Pupillage is governed by the rules and regulations set out in the Bar Standards Board’s Pupillage Handbook, which also contains good practice guidance and is essential reading for pupil barristers, pupil supervisors and pupillage providers. In addition, the Fair Recruitment Guide helps barristers comply with the BSB’s equality and diversity rules on recruitment and selection.
Authorised Training Organisations (ATOs) may offer first and/or second six pupillages, provided that the organisation has one or more registered pupil supervisors. All BSB regulated persons in chambers are ultimately responsible for pupils in their chambers and they must take all reasonable steps to ensure that proper arrangements are made for pupillage. They must also ensure that matters are conducted in a fair manner with barristers and pupils. These obligations are set out in rC110.3i of the BSB Handbook. A Director of Pupil Training, normally the Chair of the Pupillage Committee, should oversee pupillage arrangements in chambers on a day-to-day basis.
Other ATOs (in the employed sector) must appoint a Director of Pupil Training (preferably a practising barrister) to take responsibility for pupillage arrangements within the organisation. At the employed Bar, the personnel or HR department should provide information that pupils need about the terms and conditions of their employment. Directors of Pupil Training should ensure that appropriate documentation is provided to pupils setting out their policy in relation to the Bar Standards Board’s requirements and recommendations.
Under C110.3b, chambers must also ensure that the person with lead responsibility for any selection panel and at least any one member of any selection panel (who may be the same person) has received recent and appropriate training in fair recruitment and selection processes. From July 2014, this has become a requirement for all members of the panel. Details of training available can be found on the Bar Council website. They must also have an anti-harassment policy which gives pupils the right to complain if harassment occurs. There are also additional monitoring obligations for chambers that arise under the new rules.