Regulator’s report suggests future Barrister training will be “more affordable, accessible and flexible”

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has said that it will ensure that Barrister training becomes “more affordable, accessible and flexible” going forward.

The comments, which were made by BSB chair Sir Andrew Burns, came shortly after the publication of the regulator’s annual report, which highlighted exactly where the BSB stands right now in relation to its proposed three-year strategic plan for advancement.

A series of successes from the 2016/17 period have been noted, including the successful publication of an illuminating study into women’s experiences at the Bar, introducing a new CPB scheme for established Barristers, making preparations to provide licenses to Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) and other legal services providers and moving forward with on consultations into the future of Bar training.

Going forward, the BSB describes its strategy for the years ahead as being characterised by “adaptable plans for changing times,” which will include the authorisation of a “limited number of future training routes for prospective students to qualify as Barristers” to be implemented during 2017/18.

The move toward “more affordable, accessible and flexible” Barrister training follows a board decision made in March earlier this year.

Commenting on the publication of the BSB’s annual report, BSB chair Sir Andrew Burns said: “2016-17 was a very busy year for all of us at the Bar Standards Board.

“Much of that work now continues as we seek to make training for the Bar more affordable, accessible and flexible while sustaining high standards; to respond to the recent report into the legal services market by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA); to promote equality and diversity; and, above all, to represent the public interest and especially the needs of the most vulnerable consumers.”

The report estimates that the BSB has spent approximately £836,000 on its strategic programming so far, accounting for 17 per cent of the regulator’s direct costs.

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