Bar regulators have allowed equality and diversity initiatives to slip and have been told to act immediately to restore them, the watchdog’s independent observer has said.
Isobel Leaviss, who has the role of providing independent oversight of the Bar Standards Board, said that she was “surprised” not to have found publicly available equality and diversity data for various professional conduct elements at the regulator.
Up to date recording and monitoring of equality and diversity data for the committee and board members at the BSB responsible for professional conduct “was not in place,” said Leaviss in a reportreleased on Friday.
She went on to say that “equality and diversity induction training for new members appeared to have lapsed”. Leaviss called on the regulator to remedy both shortfalls.
The BSB said that it had accepted the observer’s recommendations. Vanessa Davies, the board’s director, welcomed the report’s findings, saying that Leaviss’s “contributions ensure our complaints-handling process continues to be refined and improved, particularly in the context of being a risk-based regulator”.