21 February 2019

Important information for Pupillage Training Organisations intending to take on pupils in 2019

Chambers and organisations that intend to provide pupillages after the new Bar Training rules come into effect later this year must be authorised under the new Authorisation Framework as an Authorised Education & Training Organisation (AETO). This includes chambers/organisations that are currently authorised as Pupillage Training Organisations (PTOs). The new Bar Training Rules are expected to come into force once they have been approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB). A decision by the LSB is expected by the end of February 2019.

The following questions and answers provide more information about becoming an AETO and in some areas, provide an update on what we have announced previously.

How will we be administering the authorisation process?

In August 2018, we wrote to all chambers, BSB entities and other organisations that provide pupillages. We asked you to complete a short survey, so we knew which chambers/organisations intended to take on pupils in 2019 and in the future. We will use this information to determine a timeframe for the authorisation process.

Have you replied to our survey yet?

Thank you to all those chambers and organisations who have responded to our survey. From February, we will be writing to those who intend to take on pupils to tell them when they will be required to submit their application for authorisation to become an AETO.

There are still many organisations that have not responded. It is particularly important that you do so if you intend to take on pupils in 2019, as you must be authorised as an AETO to do so.If you have not yet responded, please contact authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk

What will it cost to become authorised as an AETO?

If you currently train pupils and are authorised as a PTO, there will be no fee to apply for authorisation as an AETO provided that you have responded to our survey by 31 January 2019 to tell us of your intentions.  The fees for new applicants are set out in our consultation document. For most new applicants, we anticipate that the fee will be £250.

What does the process to become authorised as an AETO involve?

We have published the latest version of our Authorisation Framework on our website.

The purpose of the Authorisation Framework is to explain to training providers what they must do to meet our requirements to be authorised to deliver Bar training. In particular, it explains what will be required to comply with the four principles of accessibility, affordability, flexibility and sustaining high standards. Guidance will be published for those providing pupillage and support will be available to you throughout this process.

We are keen to work with existing and prospective providers of pupillage to gather feedback on our process and the new Authorisation Framework. Please contact us if you would like to get involved.

Can I apply for authorisation before the rule change comes into force?

If you have applied or intend to apply for authorisation before our new rules come into effect, we will assess your application under the current arrangements for PTOs. We must have received the associated fees and supporting documentation to complete our assessment by the date that the new rules come into effect.  However, you will subsequently need to re-apply for authorisation as an AETO under the new arrangements to ensure that you meet the standards of the new Authorisation Framework. You can therefore request that your application be deferred until the new rules come into effect. If you decide to do this, we will work with you to help you meet the necessary standards

Chambers/organisations applying during this period without submitting either fees or supporting documentation by the effective date of the new rules will be assessed under the new rules.

What if I am no longer providing pupillages?  

If you do not have any pupils and do not intend to have any in the foreseeable future, please tell us. You will cease to be authorised to provide pupillage from the date that the new rules come into effect.

If you are authorised as a PTO and currently have pupils that commenced on or before the effective date of the new rules, but you do not intend to provide any further pupillages, you will continue to be authorised until the end date of the relevant pupillages.

If you decide to take on pupils in the future again, you can reapply for authorisation as an AETO, but this will attract a fee.

What if my organisation is not successfully authorised?

Our Authorisations Team will work with you to address any areas of concern and meet the required standard. 

Any Further Questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact the Authorisations Team via email to authorisations@barstandardsboard.org.uk