It is mandatory for practising lawyers to complete a minimum of 10 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year. What lawyers choose to complete is up to them.
Amendments to the CPD rules allow the Law Society to include a mandatory component that would require lawyers to undertake a specific activity.
Amendments have been made at rule 3 (interpretation), rule 4 (continuing professional development requirements) and rule 6 (minimum hours of activities).
There is no mandatory component to CPD for 2021, but this amendment gives the Law Society the ability to create one in future, if needed.
Would any mandatory component be extra on top of the required ten hours?
No. Any mandatory component would form a part of the required ten hours of activities each year.
Is there a mandatory component this year?
No. At the moment there is no mandatory component to CPD for 2021, but this amendment gives the Law Society the ability to create one in future, if needed.
I work part-time. Does this apply to me?
Yes, as long as you engage in regulated services for ten months of the CPD year or more. Rule 6.1(a) requires that a lawyer providing regulated services, in either a full-time or part-time capacity, completes a minimum of ten hours of activities each yearly period including any mandatory component required by the Law Society.
I have a pro rata requirement under Schedule 1. Does this apply to me?
No. Those with a pro rata requirement under Schedule 1 may choose to complete the mandatory component as part of their CPD activities, but it is not required.
How do I confirm that I’ve completed the mandatory requirement?
From 1 July 2021, when you complete your CPD declaration each year you will be confirming that you have completed any requirements, including any mandatory component required by the Law Society.
What if I defer my CPD into a following year?
If you are granted a deferment of your CPD requirements into a subsequent CPD year, the mandatory requirement will also be deferred and must be completed as part of the deferment.
How will this be monitored?
From 2022, audits completed under rule 8 will check that plans and records include reference to any mandatory learning component.
How will I know if I need to complete a mandatory component?
The Law Society will notify the profession if there is a mandatory requirement. If you fail to complete any mandatory component required by the Law Society, this may be referred to the Lawyers Complaints Service.
Read the guidance for lawyers to support the implementation of the new rules on our website
Fact sheet: downloadable and printable
For more information please email our Regulatory team firstname.lastname@example.org