Bar Council responds to Bar Standards Board’s CPD overhaul

14 November 2014

The Bar Council responds to plans by the the Bar Standards Board (BSB) to overhaul the current accreditation system for continuing professional development (CPD) in the New Year.

From 1 January 2015, CPD Providers must apply for accreditation as an organisation, rather than for their individual events or courses. Providers will be expected to self-accredit courses according to clear guidelines, under the revised BSB approval scheme.

Nicholas Lavender QC, chairman of the Bar Council, said: "While we welcome any moves towards a less heavy handed form of regulation for our members, the BSB's change to accredit CPD providers rather than individual courses must not come at a cost to quality, which is an inevitable concern for any form of self-accreditation. The BSB refers to this new approach as being more efficient. What that efficiency actually looks like and who will be the main beneficiaries of it is not yet clear. The Bar Council hopes that the BSB will police the level of quality of courses which CPD providers offer on an ongoing basis so that our members can be confident that they are receiving professional development of the highest standard."