Lawyers who have not yet declared completion of their required Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the year to 31 March 2015 are still able to do so, the New Zealand Law Society says.
At 16 April 2015, 93.5% of New Zealand’s lawyers had completed their online declaration of compliance with the CPD requirements in the 2014/15 year.
Law Society Continuing Professional Development Manager Ken Trass says this is a “hugely powerful” statement about how New Zealand’s lawyers are determined to keep abreast of changes and to provide the best service possible for their clients.
“The 93.5% declaration rate means that the vast majority of lawyers have engaged in their professional development, reflected on their learning and developed some next steps for their on-going professional development,” he says.
Mr Trass says there is still time, and provision in the rules, for the remaining eight percent to complete their required declaration.
“You must either file a late declaration or apply for and be granted a deferment. Failure to do either may result in your being requested to submit your CPD Plan and Record for audit. Continued non-compliance may result in your being referred to the Lawyers’ Complaints Service.”
Mr Trass says the Law Society's focus is on the underlying philosophy behind CPD of the importance of ongoing learning as a professional.
He says late CPD declarations are to be made online in the Law Society Registry in the same way as those which were completed on time.
“You will need your User ID and password to login. You can always find your User ID on any issue of LawPoints or on your practising certificate, and if you’ve forgotten your password it’s a very simple one-step process to get a new one. You must complete your declaration personally.
Full details of the required process can be found on the CPD guidance section on the Law Society's website.