More flexible CPD for barristers to start from January 2017, says Bar regulator

A new CPD regime for barristers on the Established Practitioner Programme will be in place from January 2017.

It will mean that established barristers:

  • Will be free to plan their own CPD activities
  • Will have greater flexibility in the types of CPD activities they undertake
  • Will not be subject to any compulsory activities including accredited activities
  • Will not be subject to a minimum number of hours; and
  • Will no longer need to apply for an extension of time or a waiver from their CPD requirements.

CPD activities completed in previous years will be taken into account when assessing a barrister’s compliance with the CPD requirements. Last year’s consultation has revealed general support for these proposals.

The BSB has today published an analysis of the responses to this consultation on its website.

In addition to the consultation, the BSB ran a pilot of the new CPD scheme from January 2015 to March 2016. There were 76 participants.

The pilot provided useful feedback and data about how the new scheme will work in practice. The majority of participants were able to engage with the process and complete the new CPD scheme as intended.

The pilot provided real examples of how the CPD scheme will provide much greater flexibility for barristers. One significant change is that established practitioner barristers will no longer need to apply for an extension of time or a waiver from their CPD requirements.

The pilot also demonstrated one of the principal strengths of the new scheme which is that Established Practitioners will have no incentive to complete irrelevant CPD simply to make up hours.  A report on the feedback gathered during the pilot programme has also been published today.

BSB Director of Supervision Oliver Hanmer said: “We are pleased with the progress we have made in being able to implement the new CPD scheme from January next year. We thank the barristers who took part in the pilot programme and deemed the new regime a success.

“It will allow barristers to complete training that is relevant to their careers, ensuring maximum value for time and money. We are keen to make sure that CPD is not just a ‘tick box’ exercise.

“We have noted the feedback from the consultation and the pilot that clearer and more detailed guidance is required. We are making the necessary preparations and will provide all barristers with this guidance in due course.”


 

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