The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), a training college set-up by the Inns, has applied to deliver a new ‘lower cost’ course for would-be barristers.
The ICCA said the course, developed by education experts and legal practitioners, has been designed to reduce risk and increase flexibility for students.
On similar lines to the forthcoming Solicitors Qualification Examination (SQE), the new BPTC exam would be in two parts. If approved, the course will run from next year and would cost around £13,000.
The Inns of Court — Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, Gray’s Inn and Inner Temple — were the traditional sole training providers before competitors entered the market. The Inns eventually stopped providing the course in 2001.
The ICCA was established by the Council of the Inns of Court in 2016 as an education charity promising to focus on the education and training of barristers. In 2017, it revealed it was considering launching a new course.
Part one of the course, which would last three to four months, is proposed as ‘knowledge-based’ and would be delivered online using ‘cutting-edge digital tools’. This, the ICCA said, will incorporate multimedia resources such as films, podcasts and quizzes to allow students to engage with course material interactively. It can be completed remotely.
Part two would run for five months be dedicated to skills teaching, preparing students for potential future pupillages and a career at the bar. It would be hosted by one the Inns of Court.
Derek Wood QC, chair of the ICCA governors, said the course will be offered on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis and will be around 30% cheaper than other BPTC courses in London.
The ICCA said other providers are charging more than £18,000. The University of Law’s 2019/20 course costs £18,735, at City it is £18,500 and at BPP £19,070.
Lynda Gibbs, director of programmes for the ICCA, said: ‘The quality of oral and written advocacy is a cornerstone of our profession. Training barristers to develop first-class skills in advocacy and advisory services is a hugely important process and we are very excited to be providing this innovative course which will equip students to best meet the demands of the profession today.’
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) would have to authorise the course. The BSB declined to comment.