As part of our recent review of Bar training, our Board agreed a series of recommendations on all aspects of barrister training put forward by our Curriculum and Assessment Review group. As of June 2023, the vast majority of these recommendations have been implemented. The two remaining recommendations agreed by the Board are to review the requirements for the current compulsory course in advocacy during pupillage, and to introduce a compulsory course in negotiation skills during pupillage.

The Curriculum and Assessment Review group have spent the past six months drafting the criteria for both the advocacy and negotiation courses. This has included engagement with key stakeholders such as representatives from the Council of the Inns of Court and all four Inns, the Circuits, representatives from both pupillage and vocational authorised education and training organisations (AETOs), advocacy trainers, negotiation experts and legal academics. We are now finalising the criteria for the courses, which will be published in the autumn.

The requirement for pupils to undertake the new advocacy course during pupillage will not come in before September 2024, and the requirement for pupils to undertake the new negotiation course will not come in before September 2025. These requirements will only apply to new pupillages, ie pupillages which commence after the date that the requirement comes into effect.