New CPD Approach begins in April
The Solicitors Regulation Authority have issued a reminder that as of 1 April, solicitors will be able to tailor their own continuing professional development (CPD) more closely to their own specific needs.
The Legal Services Board has approved this more flexible approach to CPD which reflects a radical change in the way the SRA is to ensure the continuing competence of firms and individuals. The approach requires solicitors to meet their regulatory obligation to provide a proper standard of service by regularly reflecting on their practice, and identifying and putting into place a programme of individual learning and development and as such replaces the current hours-based system.
Not all solicitors will be required to move to the new approach from April 2015. The approach only becomes compulsory from 1 November 2016.
Julie Brannan, Director of Education and Training, said:
“Our role is to ensure that consumers of legal services can be confident that those we regulate are retaining their professional competence. Our new approach enables us to uphold standards while also permitting solicitors and firms to determine training and development according to their specific needs and learning styles.
“It is a much more rigorous approach than at present as solicitors will need to think hard about what they need to do on a regular basis to ensure they remain competent to practise.”
Under the new regime, solicitors will be required to make an annual declaration that they have thought about their learning and development and addressed any needs they identify.