The bar regulator has approved plans to introduce a profession statement to define the skills and attributes a newly qualified barrister should have in an ‘important milestone’ towards more flexible qualification routes.

The professional statement defines what a barrister should be able to do on their first day, to assist educators and trainers in designing qualification routes to the bar. The statement is the equivalent of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's proposed competence statement. 

The bar statement was proposed as part of plans by the BSB to take a more hands-off approach in the design of pupillages through its future bar training programme.  

Tim Robinson, a lay member of the board, said the approval of the statement was an ‘important milestone for the future of the bar training programme’.

But he stressed that the statement is part of a range of things the BSB is developing as part of its changes to the training system.

The statement will be published in early October. But it will not be fully usable until a threshold standards is developed, which will set out what barristers must be able to do when they enter the profession. The statement sets out what a barrister should be able to do, with the wording more aspirational in places.

Following a consultation, which received 22 responses, the BSB says the statement now reflects more accurately the distinctive nature of the barristers’ practice.

‘It embodies the aspirations of a forward-looking profession, responsive to the demands of its developing professional environment,’ the regulator said.