New CPD arrangements for barristers

Following its public consultation last year, the BSB announced on 14 April that a new CPD scheme will take effect from 1 January 2017 and the current interim CPD Accreditation scheme will not therefore be extended beyond 31 December 2016.

The new CPD arrangements for barristers coming into force on 1 January 2017 will mean that:

  • barristers no longer have to complete a minimum number of CPD hours; and
  • they will have more individual responsibility for deciding what training they require and a wider choice of training options.

Under the new scheme, the BSB will simply ask barristers for each calendar year to:

  1. prepare a written CPD Plan setting out their learning objectives and the types of CPD activities which they propose to undertake during the year;
  2. keep a written record of the CPD activities they have undertaken that year including their reflection on the CPD they have undertaken, any variation in their plans and an assessment of their future learning objectives;
  3. keep a record of their Plan and completed CPD activities for three years; and
  4. submit to the Bar Standards Board an annual declaration of completion of their CPD.

Barristers will have increased flexibility in the types of CPD activities that they can complete and assessments of current CPD compliance will be made by taking into account their CPD activity in previous years. The overall effect of the changes mean that barristers will have much more control over the CPD they undertake. The BSB has designed the new scheme to be as straight-forward as possible to allow them to focus on the learning and development that they need in order to practise.

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