One third of exams beset by technical difficulties, regulator confirms

The Bar Requirements Board (BSB) has at present introduced that college students who encountered technical difficulties throughout their on-line exams can have the chance to resit from October.

The regulator had aimed to offer the chance to resit exams in conventional ‘pen and paper’ format in September, topic to suppliers having the ability to organize venues both on their campuses, if open, or at different places.

It has now confirmed that suppliers will supply resits in civil and legal litigation {and professional} ethics within the conventional method from 5 till 12 October. The examination sittings might be topic to “strict adherence to no matter coronavirus restrictions are relevant on the time”, according to the BSB’s statement.

College students endeavor the centralised Bar Skilled Coaching Course (BPTC) assessments this summer season documented their troubles accessing the distant proctoring system on social media, with some reporting they’d been ‘locked out’.

In at present’s assertion, the regulator mentioned “though we consider that almost all of scholars have been capable of full their exams at the moment it’s now clear that round one third of exams have been affected by difficulties in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the examination interval, considerably greater than the unique estimate from our provider when the exams started”.

The October 2020 sit might be open to all those that have been unable to entry the exams on-line or whose entry was interrupted. It would even be open to any scholar who felt that they have been unable to carry out in addition to they could have achieved due to the situations by which they sat the exams and to any scholar who had deferred till December 2020, as had been permitted.

The definitive consequence for anybody taking centralised assessments in August and October might be whichever is the higher efficiency, the regulator mentioned, including that there may even be an additional alternative to sit down the exams in December 2020.

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BSB director common, Mark Neale, repeated his apology to college students beset by technical difficulties in the course of the August exams. He mentioned:

“The BPTC suppliers often host these exams however the BSB stepped in to supply the assessments when the COVID-19 lockdown prevented them from doing so in April. Nearly all of college students have been capable of full their exams as pc primarily based assessments however we deeply remorse that technical and different issues prevented many college students from doing so and left others feeling that they’d been unable to provide their greatest efficiency. I ought to prefer to apologise as soon as once more to these college students and, as I’ve already introduced, we’re commissioning an unbiased assessment of the dealing with of the August examinations.”

The “classes discovered assessment”, introduced final month, will report back to the regulator’s governance, danger and audit committee, which consists of unbiased non-executive administrators, and might be undertaken independently of the BSB. Across the identical time, College students In opposition to The BSB Examination Rules, a Twitter account set-up to voice the issues of bar college students, known as for the exams to be waived solely. A petition was also launched.

The BSB at present dominated out the opportunity of a waiver. Neale continued:

“We all know that there have been requires us to waive these exams however we see them as important to exhibit whether or not college students have ample core information to maneuver to the following stage within the journey in direction of turning into a barrister. Our responsibility to the general public is to make sure that anybody who practises on the bar is absolutely competent to take action. We due to this fact consider that the fairest strategy to allow college students to exhibit that competence is for BPTC suppliers to supply them additional alternatives to sit down the exams within the conventional method and on the earliest alternative.”