New Zealand Law Society - Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development

CPD declarations can be made at any time but are due within five working days of 31 March each year. If you have any queries, email us or phone Registry on 0800 22 30 30 during normal office hours.

Continuing professional development (CPD) can help lawyers become better legal professionals.

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Ongoing Legal Education—Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2013 (CPD Rules) aim to build on the culture of lifelong learning which exists within the New Zealand legal profession.

CPD Rules

The CPD Rules apply to all lawyers. The Rules:

  • are learner centred
  • are plan-based and build on each lawyer’s self-knowledge and reflection
  • recognise that competency means more than technical expertise and knowledge
  • recognise that useful CPD activities come in many guises

CPD is not just about black letter law, but includes communication skills, the ability to understand or apply the Client Care Rules, and a wide variety of self- and practice management skills.

Your obligations

The CPD Rules require lawyers to:

  • complete a minimum of 10 appropriate hours of CPD activities each year (unless you are entitled to a pro rata reduction under rule 6.1(b))
  • develop and maintain a written CPD plan and record (CPDPR); including reflecting and evaluating on their professional learning
  • complete a declaration confirming you have met your requirements within five working days of 31 March each year

CPD Toolkit

The following tools, templates and information will help lawyers get maximum benefit from their CPD activities:

For providers

Self-auditing organisations

Rule 9 of the CPD Rules enables organisations (as defined in Rule 3.1(g)) to apply for self-auditing status. Law firms, law firm branches, a government department or corporation, or a branch, section, or head office may apply individually for self-auditing status.

Self-audit status means that an organisation of lawyers takes responsibility for ensuring compliance with the CPD Rules. Individual lawyers employed by or who are part of a self-auditing organisation would not be audited by the Law Society although the organisation itself may be audited from time to time.

A guide to becoming a self-auditing organisation and a downloadable application form.