A bar training course designed by the Inns of Court has been given the go-ahead by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) will take applications for the ‘lower cost’ course from December 2019, having received conditional authorisation from the regulator.
The course will cost £13,095 in total and will be divided into two parts. Part one will cost £1,000, last for 12 to 16 weeks and will be taught online. Part two, which is skills-based, will last for 20 weeks and will cost £11,225.
Students have the option to leave the course after part one, having only paid £1,000.
The ICCA’s authorisation is conditional upon its registration with the higher education regulator Office for Students being approved. The training provider also needs to enter a contract with the BSB to deliver the authorised course.
The ICCA said: ‘The new course sets out to lower the cost of training and has been designed to reduce risk dramatically and increase flexibility for students through its innovative two-part delivery.’
Director general of the BSB, Dr Vanessa Davies, added: ‘For the last few years we have been reviewing the way in which students train for the Bar in the hope of making that training more accessible, more affordable and more flexible while sustaining high standards.
‘We are delighted that so many providers are now seeking authorisation to offer the vocational component of training for the Bar.’
At the moment, students pay between between £18,500 and £19,070 to complete the Bar Professional Training Course.