13 November 2012

BSB and Bar Council publish second Bar Barometer report on the profession

The Bar Standards Board (BSB), the regulator of barristers in England and Wales, and the  Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales have today published the second edition of Bar Barometer, an annual report on statistical trends within the Bar.

The report looks at the Bar of England and Wales from 2007 to 2011/12 and focuses on training to become a practising member of the Bar. Information relating to those in practice is also covered.

Bar Barometer is a useful source of statistical information for those with an interest in the Bar, from practitioners to the wider legal services market, as well as current and aspiring Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students. The main source of data for the report is the Bar Council's membership records. The Bar Barometer also uses data from the Bar Standards Board's Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers' monitoring data and the Pupillage Supplementary Survey.

Future editions of Bar Barometer will report on a greater number of characteristics as the Bar Council and BSB data collection methods are enhanced. The 'Authorisation to Practise' system, launched in March 2012, allows barristers to update their personal details, including diversity data. Furthermore, new BSB requirements for chambers to collect and publish diversity data came into force in 2012. These changes will help to provide the Bar Council and BSB with an even better understanding of the profile of the profession they respectively represent and regulate.

Chairman of the Bar, Michael Todd QC, said:

"The second annual Bar Barometer report will help the Bar Council further to develop and implement initiatives which are relevant for barristers. The publication of this valuable report supports our equality and diversity objectives, and helps to fulfil our strategic aim of encouraging access to, and diversity within, the profession. Having ready access to this data enables us to be alert to trends in composition and retention. By monitoring changes in the profession we can make better informed decisions and marshal our resources to promote the future of the Bar."

Chair of the Bar Standards Board, Baroness Ruth Deech, said:

"The Bar Barometer holds a magnifying glass up to the profession, an examination which is essential to ensure we are regulating it appropriately. Understanding the diversity and accessibility of the Bar will inform our future business planning and decision making.

"This year we have focussed on training to become a practising member of the Bar. Analysis of the types of students who apply and successfully navigate the long training process gives us a valuable insight into the future of the profession."