Practising certificates


Before completing an application for a practising certificate, you should familiarise yourself with the relevant provisions of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) Chapter 3 and the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 Part 3.3. Download an application form here.


All New South Wales barristers' practising certificates (PCs) expire each year on 30 June. Renewal applications should be lodged by 7 June in each year. If you decide not to renew your practising certificate, please advise our certification officer in writing.

General requirements

Persons intending to commence practice at the New South Wales Bar are generally required to sit (and pass to the required standard) an examination set by the New South Wales Bar Association (Bar Exam) in order to obtain a practising certificate.  It is a statutory condition of a practising certificate issued to persons commencing practice at the NSW Bar that the person attend and complete to a satisfactory standard the Bar Practice Course (BPC) and a reading program for 12 months under the supervision of one or more tutors (Reading Program).

Further information concerning the Bar Exam and BPC can be found in the Bar Examination Policy and the Bar Practice Course Policy  respectively.

Requests for exemption/waiver

The Bar Council’s policy for the consideration of applications for exemptions from the Bar Exam, Bar Practice Course and/or the reading program is here.

Exemption requests should be made in writing, addressed to the Executive Director and copied to Certification and submitted in conjunction with an application for an Australian practising certificate.

Returning to practise at the bar

If an Australian lawyer wishes to return to practise at the bar, certain requirements must be met.

Professional indemnity insurance

PII is a statutory requirement for all barristers in New South Wales. Compare approved PII policies.


Our schedule of practising certificate and membership fees.

Fee Waiver Policy

The Bar Association has adopted a policy to grant fee waivers to barristers taking parental or carer’s leave. The full policy is available here.

Accreditation and re-accreditation of mediators

The Bar Association accepts applications for accreditation and re-accreditation of mediators under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) and for selection to the association’s list of Supreme Court mediators.

Statement of status

When a person applies for a practising certificate in another state/territory/country, they may be required to provide a statement of status from all jurisdictions in which they are admitted. The Bar Association provides such a statement to practitioners (current and former). There is  no charge for members of the association, but a fee applies to non-members even if they hold a current practising certificate.

Complete and return a statement of status order form.