2018 Cycle

The booklet and record card for the 2018 CPD cycle are now available.

New CPD Regulations (Solicitors (Continuing Professional Development) Regulations 2017) (S.I No. 529 of 2017) came into effect on 1 January 2018. The 2018 CPD cycle runs from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018 and there is no carry over of hours from one cycle to the next. 

Scheme Booklet

Solicitors are advised to familiarise themselves with these Regulations which are contained in the new 2018 CPD Scheme booklet.

The Regulations continue to provide for the requirement for a solicitor (including a senior practitioner) who is a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner to undertake in each practice year (i.e. CPD cycle) a minimum of 3 hours of regulatory matters, of which at least 2 hours shall be accounting and anti-money laundering compliance.

Minimum 2018 CPD Requirement - 20 hours

  • Solicitor who is NOT a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner: the CPD requirement for the 2018 cycle is 20 hours, to include a minimum of 3 hours management and professional development skills and a minimum of 2 hours regulatory matters.
  • Solicitor who IS a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner: the CPD requirement for the 2018 cycle is 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.

There is a maximum limit of 7 hours CPD which may be completed within a single day and a maximum of 50% of a solicitor’s minimum CPD requirement (modified or otherwise) may be claimed for time spent in relevant eLearning and/or writing relevant material that is published in any one CPD cycle. 

Ways of completing CPD

There are three different ways of undertaking the minimum 2018 CPD requirement - group study format and/or by eLearning and/or writing relevant material that is published. 

Group Study

Group study means an organised session of CPD undertaken by three or more persons, for a period of not less than thirty minutes. Physical attendance by the solicitor is required.  Therefore, the watching of a ‘live feed’ of a conference/seminar/training session may not be claimed as group study (but may be claimed as eLearning).

eLearning

A maximum of 50% of a solicitor’s minimum CPD requirement (modified or otherwise) may be claimed for time spent in relevant eLearning. Accordingly, a solicitor who practises on a full-time basis may claim a maximum of 50% of the minimum annual CPD requirement (i.e. a maximum of 10 hours CPD during the 2018 cycle).  Solicitors should note however that they may claim a minimum of 5 hours CPD by eLearning per CPD cycle.

If a solicitor has a modified CPD requirement, s/he may complete up to a maximum of 50% of his/her modified CPD requirement via eLearning, but subject to a minimum of 5 hours CPD per cycle. For example, a solicitor with a modified 2018 CPD requirement of 9 hours CPD may complete a maximum of 5 hours CPD via eLearning during the 2018 cycle.

A senior practitioner may complete their entire modified yearly CPD requirement (3 hours CPD) by eLearning during 2018.

Writing relevant material that is published

A maximum of 50% of a solicitor’s minimum CPD requirement (modified or otherwise) may be claimed for time spent writing a relevant article or section of a legal periodical or textbook. Therefore, if a solicitor practises on a full-time basis, s/he may claim a maximum of 50% of the minimum annual CPD requirement (i.e. a maximum of 10 hours CPD during the 2018 cycle). 

If a solicitor has a modified CPD requirement, s/he may complete up to a maximum of 50% of his/her modified CPD requirement for time spent writing relevant material. For example, a solicitor with a modified 2018 CPD requirement of 9 hours CPD may complete a maximum of 4.5 hours CPD for time spent writing relevant material during the 2018 cycle.

A senior practitioner may claim a maximum of 1.5 hours CPD (being 50% of the modified CPD requirement for a senior practitioner) for time spent writing relevant material during 2018.

Modification of minimum 2018 CPD requirement

The Scheme continues to allow for modifications of the minimum CPD requirement and the current Scheme booklet details the particular circumstances in which the minimum CPD requirement may be reduced, such as:

  1. A newly admitted solicitor.
  2. Senior practitioner.
  3. Maternity/parental/carers/adoptive leave.
  4. Illness/retirement/unemployment/substantive reasons cases.
  5. Part-time practice.
  6. Part-year practice.

Solicitors should note, however, that the minimum CPD requirement may not be modified to less than 2 hours of regulatory matters in each CPD cycle. Further, if a solicitor (including a senior practitioner) is a sole practitioner or a compliance partner and/or an anti-money laundering compliance partner, s/he will be required to undertake, as all or part of his/her modified CPD obligations during each CPD cycle, at least 3 hours of  regulatory matters, of which at least 2 hours shall be accounting and anti-money laundering compliance.

What activities do not count for CPD purposes?

CPD is any legal or general education relevant to the practice of a solicitor which is designed to improve the solicitor’s professional knowledge, skills and abilities. The overriding test is that the education/training must be relevant to the practice of the solicitor at the time it is undertaken or in the future.

Solicitors should note that the following activities do not count for CPD purposes:  

  • Private study.
  • One-to-one training.
  • Reading of articles, magazines, newspapers and journals.
  • Research, notwithstanding that same may be required as part of a solicitors employment or academic studies.
  • First aid and/or safety and/or manual handling training courses (unless there is some specific update on the law regarding Health and Safety matters and provided such training is in excess of a continuous period of 30 minutes, which is the minimum amount of time which can be claimed as CPD).
  • Sitting of examinations.
  • ‘Marking’ of examination papers.
  • Completing quizzes.
  • Meditation or mindfulness courses (unless such courses specifically include techniques to alleviate or ameliorate work pressures and/or stresses),
  • General lifestyle hobbies.
  • ‘Keep fit’ and/or healthy nutrition training.
  • Volunteer work for any legal advice centre, working at a Citizens Advice Bureau, FLAC and/or a community scheme(s).
  • Pro bono work.
  • Work shadowing.
  • After-dinner speeches / tours or receptions, attendance at lunches (unless there is a specific training item relevant to the practice of a solicitor, such as an update on the state of the law or practice in a particular legal area for the benefit for those present).
  • Annual General Meetings (unless there is a specific agenda item relevant to the practice of a solicitor such as an update on the state of the law or practice in a particular legal area for the benefit of those present, when only the actual time in excess of a continuous period of 30 minutes spent on that specific agenda item can be claimed as a credit).

Automatic audit for failure to comply with CPD requirements

Solicitors should note that in the event of a failure to comply with annual CPD requirements, they will be automatically required to provide proof of compliance with their CPD obligations for a period of two years, in addition to the cycle in which they failed to comply.

There is no requirement for solicitors to send their CPD record card and proofs to the CPD Scheme Unit unless selected for audit. Pre-compliance is not provided.

What else do the CPD Regulations continue to provide for?

Solicitors attending meetings of committees and/or working groups of the Society, or other law-related professional bodies, or performing law-related adjudicative functions are permitted to claim up to a maximum of 7 hours CPD (in any category).

The 2017 Regulations continue to provide for a sum for failure by a solicitor to comply with the Society’s CPD audit. The Regulations enable the Society to require payment of a sum not exceeding €300 by way of contribution towards costs in situations where a solicitor has refused, neglected or otherwise failed to respond appropriately in a timely manner, or at all, to the Society’s correspondence in the course of an investigation as to compliance with the CPD regulations. 

More information in booklet

Clarification on all aspects of the Scheme and detailed explanations of the available modifications are provided in the new 2018 Scheme booklet

CPD Scheme Record Card

The record card is available as a pdf that you can make changes to electronically. Just download and save the file to your computer, then edit as required to record your hours and personal details. Alternatively, you can print the file to fill it in by hand.

To view this file, you need Adobe Reader 7 or later.

Contact us

For further details, contact the CPD Scheme Unit on 01 672 4802 or by email at cpdscheme@lawsociety.ie.