BVC put under the microscope

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has launched a review into whether the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) is fit for purpose for the next 10 years.

The evaluation, which will be undertaken by an 11-strong working party, will seek to make recommendations on all the aims and objectives of the training course.

Ruth Evans, BSB Chair, added: “We know the current course arouses many, different, highly charged views. This review is a critical component of our work to ensure the Bar is of the highest quality and fit to serve the public interest and the interests of justice in the years ahead.”

This includes assessing whether future content, entry to the course and teaching standards need to be updated.

The review will be completed by early next summer to allow for any changes that need to be implemented before the class of 2010 starts.

Derek Wood QC, working party chair and silk at Falcon Chambers said the review was to ensure that the training of barristers produces practitioners in which the public and the justice system can have complete confidence.

“The BVC review is therefore timely,” said Wood. “Major changes in the legal services sector are heralded by the passage of the Legal Services Act. Our work will relate closely to Lord Neuberger’s forthcoming report on the accessibility and cost of training for the Bar. And the challenge to maintain standards rightly remains a keynote.”