The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has published its Annual Report for the 2022-23 business year, providing a summary of the BSB’s activities during the period.
2022-23 was the first year of the BSB’s new Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and was also a year in which the Board targeted improving the timeliness of the BSB’s operational work, without sacrificing quality. In order to do so, the BSB significantly re-prioritised its work in 2022/23 to focus on the regulatory operations which form the core of our work and to enable our front-line teams to increase their productivity and responsiveness. The latter part of the year saw a significant increase in the timeliness of our regulatory decision-making – 119 investigations were closed in the second half of the year compared to 60 in the first half. The Board is determined to ensure that performance continues to improve, and this will remain the BSB’s highest priority in 2023-24.
Other important initiatives during the year included the Chair and Director General travelling across England and Wales to meet barristers in every circuit to discuss the BSB’s work to encourage best practice in the way chambers promote standards, equality and access. The Board also made notable progress in implementing the reforms set out in the Well Led Action Plan, which include improving the way the BSB manages performance and deals with risk. The reform of pay and reward also enabled marked improvement in the BSB’s ability to recruit and retain high calibre people in what remains a competitive labour market. Additional reforms will be central to the BSB’s business plan for 2023/24: focusing on achieving operational excellence; encouraging more proactive regulation of the Bar; and bringing about strategic change in the BSB’s culture and capability.
Commenting on the report, BSB Director General Mark Neale said: “the BSB’s focus remains on delivering the highest possible standard of regulatory services to the Bar and the public. Both our accomplishments and the lessons learnt from the past year will shape our actions as we continue to improve our operational productivity while maintaining the highest possible quality of decision-making.”
Read the full BSB Annual Report 2022-23 here.