BSB announces 2022 pupillage Professional Ethics exam

updated on 09 September 2021

The new Bar training rules require that those who commenced training for the Bar from 2020 take a Bar Standards Board (BSB) exam in Professional Ethics if, after their vocational training, they then go on to pupillage.  

The exam, which is to be taken during pupillage, will normally take place in January (with further sittings available in April and July); however, in 2022, the BSB decided that the first of these exams will take place in April (with further sittings in July and October).

The purpose of the exam is to:

  • distinguish between pupils who are ready to receive their Full Practising Certificate (FPC) and those who are not yet ready;
  • safeguard the public by ensuring that those who are authorised to practise (by having received their FPC) have fulfilled the ethical requirements set out in the Professional Statement; and
  • ensure a strong, ethical profession.

The BSB hopes this change will allow registered pupils to take advantage of study materials that the Inns of Court College of Advocacy intend to make available in February 2022 via their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), at no cost to pupils.

The use of these materials will not be mandatory and has been prepared independently of the BSB but they recognise that pupils may wish to take advantage of this availability before sitting the exam.

The BSB expects that the new courses will be introduced to pupils commencing on or after 1 September 2023. Pupils should continue to attend the advocacy training currently being provided.

Further information about the new Professional Ethics exam is available on the BSB’s website.