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BSB Strategy 2019-22

The Bar Standards Board is consulting on its Strategy for 2019 - 2022. Be part of the conversation and share your views.

From this page, you can download a copy of our 2019-22 Strategic Plan.

As the regulator of the Bar in England and Wales, our strategic aims for the 2019-22 period reflect the key risks that we have identified in the market for barristers' and advocacy services. These have played a significant role in helping us to prioritise our resources during the period of this Strategic Plan. 

This Strategic Plan should be read in conjunction with our Risk Outlook on the market for barristers' services, because the risk themes which we have identified in the Outlook are the basis on which we have prioritised our work for the 2019-22 strategic period. The Risk Outlook provides the evidence for why we believe these risk themes are so significant, and why we are focusing our regulatory attention on them in the period ahead.

Strategic aims

Our strategic aims for 2019-22 are:

  • 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 these in the Strategic Plan.

Overview of our planned regulatory activities during 2019-22

Our Strategic Plan outlines the regulatory activities we propose to undertake to underpin the above aims, and their expected outcomes.

It also explains that we plan to focus much of our attention during 2019-22 on implementing and consolidating the policy work we have already undertaken. This includes our reforms to the rules governing education and training for the Bar, our responses to the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA's) market study of legal services, and the introduction later this year of our new Independent Decision-making Body (IDB) which is part of our broader changes to modernise our regulatory decision-making.

Our day-to-day work to regulate the Bar will continue. This includes supervising barristers' chambers, assessing barristers' professional conduct and taking appropriate disciplinary action against barristers who may have breached the Code of Conduct set out in the BSB Handbook, complying with statutory equality and diversity responsibilities, and a range of tasks associated with overseeing the qualification of new barristers.

You can read a full list of our planned high-level regulatory activities within the 2019-22 Strategic Plan document. Highlights from these planned activities include:

  • implementation and evaluation of the Future Bar Training reforms;
  • a proportionate and targeted review of the BSB Handbook to ensure that it remains fit for purpose, relevant and accessible;
  • implementing our equality and diversity action plans, working in partnership with others;
  • understanding the well-being of the profession and the way in which it influences our approach to regulation;
  • research and evidence gathering on the changing shape of the legal services market and of the delivery of services by barristers (and in particular the impact of legal aid reform and technology); and then, refining our regulatory approach to meet the risks and opportunities identified; and
  • contributing to public legal education so that the public have better access to information about the legal sector, barristers and the services that they provide.

Communications and public engagement strategy

To support our Strategic Plan for 2019-22, we have also published a communications and public engagement strategy for the same period. This is because we can only fully achieve our statutory objectives if our work is widely known and understood and key stakeholders are able to contribute to our policy-making.