A reminder of the important regulation changes that take place next month

November is an important month for solicitors in three ways. Not only do changes in the Accounts Rules come into force (see Journal, September, 36 and the Society’s website for more details), but the improved section of the website for practice rules will be launched, and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements will change.

The consolidated Practice Rules, which were passed at the special general meeting in May, will set out all the rules and guidance for solicitors in a logical and easy-to-search way.

From 1 November, there will be a table of contents and a searchable A-Z index in a new ring-fenced section of the website. Rules and guidance will be more easily distinguishable as they will be coded, and related rules and guidance will be on the same page.

The new section’s landing page has some additional helpful sections – advice and information, forms and fees, and alerts. The alerts will allow the Society to highlight developments in the law or practice which need to be flagged urgently.

Turning to CPD, a minimum of 20 hours in each practice year remains a requirement. However, instead of a minimum of 15 hours’ group study, a minimum of 15 hours’ verifiable CPD will be required. In this context “verifiable” means the CPD activity has educational aims and objectives relevant to your development; has clearly anticipated outcomes; has quality controls; and is able to be evidenced.

Solicitors will be required to identify their individual training needs based on relevance to their work, and to plan, record and evaluate their annual CPD. Solicitors are encouraged to log the plan and record on the Society’s website via their solicitor’s login. The range of activities recognised for CPD will be extended.

The requirement to undertake annual management CPD has been removed, although solicitors are encouraged to undertake management CPD if relevant to their development.

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