Bar Standards Board


The Bar Standards Board is responsible for setting the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister. We are recruiting 11 Subject Specialist External Examiners and 5 Subject Lead External Examiners from September 2020 to ensure that the common assessment criteria for the vocational component of Bar training specified in our Curriculum and Assessment Strategy are met. Barristers play a vital role in the administration of justice. They must demonstrate a high standard of professional practice to justify the trust placed in them by the public and other professionals.

Subject Specialist External Examiners act on behalf of the Bar Standards Board (“BSB”) in monitoring the consistency of standards of assessments set by the organisations that we authorise to provide the vocational component of Bar training (Authorised Education and Training Organisations or “AETOs”) in their specialist subject area. These are:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Professional Ethics
  3. Opinion Writing and Legal Research
  4. Drafting
  5. Conference Skills

External Examiners must be competent in the relevant subject area and be familiar with quality assurance practices established in UK Higher Education. They must demonstrate integrity, impartiality and independence.

Subject Lead External Examiners co-ordinate the work of the Subject Specialist External Examiners to provide an interim and annual written report to the Bar Standards Board and to the AETO course leaders, upon whether or not:

  • the assessment process measures student achievement rigorously and fairly in line with the Curriculum and Assessment Strategy; and
  • the standards and the achievements of students are consistent between AETOs.

They also report any urgent concerns as they arise.

A current list of AETOs is available on our website. External Examiners review assessments in their subject areas across a range of AETO locations but will not be required to visit them to do so. This is a change to our previous approach, as our External Examiners will no longer be required to visit AETOs to assess student experience. Some travel may be required to attend Extenuating Circumstance and Final Boards, but these can be attended remotely.

An indication of fees and time commitment for each role and subject area is shown in the Candidate Brief.  External Examiners will enter into a consultancy agreement for services with the BSB and will not be employed by the BSB. Reasonable expenses can be claimed in line with the BSB’s expenses policy.

To express an interest in one or more of these roles please send a CV and brief covering letter stating how you think you meet the requirements of the role to by 1 July 2020. Please ensure that you specify the role(s) you are applying for.

Interviews are likely to be held online and are scheduled to take place w/c 13 July 2020

We aim to recruit talented candidates and value diversity in background, skills and experience. We are committed to providing equality of opportunity for all applicants.