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Bar Standards Board removes minimum CPD hours for experienced barristers

The Bar Standards Board has published the details of its new CPD regime, effective from 1st January 2017, removing the minimum hourly training requirement for barristers with more than three years experience.

Under the old regime, all barristers had to complete a minimum of 12 hours CPD each year. Instead, from next year, all barristers over three years’ experience will no longer be subject to a minimum training requirement but will instead need plan and record a “relevant” programme of training to ensure that they meet their (self-defined) training objectives. The BSB said that this would require barristers to:

•    prepare a written CPD plan setting out their learning objectives and the activities they propose to undertake during the year;

•    keep a written record of the CPD activities undertaken over the past three years including their reflection on the CPD they have undertaken, any variation in their plans and an assessment of their future learning objectives;

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•    reflect on their planned and completed CPD activities to assess whether they have met their objectives;

•    declare to the Bar Standards Board annually that they have completed their CPD. This is completed as part of the authorisation to practise process, when practising certificates are renewed.

Barristers in their first three years of practice on the New Practitioners Programme will still need to undertake at least 12 hours training, as before, although the CPD activities they complete will no longer need to be accredited by the BSB as its accreditation scheme for training providers will cease on 31 December 2016.

Guidance and templates for the new regime can be viewed at the following link:

BSB Director General, Dr Vanessa Davies said: "After a thorough consultation process, which included a pilot scheme during 2015 with 76 barristers, we are looking forward to the new regime starting on 1 January. The guidance and template have been designed to help barristers to comply with the new rules. The new approach to CPD should give the public confidence that barristers are committed to developing their knowledge and skills. We believe that this will help to ensure that clients continue to receive the high standard of service that they can expect from barristers."

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