• be proportionate to the risks associated with various aspects of non compliance;
  • promote process improvement and the sharing of best practice;
  • be devised with the assistance of chambers so as to achieve appropriate standards with a minimum of bureaucracy.

In order to assess how such a scheme might work in practice for all chambers, the Board is running a pilot monitoring scheme focusing on three areas:

  • Chambers’ complaints handling;
  • Pupillage;
  • Equality and Diversity.

These areas have been chosen as the focus for the pilot for two reasons. First they are subject to clearly defined requirements of the Code of Conduct, the Equality Code and Consolidated Regulations. Second, there are areas where, the BSB has concerns over consistency of compliance and administration across the Bar. A representative sample of 35 sets of chambers, including chambers of differing size, location and practice areas, have been selected to take part in the pilot, which will run during the course of 2008.

A report on the pilot scheme will be published in early 2009 and it is anticipated that, pending the findings, a scheme for all chambers will be implemented in January 2010.

If you have any queries about the scheme, please contact Oliver Hanmer, Head of Quality and Standards on 020 7611 1444 or email ohanmer@barstandardsboard.org.uk