Call to the Bar
All details on future Calls to the Bar will be added to this page once confirmed.
Please view the latest information below, and also the information given in the ‘Deadlines’ tab on this page.
October Call 2022: 11 & 13 October 2022
Registration of Interest for this Call has now closed and we are unable to accept further applications of interest.
November 2022 & March 2023
Registration of Interest for this Call period has now closed.
If you are a Transferring Lawyer (TQL), please contact email@example.com if you are looking to be called within this period.
As per the Joint Inns’ Education & Qualification Rules, individual Inns are not obliged to provide ceremonies corresponding to each of these dates.
When student members have successfully completed their Bar Course and their required minimum of qualifying sessions, they may be called to the Bar. The Call Day consists of a formal ceremony followed by a champagne reception.
Every student who is being called to the Bar must attend the reception on their Call Day, receiving their final qualifying session. Any student who does not comply with this requirement may have their call revoked. The only exception to this rule is for those who are being Called in their absence (in absentia).
To be eligible to book Call, the Inn must have received notification that you have completed the required vocational component of Bar Training (Bar Course, BTT etc). a hardcopy of your Call Declaration, signed in ink. The deadline for this to be received can be found below. The Call Declaration can be downloaded from this page.
All all members undertaking Call will be required to have a full DBS criminal records check carried out. This includes an international check also if you have lived overseas for a period of twelve months in the previous five years.
Submitting your Declaration to us does not mean that you have priority to a particular Call Day, as places will still be offered on a first come, first served process, as with previous years. Only those who have passed the Bar Course, and have had their result confirmed to the Inn by their provider, are eligible to book a Call Day. Please see the ‘Deadlines’ section below.
Call Declarations remain valid for a period of 12 months from date of signing.
Please see below for the deadlines for each Call. All eligibility criteria must have been met by the below in order to be eligible for each Call. The criteria are:
- An ink signed Call Declaration to be with the Inn
- The Inn to have received your Bar Course / BTT result from your provider
- Your Qualifying Sessions to have been completed
- A UK criminal records check to have been completed
- An international criminal record check to have been completed (where applicable).
Registration of Interest
From January 2023
From January 2023
11 & 13 October
24 & 29 November
Monday 26 September
Call Day Fee
The Call Day fee is currently £113.
The Call In Absentia fee is £72.
Please note that these fees are reviewed annually and changes to the fee apply from July Call each year.
It may be necessary for some students to be interviewed by a Bencher of the Inn before they are eligible to be called to the Bar. Students who regularly fail to attend booked qualifying sessions without good cause or behave inappropriately during their time as a student member will need to attend an interview to ensure their suitability to be called as a barrister.
Criminal Records Checks
From the Call to the Bar in July 2021, the Bar Standards Board requires that all those applying for Call undergo a Standard UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check. Additionally, those who have resided in a country / countries outside of the UK for 12 months or more, at any point during the 5 years preceding their application for Call, will need to undergo the equivalent international criminal record check/s.
The criminal records check/s form part of the Fit and Proper Person checks required prior to Call to the Bar; further information regarding these checks can be found on the Bar Standards Board website.
The Inns have engaged an experienced external company, Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC), to administer the process of obtaining the necessary checks. We are confident that this will ensure the process is as straightforward and quick as possible for you.
After each Registration of Interest period has closed, the Inn will pass your details onto DDC Ltd to begin the criminal records check process.
The Inns cannot accept DBS certificates which have been obtained for other purposes. The obtaining of the criminal record checks is part of the process whereby the Inn decides if a person is fit and proper to be Called to the Bar. To enable it to do this conclusively the Inn needs to have taken each individual applicant for Call through the whole process. It is for this reason that the Inn is unable to accept DBS certificates which have been obtained by other organisations and it is in addition unable to use the update service which is provided by the DBS.
For full information, please view the Criminal Records Checks for Call to the Bar document.
Information on costs can also be found here.
DBS checks and Original Documents
With regards to documents, original documents are required in order for DDC to verify your identity. Before the pandemic, the Inns had been planning to pay for DDC staff to attend various locations on set dates so that our Call applicants could bring their documents and have the ID check carried out in person. At the moment that is not possible and so all applicants will have to use the postal option instead (unless you are able to visit the DDC office in Syston, Leicestershire).
DDC will send an envelope with their address on to applicants in UK but they advise this is not prepaid and it is for the applicant themselves to pay for the postage, and when choosing the postage method the applicants should ensure that they are covered for the contents of the envelope. Once DDC receive the documents they will then contact the applicant to arrange a video call to verify the documents and can then return the documents on the same day that they have been verified. They return the documents by Royal Mail Tracked delivery which is usually delivered within 48 hours but this is not guaranteed. It is possible for the applicant to arrange a courier to deliver and return their documents instead of Royal Mail- please liaise with DDC about this. You can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Application for a Criminal Records Check Waiver (2022)
Some international students, or those currently practising overseas who are looking to transfer to the Bar of England and Wales, may be unable to comply with the identification (ID) requirements necessary for the criminal record checks to be undertaken prior to their Call to the Bar ceremony.
The BSB, therefore, is providing a waiver from the requirement to have criminal record checks undertaken for candidates for Call to the Bar in certain circumstances. This waiver does not remove the requirement for candidates for Call to disclose relevant criminal records found on the Call Declaration.
Who is eligible to receive the waiver?
Inns’ student members (including transferring qualified lawyers) who are currently residing overseas with no plans to travel (or return) to the UK prior to their chosen Call ceremony may, using the form provided, discuss with their Inn whether they are eligible under the provisions of this waiver.
This waiver has been introduced for any student member applying for Call in 2022. It will also apply for those who may need to resit exams later in 2022, should they not be able to comply with identification requirements closer to these dates.
To view the waiver information in full, and to apply for a waiver, please view the Waiver Criteria and Guidelines for Criminal Records Checks document. This can also be downloaded from the right hand side of this page.
Call in Absentia
Call in absentia is only granted to international students or to UK students in very exceptional circumstances. To be called in absentia you must have completed your minimum number of qualifying sessions prior to your call. If you are an international student and believe you may need to be called in absence you should ensure you have completed qualifying sessions before you leave the UK at the end of your Bar Course. The fee for Call in absentia is £70. Call in absentia is only granted in exceptional circumstances and must be requested by contacting our Registrar, Andrew Smith.
It has come to our attention over the last couple of years that non-European Union (EU) students are having greater difficulty in obtaining visas to come over to complete their qualifying sessions and attend their Call Day. We would, therefore, strongly recommend that if you reside outside of the EU and are likely to return home before call that you complete your qualifying sessions before leaving.
Call bookings will open on a first come first served basis to those who have registered interest only. Call is often oversubscribed and we may not be able to cater for all students each Call period.
Details of when bookings open will be sent out by the Registrar.
There is more than one ceremony held on different dates for most of the Call Days. You cannot choose which ceremony you attend; it will be allocated by the Inn and is determined by admission date. Please make sure you and any guests you wish to bring are available for all of the dates specified for the term you choose.
BPTC and Bar Course Results
The Inn will receive your results directly from your Bar Course Provider. Those resitting their examinations or taking first sit examinations in August will be able to be called to the Bar in November at the earliest. Should a student fail any of their exams after registering for call, their application will be withdrawn. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the Inn if they wish to be entered for a future call.
Call Day Dress Code
Dress for Call to the Bar is strictly formal, i.e. as you would wear in Court.
This means a dark suit and dark smart shoes. Collar and bands with a white shirt or a collarette (with a white top underneath) are generally worn and encouraged but, if you wish, you may wear a white shirt or blouse with a sober tie, blouse or formal top, as appropriate. A dark dress or skirt is acceptable but should be no shorter than knee length and must be worn with a jacket. Your arms must be covered. Hair should be neat and tidy. Long hair must be tied back and off the face and shoulders.
Wigs cannot be worn at the Call Ceremony but can be worn for your professional photographs. The Inn does have a small number of wigs that will be available in the photography studios.
Please note that if you arrive on Call Day in unsuitable attire, you will be asked to change. If you choose not to, it is possible you will not be Called to the Bar.
You are required to wear a gown for Call. You may hire a student gown from the Inn for the day or may wear your own Bar gown.
Supporting Letters for Visas
If you are an international student and due to be Called, you may be asked for a letter to support your Visa application. If this is the case, please email email@example.com to request a letter.
Is my previous Call Declaration still valid?
If you are unsure, please email the Registrar to check. When emailing, please include your membership number. Declarations are valid for a period of 12 months from the date of signature.
I posted my declaration but I haven’t received confirmation
Please allow us fifteen working days after delivery to confirm it has been received.
Are references required?
References are no longer required for Call.
If I am Called in Absence, can I attend another Call Day in the future?
Unfortunately not. We are only able to Call people once.
Can I bring guests to Call Day?
Due to capacity, we normally allow up to two guests per Callee for the ceremony and reception. It is uncommon for further tickets to become available. All guests must be aged 12 years or over.