On successful completion of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) course you are eligible to be 'called to the Bar' (the graduation ceremony for BPTC students held at your Inn of Court). You cannot begin your second 'six' in pupillage before you have been called. For more information, see:
Currently, new barristers must spend at least 12 months in pupillage, usually split into two six-month periods (called sixes) with a barrister's chambers or another approved legal environment. All pupils are assigned a supervisor who oversees and organises the training and work. Your first 'six' will involve observing and assisting your supervisor and other barristers from chambers. During the second six you will take on some work of your own, under supervision.
Due to intense competition, some pupils are not offered tenancy at the end of their pupillage and may undertake a third six (see 3rdsix.co.uk ), either at the same or
a different chambers. During this period you do your own work but are not a tenant.
Candidates who don't get a pupillage on their first attempt are able to reapply but need to obtain a pupillage within five years of completing the BPTC. During the interim period between applications it is worth obtaining additional legal experience.
External training such as working for a solicitors' firm or marshalling with a judge can also count towards pupillage.
In order to keep abreast of changes in the law, newly qualified barristers are required to complete 45 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), including at least nine hours of advocacy training and three hours of ethics, during their first three years of practice on the New Practitioners Programme. After that, they must undertake 12 hours of CPD every year on the Established Practitioners' Programme. Details of accredited courses are available from the Bar Standards Board (BSB) .