Why you should be overseeing your barristers’ CPD activities

Reviewing, recording, reflecting and reporting CPD activity in accordance with the our CPD schemes are an individual barrister’s responsibility. We do not have any prescribed rules that specifically oblige you to oversee CPD activities undertaken by the barristers within your chambers or organisation. However, we do consider it as best practice that you take reasonable steps to ensure that they have all complied with their CPD requirements.

In addition, if you work in a chambers or BSB entity, you should be aware of your responsibility within the BSB Handbook to take reasonable steps to ensure that your practice and chambers/entity are administered in a proper, competent and efficient manner. Having appropriate processes in place to ensure that your barristers are complying with their CPD requirements is one of a number of factors that we will consider when looking at the governance and administration of your chambers/entity. Having an effective method of overseeing CPD compliance is one way that you can influence the overall “risk rating” that our supervisory team will apply to the way in which your chambers/entity is managed.


CPD spot checks

When we monitor CPD compliance, we contact individual barristers rather than chambers, BSB entities or employers. In practice, this means that:

  • non-compliance with the CPD requirements will be monitored on an individual basis. This means that it is unlikely that you would be notified of an assessment of non-compliance by one of the barristers in your chambers or organisation, or that you will be informed about the subsequent corrective action that we might require the barrister to complete; and
  • you would not face any sanction for any individual’s non-compliance with their CPD requirements.

What you can do to help barristers comply

We do not mandate particular processes that you should have in place to ensure CPD compliance by your barristers. The processes that will be reasonable and appropriate for your chambers or organisation will depend on its size, structure and resources. We think that you, rather than us, are best placed to determine what these processes would look like.

However, it may be helpful for you to consider the following points to ensure that the CPD compliance processes that you put in place are effective:

  • setting benchmark dates by which barristers should have completed their CPD plans;
  • internal peer review of learning objectives and reflections;
  • regular review of learning and development plans and progress discussed during practice review meetings;
  • reviewing a sample of the CPD plans and reflections completed by barristers in your chambers or organisation;
  • centralised collection and monitoring of CPD records at the end of the year; and
  • oversight by your management committee.

If you would like some information on how to assist barristers who are on parental leave, please visit our page on guidance for barristers taking parental leave

If you would like any further help or assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at cpdrecords@barstandardsboard.or.uk.