05 June 2014
The BSB has started conducting random spot-checks of barristers'
CPD record cards. This is to ensure that barristers keep their
record cards updated and undertake their set number of CPD
This is a key move towards smarter regulation, saving time and
money. It will also protect the public more effectively by
focussing on the minority of barristers not keeping their training
up-to-date. We have been encouraged by the significant number of
responses we have received and the engagement from the Bar since we
changed to the spot-check process. Prior to this change, we
required all practising members of the Bar to submit their record
cards annually to the BSB for monitoring checks.
Our plans to introduce spot checking were first announced in
November 2013 and we started the process in May 2014.
Those selected for spot-checking will be asked for evidence of
completion of their CPD hours and their record card. The BSB is
accepting a wide range of evidence and barristers are encouraged to
provide their own examples, which could include:
We encourage barristers to provide their own evidence and we are
flexible about the types of evidence that can be submitted.
For many barristers, the provision of evidence has not presented
any practical difficulties. But we recognise that not all are in
the same position. A barrister would not be considered
non-compliant solely because they have not retained evidence.
Instead, the CPD assessment team will take a proactive approach to
contacting course providers to verify attendance if barristers have
been unable to provide evidence themselves. In the case of CPD
activities where it is impossible to verify completion - for
example, with certain online courses - we would accept a
barrister's declaration of completion. Any barristers who have
been selected for spot-checking and are concerned about potential
difficulties providing evidence can get in touch with our CPD team
Potentially, any practising barrister undertaking CPD through the
Established Practitioner Programme could be contacted for
spot-checking. Barristers who completed the final year of New
Practitioners Programme in 2013 could also be contacted for
A sample of barristers have been selected entirely at random. In
addition, those who have a recent history (since 1 January 2012) of
having had enforcement action taken against them for a breach of
the rules have also been selected to participate in the spot
Barristers who have failed to complete their required CPD hours
will be considered by the BSB on a case by case basis. In most
cases they will need to complete their remaining hours, within a
set time frame. Those who are persistently non-compliant will
ultimately face enforcement action.
For more information, please see our
FAQs or email firstname.lastname@example.org.