristers are Called to the Bar, the Inn will undertake checks and seek declarations from each student prior to Call. The same requirement applies to those seeking re-admission.

2) Upon being Called to the Bar you will become an unregistered barrister (see Part 2C (C6) of the Bar Qualification Manual). You will not be allowed to practise as a barrister until you have completed the final component of qualification, the work-based learning component (pupillage) (see Part 2C of the Bar Qualification Manual).

3) Pupils will normally have been called to the Bar by their Inn before commencing pupillage.

The BSB will continue to have a role in the oversight of students intending to become a barrister in England and Wales. There will be a continuing partnership with the Inns of Court but with strengthened quality assurance/compliance arrangements in place. This oversight role will continue through the specification by the BSB of pre-Call and pre-authorisation requirements.

Fit and proper person checks (prior to Call to the Bar)

In line with the new fit and proper person checks, criminal records checks are being for those seeking to be Called from July 2021 onwards. A standard Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and/or the equivalent for those who have lived outside the England and Wales for 12 months (or longer) in the preceding five year period.