Please check that you are on target to complete the 2017 CPD requirement by 31 December.
Number of hours
The full 2017 CPD requirement is:
- 20 hours (to include a minimum of 3 hours Management and Professional Development Skills and a minimum of 2 hours Regulatory Matters) for a solicitor who is not a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner), or
- 20 hours (to include a minimum of 3 hours Management and Professional Development Skills and a minimum of 3 hours Regulatory Matters of which at least 2 hours shall be Accounting and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance) for a solicitor who is a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner).
Tips for completion
Results of our CPD audit of compliance indicate that solicitors are generally aware of their obligations and sometimes complete in excess of the annual requirement. Some areas to watch out for:
- Have you completed each of the 3 elements of the CPD requirement (outlined above)
- Check you are not claiming more than the permitted hours of eLearning (50% of a solicitor’s minimum CPD requirement, modified or otherwise).
- Have you retained records and proof of CPD completed.
The CPD requirement can be modified/reduced in certain specified circumstances set out in detail in the CPD Scheme booklet such as:
- Senior practitioners.
- Maternity/parental/carers/adoptive leave cases.
- Illness/retirement/unemployment cases.
- Part-year practice cases.
- Part-time practice cases.
Failure to comply
If you fail to comply with your annual CPD requirement, you will be automatically required to provide proof of compliance with your CPD obligations for a period of two years - in addition to the cycle in which you failed to comply.
If for reason of long term illness or exceptional circumstances you cannot complete the CPD requirement, you may make an application to the Education Committee for special dispensation. Any such application should be made in writing at the earliest opportunity and sent to the CPD Scheme Unit, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7.
New CPD regulations come into effect on 1 January 2018. The 2018 regulations, Scheme booklet and record card will be available to download from the ‘Solicitors’ area of the Society’s website from January under CPD Scheme.
This article originally appeared in the December 2017 Law Society eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, see eNewsletters.