These pages contain an explanation of how we identify risks to our regulatory objectives in order to prioritise our work, our assessment of the most significant risk themes for 2019, information about the strategy we are pursuing between 2022 and 2025, our organisational values, and our annual Business Plans. This section also contains information about our governance structures, including information about our Board, and more detail about how we make some of our regulatory decisions.

Our governance

We have robust governance in place to oversee our work, led by our Board. The Bar Standards Board is made up of a combination of lay people (non-barristers) and barristers. It has a lay majority.

You can read more about our governance, our Board, our staff and our work with other legal regulators in the dedicated section about our governance.

Taking a risk-based approach to regulation

Risk-based regulation means that we focus our attention as the regulator on the risks that we think pose the biggest threats to the public interest. We then act to try and prevent the threats that those risks pose from occurring or to reduce their impact.

To do this we monitor the market for barristers' services and identify all the potential risks that could prevent the Regulatory Objectives from being met. These risks are published in our Risk Index

You can read more about our risk-based approach to regulation


How we use risk to inform our 2022-25 Strategic Plan

Having assessed the risks in the Index, we have brought together a number of recurring issues into three priority risk themes as set-out in our 2019 Risk Outlook:

  • working cultures and professional environment inhibit an independent, strong, diverse and effective profession;
  • innovation and disruption in the legal services market offer threats and opportunities for the profession and for the public; and
  • affordability and lack of legal knowledge threaten access to justice.

Other risks in the Index will continue to be the subject of business as usual activity. 

Having identified the three priority risk themes, we then developed our Strategy for the period between 2022 and 2025.

Our Strategy has three overriding strategic aims:

  • delivering risk-based, targeted and effective regulation;
  • encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession; and
  • advancing access to justice in a changing market.

You can read more about our strategic aims and our 2022-25 Strategic Plan

Annual Business Plans

To complement our Strategic Plan, we produce annual Business Plans to provide more detail about the work we intend to do during the year. You can read our latest Business Plan here.

How we make regulatory decisions

We have strict policies to make sure we follow the robust procedures we have in place for whenever we have to make a regulatory decision. You can read more about these policies and procedures by selecting these links: