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BSB launches a public consultation on amending the definition of academic legal training

Breaking NewsBSB launches a public consultation on amending the definition of academic legal training

The BSB has launched a three-month public consultation to seek views on our proposed approach to revising the definition of academic legal training and to dealing with consequential waivers and exemptions.

Training for the Bar has three components: academic, vocational and work based. We have been reviewing the current rules governing the requirements for successful completion of the academic component of training for practice at the Bar and we think that they no longer effectively promote our objectives of maintaining high standards, flexibility, accessibility, and affordability.

The BSB therefore proposes to simplify the current definition of academic legal training so that it is easier to understand and apply. The revised definition will take into account various requirements that are currently dispersed across the BSB Handbook, the Bar Qualification Manual and the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy into one single definition. The details of what constitutes academic legal training will be set out in our Curriculum and Assessment Strategy.

We believe that vocational training providers are best placed to determine whether or not someone is ready to commence the vocational component of training. They already make admissions decisions and the proposals will enable them to make decisions about students who would normally have come to us to request waivers and exemptions. They will do this in line with guidance that we develop. We will want to see clear evidence of how the guidance is being applied to ensure that standards are being maintained and how organisational policies (particularly those relating to equality, diversity and inclusion) will inform their application of the guidance.

We also propose that training providers should be the ones to decide whether non-graduates or overseas applicants should be allowed to start a Graduate Diploma in Law course again in accordance with guidance which we would set.

The consultation will be open for three months until 8 April 2024 and you can read the full consultation document, containing the proposals, here.

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