19 Mar 2021

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has today published its annual Business Plan for 2021-22 in which it sets out its main priorities for the year.

The Plan – which includes details of the BSB’s budget for the year ahead - reflects the significant ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic on both the profession and the regulator’s own work.

The Business Plan outlines how, where necessary, the BSB will temporarily put on hold some of its longer-term policy development projects in order to prioritise its core regulatory work and its analysis of the impact of the health emergency. This core work involves overseeing the education and training requirements for becoming a barrister, monitoring the standards of conduct of barristers and compliance with the rules in our Handbook, including the new transparency rules, and ensuring that everyone it authorises to practise is competent to do so. 

The policy development which will remain important during 2021-22 and which is explained in more detail in the Plan reflects BSB’s analysis of risk to the regulatory objectives.  Consistent with those risks, the plan targets:

  • continuing work to raise standards at the Bar;
  • completing the final implementation of Bar training reforms;
  • working with the Bar Tribunals Adjudication Service to review their Sanctions Guidance;  
  • promoting equality and access to justice including tackling bullying, discrimination and harassment at the Bar; and
  • ensuring the future supply of pupillage places, and hence of barristers, following a big reduction in response to the health emergency in 2020.

2021-22 is the third year in the BSB’s current three-year Strategic Plan which was first published in March 2019. The focus over this period has been to ensure that recent policy initiatives, such as reforms to the rules governing Bar training and to disciplinary and enforcement processes, have been successfully implemented and evaluated. This remains the case despite the effects of the pandemic.

BSB Director-General Mark Neale said:

“In the year ahead, we will continue to prioritise our day-to-day, core regulatory work. We are very conscious that the Bar Standards Board must be seen to meet its own service standards and to demonstrate value for money.  Alongside our day-to-day work, we shall focus on a small number of high priority interventions which will significantly reduce the risks to our regulatory objectives. Our Business Plan for 2021-22 reflects all this.”  

The BSB’s Business Plan for 2020-21 can be found here.



Notes to editors

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 020 7611 4691 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk

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