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CPD Declarations and audits

01 June 2018 - By Ken Trass

The 2017-18 CPD year has now ended. Almost 99% of the profession completed a timely declaration for this period.

For those of you who have yet to complete this requirement, you can still make a declaration.

What next for your CPD?

Your next step is to review your learning plan.

Planning ahead, and constantly revising this during the year, means you will be more likely to engage in learning that meets your specific needs. Planning around your learning needs is part of the expectations of CPD.

As you complete your learning activities during the year, set aside some time to reflect on what you learnt – record this on your CPD plan and record (CPDPR). Considering the impact of your learning is one of the most valuable parts of the CPD process.

CPD – Audit focus for 2018

The overall aim of CPD is to build on the culture of life-long learning in the legal profession and contribute to the increased competency of New Zealand lawyers.

The CPD rules allow for the audit of lawyer CPDPR (CPD plan and records) to determine compliance with the rules. The Law Society takes an educative and supportive approach to these audits. Since CPD commenced in 2014, between 10% and 12% of the profession have been audited each year.

Over this period, approximately 80% of the profession have displayed a clear understanding of the intended purpose of CPD. Some lawyers, however, are yet to fully realise the value of CPD as an important self-review tool.

To further support lawyers, half of those audited in 2018 will have the audit process focus on the following:

  • A lawyer’s individualised learning plan; or
  • A lawyer’s personal reflections on each completed learning activity

What does this mean?

While a full and complete CPDPR is required the 2018 audits will focus on these elements.

Each lawyer who is selected for audit, will be advised of the focus for their CPD audit.

Why this focus?

Learners who take the time to clearly plan and reflect on their CPD activities, get more value from the CPD they undertake. They are also more likely to adopt effective practices.

A number of lawyers have asked for additional guidance on how to approach these elements. We would like to further support their development.

Who is audited?

In 2018, 10% of the profession will be audited. Unless you have been informed otherwise, selection for audit is random – so you may be selected for audit even if you have been audited previously.

What do I submit?

Details of what you are required to submit will be sent out in an email to you. However, your 2017-18 CPDPR is the main document required.

You will be asked to submit your CPDPR within five working days of receiving an audit request. It is expected that in order to have made your CPD declaration that your CPDPR is up to date.

Where to from here?

Please ensure that you are familiar with the CPD requirements.

You can complete a confidential self-assessment on your understanding of CPD, or view the range of support resources at Continuing Professional Development.


Ken Trass ken.trass@lawsociety.org.nz is the New Zealand Law Society’s Professional Development Manager.

Last updated on the 1st June 2018