23 June 2018

Supervision Return Survey- FAQs


1. Questions about the background to the survey
2. Questions about receiving the survey
3. Questions about completing the survey
4. Questions about after the survey

1. Questions about the background to the survey

My chambers is Medium impact, what does that mean?

Based on their answers to the Impact Audit Survey, each chambers has been grouped into one of three categories: Low, Medium or High Impact. This is to give us an indication of how serious the consequences could be in the event that things go wrong at your chambers. It shows us the extent of the impact that a risk would have, were it to materialise. For example, inadequate complaints handling processes would have more significant consequences at a chambers with a large base of vulnerable lay clients than at a chambers with a small, corporate client base. Therefore, the potential impact is greater at the chambers with a large lay client base.  

'Medium Impact' shows only what the impact would be were things to actually go wrong; it is not an indication as to how likely this is to happen or how effectively a chambers is managing a particular risk (this is the purpose of the supervision return).

 Those chambers which are assessed as Medium impact will be asked to complete a Supervision Return Survey in May 2015 to establish how effectively current risks are managed within chambers. Chambers which were assessed as 'High impact' have already completed their Supervision Returns in 2014. 

Why is the BSB issuing a Supervision Return?

All chambers rated as High or Medium Impact will need to complete a Supervision Return questionnaire. This asks a series of open questions about how chambers are administered and regulatory compliance is achieved. Essentially, this is an opportunity for chambers to explain how effectively potential risks are being managed, to help the BSB determine the likelihood of these risks actually materialising and to establish the level of supervision and support that chambers might need. Chambers that are seen to be managing risks effectively - categorised as Low Risk - will largely be left to "get on with it" and receive relatively little supervision attention. This will leave the BSB free to work with those chambers that seem to be managing risk less effectively - categorised as Medium or High Risk - to address these issues without needing to resort to enforcement action.

- What is the timetable for the Supervision Return process?

Medium Impact chambers should expect the survey in May 2015 and will be asked to return completed surveys in July. Those chambers which were assessed as 'High Impact' completed their surveys between July 2014 and September 2014. Chambers rated as Low Impact will not be required to complete a Supervision Return.

2. Questions about receiving the Supervision Return

I haven't received a Supervision Return survey, what does this mean?

Invites to complete Supervision Returns will be sent by email to chambers' Regulatory Contact. Chambers were required to provide contact information for Regulatory Contacts through the Impact Audit Survey.

If your Regulatory Contact has not received an invite to complete the Supervision Return survey it is most likely that you do not have to complete one. If you think your Chambers has been assessed as High Impact or Medium Impact and you have not received anything, it may be worth getting in touch with us by emailing supervision@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

If I haven't received the supervision return, can I still see it?

Unfortunately, only individuals who have been given passwords can access it. If you'd like more information, you can email supervision@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

3. Questions about completing the survey

I have received my supervision return but I don't understand what you're looking for

Firstly, take your time to read the guidance on our website. The return has been designed to be intuitive and most chambers should be able to exercise their own judgement in completing it.

However, if you are still unsure about elements of the return, you can contact the Supervision Team (see below).

I am a sole practitioner, do I still have to complete the Supervision Return?

All chambers which have been assessed as High or Medium impact will have to complete a Supervision Return. This includes some sole practitioners.

- Can I have a hard copy of the Supervision Return?

If you would like to receive a hard copy of the questionnaire, please contact the Supervision Team (see below).

- I can't submit the Supervision Return by the deadline. What should I do?

If you experience difficulty completing the questionnaire by the deadline date, please contact the Supervision Team (see below). 

If I require any reasonable adjustments due to a disability who do I contact?

If you have difficulty in completing, accessing or understanding the questionnaire due to a disability please contact the Supervision Team (see below).

How do I contact the Supervision Team?

The Supervision Team can be reached at supervision@barstandardsboard.org.uk. Alternatively, you can call the BSB on 020 7611 1444 and ask to speak to a member of the Supervision Team.  

4. Questions about after the survey

What happens after I submit the questionnaire?

Once your questionnaire is submitted, the Supervision Team will assess it. Chambers will receive a letter explaining whether the Supervision Team regards chambers as Low, Medium or High risk and explaining any follow-up action required. Our aim is to work with chambers to address any issues identified without needing to take enforcement action. The supervision process is all about facilitating a constructive relationship between chambers and the regulator.

All chambers that complete a Supervision Return will receive this letter.

Can I have a copy of the finished return that I submitted to the BSB?

You can find technical guidance on printing your response to the Supervision Return on our website.