Tel: 0203 319 3643

Fax: 0208 894 5300

Emergency: 0750 625 5550

Bar Council criticises ‘burdensome’ CPD scheme

The Bar Council has criticised the Bar Standards Board’s proposals surrounding continuing professional development (CPD), claiming they will create an ‘unfair burden’ on all barristers.

In a response to a consultation document, the council said the proposals ‘bear little relevance to the requirements of practice’ and said most barristers are happy with the current system.

The BSB’s proposal would make barristers individually responsible for deciding the amount of CPD they should undertake rather than having a prescribed number of hours.

The representative body said extensive additional training would be required to help barristers make qualitative assessments about their own requirements and that some practitioners would fail to cope with ‘unnecessary formalities’ that the system would impose.

Under the proposed system, a barrister will create a set of targets to meet.

However, the council said it is unlikely that the typical barrister would stand any realistic chance of adhering to them because the exigencies of practice will intervene.

‘The barrister will therefore have wasted time both in setting out the targets and then in explaining how he or she was unable to meet them,’ the council said.

It added: ‘If the target of this regulation is the very small number of barristers who do not keep themselves up to a required level of competence, then why not focus upon those barristers under the current regime, rather than devise a completely new regime that will distract and frustrate the compliant majority?’

The new rules are set to come into force in January next year.

(Courtesy of the Law Society Gazette)