Continuing Professional Development
Solicitors CPD requirements changed on 1 November 2011.
Members now self-certify their CPD compliance. Generally,
all those applying for a practising certificate should declare
their compliance on the practising certificate application form
issued at renewal or on request. Members who have failed to comply
or who seek exemption should supply details of their
non-compliance or exempt status in the additional information
box on the form.
Members should retain details of their attendance at courses in
compliance for a minimum of two years to facilitate checking of
For more information please see (a) the CPD Requirements and
Guidance document on the right-hand side of this page (b) the CPD
Handbook (which incorporates Frequently Asked Questions). Both of
these documents should help solicitors
The minimum number of hours that solicitors require to undertake
per annum is 20 hours.
The executive summary of key changes is:
- The range of activities recognised for CPD has been extended,
focussing on relevance, competence and enhancement of skills and
compliance with the Society's conduct and service standards.
These additional activities include structured coaching (such as
one-to-one coaching or mentoring) and online training.
- The requirement to undertake a minimum of 15 hours group study
no longer applies. There are now no group study requirements.
Solicitors may undertake as many hours of group CPD as they feel
appropriate but there is no set minimum level.
- Of their 20 minimum hours, solicitors will require to undertake
a minimum of 15 hours of verifiable CPD.
- The restriction on the amount of personal study allowed has
- A maximum of five hours private study remains. However, the
relaxation of the types of online and distance learning and the
relaxation of the requirement to undertake 15 hours group study
means that solicitors can undertake far more personal study if they
- The requirement to undertake annual management CPD has been
- The option of carrying back CPD hours will no longer be
- The option of carrying forward CPD hours will no longer be
- The restrictions on the types of Distance Learning and Online
Learning have been relaxed. Rather than be prescriptive about how
such courses are undertaken, whether an online or distance learning
course is relevant will be for an individual solicitor to decide
using their professional judgement.
- Formal pro-rata concessions for part-time work, locum work,
unemployment and sabbatical leave will no longer be permitted.
- All solicitors will be required to plan, record and evaluate
their annual CPD.
Solicitors are encouraged to log the plan and record on the
Society's website via their solicitors' login.
Solicitors will be required to demonstrate that they have (i)
identified their learning needs (ii) planned CPD activity to
address those needs (iii) undertaken relevant CPD (iv) evaluated
and justified the CPD activity, what was learnt, and how the
lessons of the CPD activity can be put into practice
As the new Guidance came into effect on 1 November 2011, carry
forward/carry back is not applicable for the CPD year 2010/11. If
you have any queries on this matter please contact firstname.lastname@example.org