15 September 2019

The Professional Statement

The Professional Statement

The Professional Statement for Barristers describes the knowledge, skills and attributes that all barristers should have on 'day one' of practice, when barristers and may apply for a full practising certificate.  

Threshold standard and competences

The knowledge, skills and attributes stated in the Professional Statement cover a broad scope of competences. For example, a newly-authorised barrister would not be expected to have the same standard of oral advocacy as one who has practised for many years.

A threshold standard has been developed to demonstrate the level of competence a barrister needs at the point of qualification. This is defined for each competence contained in the Professional Statement.

What is the Professional Statement and who is it for?

The Professional Statement and the threshold standard and competences contained within it can be used by:

The Bar Standards Board:It assists us in maintaining the standards of both those entering practice and those providing education and training. It has informed the development of alternative pathways to qualifications and the assessments that we control.

Those involved in the design and delivery of education and training for the Bar:It is being used to inform the development of education and training materials and pathways. It provides a list of all the core competences that the training must deliver and describes the standards that students must obtain.

Students/Prospective barristers: Clearly understanding the competences that must be achieved in order to be authorised as a barrister helps students to make informed decisions about their future development and the training that they should expect to receive.

Practising barristers:The Professional Statement describes the essential knowledge, skills and attributes that barristers should expect of themselves and their peers. It sets the minimum standard that they must adhere to. It does not replace the Code of Conduct. All barristers must continue to comply with the regulations set out in the BSB Handbook, which will remain the sole reference point for disciplinary matters.

Consumers of barristers' services:The Professional Statement, threshold standard and competences may be used to inform an understanding of the barrister's role and the service a consumer can expect to receive.