24 August 2019

Chambers: keep an eye out this week for your Impact Audit surveys

1 April 2014

All chambers should this week receive a notice alerting them to their Impact Audit survey - part of the Bar Standards Board's new approach to supervision. This has been sent by email to Heads of Chambers, chambers' contact email addresses and regulatory contacts.

The survey should be very quick to complete. The deadline is 21 April 2014. Failure to complete the survey could lead to disciplinary action being pursued.

Under the new system, the BSB will assess how effectively chambers and sole practitioners are managing potential risks - like breaches of confidentiality or poor keeping of financial records - and the impact that these risks, left unattended, could have on the public.

Those chambers that are seen to be managing risks less effectively will receive more supervisory support.

Leaving those with robust policies and procedures largely to "get on with it" will mean the BSB is free to concentrate its efforts on the minority of chambers at risk of harming the public.

The Impact Audit survey is designed to help the BSB establish the impact that any potential breach of the regulatory rules would have on clients and consumers. This will essentially be a measure of how serious the consequences could be if risks were to materialise.

To determine this, the BSB will ask chambers about various factors, including:

  • Areas of work;
  • Number of new cases started in the last 12 months;
  • Whether work is undertaken under the Public Access scheme;
  • Whether pupils are taken; and
  • Whether chambers undertake work within the Money Laundering Regulations or uses Barco (the Bar Council's escrow account service).

Later in the year, most chambers will then have to complete a Supervision Return form - explaining how effectively potential risks are being managed to help the BSB gauge the likelihood of these risks actually materialising.

For more information about supervision visit: www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/supervision.

If you have not received your form by Friday 4 April 2014 then please get in touch via