TCPD - FAQs for trainees

The following activities could be included as TCPD:

  • courses
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • conferences
  • briefings
  • role plays
  • simulated transactions and case studies
  • workshops
  • online learning and distance learning courses

TCPD can focus on skills (eg negotiation skills, advocacy, presentation skills), on legal knowledge (eg any knowledge update relevant to a trainee's practice), on ethics or on business, commercial, financial and practice awareness.

Up to 20 hours of TCPD can come from non-authorised sources. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are many private organisations which offer very good CPD which would be of benefit to trainees. It may be that, if these organisations were required by the Law Society to do so, such providers would not wish to come forward for TCPD authorisation. Such examples might include local faculties, advocates' stables or other professional bodies (eg ICAS, RICS etc). Secondly, some firms may not be in a position to come forward to be authorised as TCPD providers. That said, the firm may offer update sessions internally. Such sessions could count towards a trainee's non-authorised TCPD.

Non-authorised TCPD should be recorded in the same way, should be able to be verified and should focus on the PEAT 2 outcomes.

No. Personal study is expected as part of the traineeship and background reading prior to TCPD events may be very useful. However, reading cannot count towards authorised TCPD provision or for non-authorised TCPD provision, as it is not verifiable.

A firm or organisation which takes trainees can apply for authorisation to offer the minimum of 40 hours' TCPD as an authorised provider. If a firm or organisation does not feel that becoming an authorised provider of TCPD is an option for them, it is still possible for them to offer up to 20 hours of non-authorised provision to its trainees. For example, if a firm ran update sessions on certain areas of law for all staff then this could be counted be as non-authorised TCPD. It is important to note that, in order to be able to count as non-authorised TCPD, such sessions must still be focused on the PEAT 2 outcomes, be recorded in the same way and be able to be verified.

It is possible for any firm or organisation to offer the up to 20 hours of non-authorised provision to its trainees.

You are required to log any TCPD that you undertake during your traineeship as part of your PEAT 2 record.

It will be the responsibility of you and your training solicitor to identify appropriate TCPD to support your development and achievement of the PEAT 2 outcomes. You will be responsible for logging completed TCPD through the PEAT 2 record. Authorised providers of TCPD will supply the Society with attendance lists for TCPD events and your record will be checked against the authorised provider's list. An automated process in the database will check that TCPD details are being entered and emails will be issued to you at key points during the two-year contract to ensure that at least the minimum of 60 hours' TCPD is completed.

The requirement to undertake TCPD is part of the Admission as a Solicitor (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Therefore, failure to comply with the TCPD requirements may result in you not being admitted as solicitor. For trainees seeking to be admitted following the first year of their traineeship, a minimum of 20 hours of TCPD must have been undertaken.

A trainee may not be discharged until they have completed the TCPD requirements. If for any reason you suspect that you may not be able to comply with the TCPD requirements, please contact the Society as soon as possible.

The Society maintains a travel and accommodation fund, to assist those who are training in remoter parts of Scotland and who require to travel long distances and/or stay overnight in order to access appropriate TCPD. Trainees can apply for this assistance by using this application form. Details of the assistance available can be found on the application form and in the accompanying notes to that form. For further information or guidance on this matter, please contact Martyn Robinson in the Education, Training and Qualifications team at martynrobinson@lawscot.org.uk