Bar Council welcomes report on the Bar Vocational Course

THE Bar Council has today welcomed the publication of the Wood Report on the Bar Vocational Course (BVC), which was produced by a Working Group chaired by Derek Wood QC. The report and its recommendations will now be considered by the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The report has taken into consideration the Bar Council report on the BVC by Richard Wilson QC (published in April 2008), as well as Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury’s report on access to the Bar, published in November 2007.

Submitted to the Bar Standards Board, which validates and monitors BVC providers, the Wood Report has recommended a variety of changes to the course. These recommendations include an increased focus on professional ethics, advocacy and dispute resolution and the introduction of an aptitude test for those applying to take the course. In addition, the Wood Report has recommended that centrally set and marked examinations be introduced which would be overseen by a BSB-established Board of Examiners.

Commenting on the report, Duncan Matthews QC, Chairman of the Bar Council's Neuberger Monitoring and Implementation Group, said:
"We are grateful to Derek Wood QC and his team for the timely delivery of this report and for giving careful consideration to LordNeuberger's recommendations. The Monitoring and Implementation group will examine it closely in the coming weeks and make further representations as appropriate to ensure that entry to the Bar is and is seen to be on merit alone."