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 December 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.

We have now updated the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy to reflect the new requirements for the compulsory course in advocacy. Pupils commencing pupillage from 1 September 2024 will have to attend the new course. The new requirements do not differ significantly from the existing pupillage advocacy courses currently delivered by the Inns and Circuits. However, providers of the advocacy course, including those who currently deliver the existing course, must apply to the BSB for approval to deliver the new course using the advocacy course provider application form [link]. The aim of the new requirements is to ensure consistency of outcome for pupils no matter which course they attend.

The requirements are based on the work of the Curriculum and Assessment Review group over the past year. 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, and legal academics.

The Curriculum and Assessment Review group are currently working on finalising the requirements for the new course in negotiation. 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.