18 March 2019

Blog: Monthly message from our Chair, Baroness Blackstone

Let me begin with a word of thanks. We recently published the results of our spot-checking review of barristers' CPD records from 2017. Just under 90% of those on the Established Practitioners' Programme whom we spot checked were considered compliant, or compliant with some feedback from us. We are very pleased that the Bar has adapted to the new, more flexible, regime so well. You can read more about this online.

On 6 December, we launched a new consultation to seek views on how we should recover our costs for overseeing the new Bar training rules due to come into force early next year and for managing the centralised examinations that form part of the qualification process for new barristers. The consultation considers the extent to which the costs of authorising and supervising Bar training should be met by training organisations - bearing in mind that many vocational training providers pass on these costs to students - or by the profession in the form of contributions from the Practising Certificate Fee.

We have also announced the rates for the minimum pupillage awards that will apply from 1 September 2019 and which will now be linked to the National Living Wage. Read more online.

We published an updated edition of the BSB Handbook on 23 November. The main update was to introduce new rules to govern the very rare occasions when it might be necessary for us to intervene in the practices of those we regulate in order to protect clients. The powers are similar to those already held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in relation to solicitors' firms and come into force following a period of public consultation in 2015. You can read more about this online.

Finally, please don't forget that we are seeking barrister and lay members for our new Independent Decision-Making Body which will replace the Professional Conduct Committee. Applications close on Monday 7 January 2019.

With season's greetings from all of us at the BSB.