New Zealand Law Society - CPD year-end FAQs

CPD year-end FAQs

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) year ends on 31 March and your CPD declaration is due no later than 5 working days after this date. Now is a good time to check your CPD requirements and ensure that your CPD learning plan and record (CPDPR) is up to date.

We've listed some of the top FAQs for the CPD year-end. If you don't find what you're looking for, you'll find other questions and answers grouped under the General FAQs.

What do I do if I have only been practising for part of the CPD year (1 April – 31 March)?

Pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Ongoing Legal Education – Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2013, a lawyer who has provided regulated services for nine months or less is entitled to a pro rata reduction in the minimum number of CPD hours they are required to complete. Please note that periods are rounded up or down to the nearest full month.

CPD hours to complete per months providing regulated services

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In such circumstances you are still required to have a CPDPR and to file a declaration of compliance online. Your CPDPR should state that no activities or related records and documentation are required for that time when no regulated services were provided.

If you received your practicing certificate and/or began providing regulated services between 16 and 31 March 2022, you will be required to complete a CPD declaration and hold a CPDPR, but your CPD requirement for the 2021/22 CPD year will be nil.

I hold a practising certificate but do not provide regulated services, what do I need to do?

You will need to record in your CPDPR that you are not providing regulated services and that no activities are therefore required. You will also need to file a declaration of compliance at the end of each CPD year stating that you have complied with the CPD requirements.

I have received a reminder about making my declaration of compliance with the CPD rules. I am retiring / ceasing practise at the end of the current practising year. Do I need to complete a declaration?

You need to make a declaration of compliance for every CPD year/part CPD year you are in practice.  If you have completed your CPD requirements for the current CPD year, you should make your declaration.

If you advise the Law Society Registry team that you are ceasing practice, you will no longer receive CPD reminders.

What happens if I do not complete the CPDPR or the required hours?

If you don’t complete your CPD requirements, you can’t make your CPD declaration.

There are no exemptions from CPD, but in exceptional circumstances you may apply to the Law Society for a deferment of your CPD requirements.

If your circumstances don't meet the "exceptional circumstances" threshold and you haven't met your CPD requirements by 31 March, rule 7.3 does allow for a late declaration. If you file your declaration later than 7 April 2022 (five working days after the end of the CPD year), you indicate to the Law Society that you have not managed to comply with Rules in a timely way, and it will be categorised as a late declaration of compliance.

If you have not completed your CPD requirements, and your CPD declaration remains incomplete when the annual practising certificate renewals process begins, you will receive an email notifying you that you will need to complete a non-compliant fit and proper declaration.

What happens if I do not complete the declaration?

If you do not complete your CPD declaration within five-working days of 31 March, the Law Society will send you a final reminder.

In some circumstances you may need to apply to the Law Society for a deferment of your CPD requirements.

If your circumstances don't meet the "exceptional circumstances" threshold and you haven't met your CPD requirements by 31 March, rule 7.3 does allow for a late declaration. If you file your declaration later than 7 April 2022 (five working days after the end of the CPD year), you indicate to the Law Society that you have not managed to comply with Rules in a timely way, and it will be categorised as a late declaration of compliance.

If you have not completed your CPD requirements and your CPD declaration remains incomplete when the annual practising certificate renewals process begins, you will receive an email notifying you that you will need to complete a non-compliant fit and proper declaration.

Will I be granted a deferment if COVID-19 has impacted my ability to complete my requirements?

Deferments are granted for exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis.

We understand that COVID-19 has continued to cause disruption over the last year, particularly for lawyers based in Auckland | Tāmaki Makaurau, Waikato and Northland | Te Tai Tokerau. COVID-19 may be considered exceptional circumstances in some instances. Please note that if you apply for a deferment based on the impacts COVID-19 you will need to provide evidence of the exceptional circumstances that mean you have been unable to meet your CPD requirements.

You will find the application for deferment here.

Do I need to send my CPDPR to the Law Society to confirm I have completed my CPD?

No. You are not required to send your CPDPR to the Law Society unless you are asked to do so as part of an audit.

I'm having trouble making my declaration in Registry, what should I do?

We have noticed that some web browsers are having difficulty with displaying our Registry site. We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If you’re using one of these browsers and the website is still showing incorrectly, please contact us so we can help.

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