Important changes to 2016 BPTC announced by Bar Standards Board

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has announced a series of important changes to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).

In the first development, the regulator has published statistics about students and providers of the BPTC. Covering the three academic years up to the one ending in 2014, the new statistics provide a wealth of information about the profile and diversity of students embarking on the Bar training course, what grades they achieved, and whether or not they were successful in obtaining pupillage after completing the course. 

The statistics the BSB has published will help prospective students make a more informed decision about where to study the BPTC, ahead of the application system opening on Monday 7 December 2015 at 12pm.

There will also be changes to formats of the centralised assessments. This will mean that from April 2017, the method for assessing students’ performance in the following components of the BPTC will change:

  • Civil Litigation, Evidence and Remedies;
  • Criminal Litigation, Evidence and Sentencing.

The changes will mean that there will no longer be a two-part exam comprising of a multiple choice component and a short answer component (with a requirement to pass each component). The exams will instead be in “single best answer” examination format.

The final change is that the opening of the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) for students starting in 2016 will be deferred until at least March 2016. This is to allow time for completion of an important evaluation of the test in its first years of implementation.

These changes will affect the cohort of students starting the course in September 2016.

For more information about the new developments, please click here.