The work-based learning component of qualification is a recognised period of training commonly known as "pupillage" and consists of your gaining practical training under the supervision of an experienced barrister. Work-based learning (pupillage) is divided into two parts: a non-practising period, usually of six months, and a practising period, usually of six months. All pupillages are advertised on the Pupillage Gateway.

Obtaining a pupillage is very competitive; our last survey, published in May 2018, showed that of the UK/EU domiciled graduates of the BPTC, 42.7% of those who enrolled on the course between 2012-13 and 2015-16 had so far started pupillage. 

Our rules stipulate that, as a pupil, you must receive a minimum award whilst you train during your pupillage, although some pupils earn more than the minimum amount. The minimum for pupillage awards from September 2019 is £18,436 per annum for pupillages in London and £15,728 per annum for pupillages outside London, taking into account the Living Wage Foundation's calculations of £9.00 per hour outside London and £10.55 per hour within London.

To complete the work-based learning component successfully, your supervising barrister must confirm to us that you have met the required standard. When this is done, you may apply to us for your first Practising Certificate. You cannot practise as a registered barrister in England and Wales unless you hold a valid Practising Certificate.

As well as demonstrating the knowledge, skills and attributes set out in the Professional Statement during your day-to-day work as a pupil, you will also have to undertake compulsory courses and/or assessments, depending on when you start your pupillage or period of work-based learning. More information on this and the rules and requirements relating to the pupillage can be found in Part 2 of the Bar Qualification Manual.


Reporting a concern

If you are a pupil and you have a concern about your pupil supervisor or AETO, you should where possible follow internal grievance procedures. If this does not resolve your concern, you can report your concern to us.

There is a list of sources of help and advice available to pupils in the Bar Qualification Manual.

If you would like to report a concern about a pupil who has been called to the Bar, you can do so by using our Online Reporting Form or by using this Word version of the form and emailing it to us at contactus@barstandardsboard.org.uk or posting it to us at: The Bar Standards Board, 289-293 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7HZ. 

Any concern against a pupil who has not been called to the Bar should be made to the pupil’s Inn of Court.