The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published its annual Business Plan for 2018-19 in which it sets its main priorities for the year.
The Plan explains that the main focus of the regulator’s work will be:
- to continue to implement reforms to training for the Bar as part of the Future Bar Training programme;
- to consult on the necessary rule changes to foster increased transparency about barristers’ services, in line with the CMA recommendations;
- subject to consultation, to continue modernising regulation by establishing a new Independent Decision-Making Body for enforcement and authorisation decisions, and adopting a new approach to how the BSB assesses incoming regulatory information; and
- to publish an updated Risk Index and Risk Outlook for the market for barristers’ services in early 2019.
These projects are in addition to the BSB’s ongoing work regulating barristers in the public interest. This includes supervising barristers’ chambers, checking compliance with the new CPD regime and assuring the public of the quality of barristers’ work; and assessing and, where appropriate, investigating reports about barristers’ conduct, taking enforcement action where necessary.
2018-19 is the final year in the BSB’s current three-year Strategic Plan which was first published in 2016. The regulator confirms that it will produce a new Strategic Plan by this time next year which will be informed by whatever risks to the statutory Regulatory Objectives are identified next year in the updated Risk Outlook.
Speaking about the 2018-19 Business Plan, BSB Director-General Dr Vanessa Davies said:
“As can be seen from our latest Business Plan, amongst our key projects this year will be finalising the review of Bar training and rolling out the new approach, implementing our response to the CMA recommendations and reforming our regulatory decision making. This will be in addition to the day-to-day work necessary to regulate the Bar. As always, we endeavour to be as efficient and effective as possible in order to provide good value-for-money to those who fund us and to promote the public interest. By this time next year, I expect us to have completed the three strategic work programmes that we set out in 2016, laying a sound foundation for our next Strategic Plan.
The BSB’s Business Plan for 2018-19 can be found here.