The 2019/20 reporting deadline for lawyers submitting CPD declarations remains 31 March 2020, but restrictions to learning activities as a result of COVID-19 will be considered acceptable cause for seeking deferral, the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa says.
“We recognise the majority of practitioners will have completed their CPD requirements for the 2019/20 CPD year (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020) and will be in a position to file their declaration in the normal manner," it says.
“However, we also acknowledge the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact this may have had on CPD events practitioners were planning to attend here or overseas.
“For this reason, the cancellation or postponement of any CPD event, group gathering or other CPD activity due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19 will be accepted as a satisfying exceptional circumstance for the purposes of rule 7.5 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Ongoing Legal Education – Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2013.”
Due to the nature of the CPD rules placing responsibility on individual practitioners to guide, reflect and report on their own professional development, the Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture has encouraged lawyers to consider how they can participate in learning activities for future reporting periods.
Learning in settings of self-isolation may include making use of e-learning, digital technology and self-guided learning opportunities.
The full COVID-19 CPD information and frequently asked questions are available here.