Bar Council revamps Pupillage Gateway

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By Thomas Connelly on


Changes will improve process for both applicants and chambers, says bar body

The Bar Council is gearing up to launch a new and improved Pupillage Gateway in a bid to make the application process smoother for both aspiring barristers and chambers.

The revamped platform will provide a range of new features, including the ability for chambers to upload video content and create bespoke shortlisting forms, as well as options for managing post-offer admin, and “improved customer service”.

The Bar Council says the new Gateway — a centralised site which allows chambers to post pupillage vacancies — will be in place for the next recruitment timetable in September. Aspiring barristers can submit applications between January and early February, with shortlisting and interviews usually taking place up until early May.

Recruitment software specialist Tribepad has been tasked with delivering the new system.

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Commenting on the changes, Carolyn Entwistle, the Bar Council’s director of services, said:

“The introduction of a new Pupillage Gateway system is an exciting development for the Bar Council. We have a long history of supplying pupillage providers with a recruitment portal for aspiring barristers. The Pupillage Gateway facilitates the adoption of transparent, inclusive, and progressive application processes by AETOs [Authorised Education and Training Organisations], which are key to attracting those from diverse backgrounds to the profession.”

She added: “It’s important to us to offer all users a platform that is modern in terms of its functionality, easy to navigate, and most importantly, well supported by its providers. The substantial investments that Tribepad make into the development and maintenance of their system and the level of customer support that they offer will help us achieve this, and we are excited to be working with them.”

The Gateway has run into problems in the past, with the Bar Council being forced to twice extend the application deadline in 2019 following a wave of complaints concerning its crippling slow operating speed.

News of the revamp comes just weeks after the IT systems operated by the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board were taken offline following a malicious cyber attack.

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