The booklet and record card for the 2022 CPD cycle are now available.
CPD Regulations (Solicitors (Continuing Professional Development) Regulations 2017) (S.I No. 529 of 2017) came into effect on 1 January 2018. The 2022 CPD cycle runs from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022 and there is no carry over of hours from one cycle to the next.
Solicitors are advised to familiarise themselves with these Regulations which are contained in the 2020-2022 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.
Update for the 2022 cycle – eLearning limit
At its March 2022 meeting, the Education Committee decided that for the 2022 CPD cycle, the eLearning limit of 50% (modified or otherwise) will be removed. Consequently, solicitors may complete the entire 2022 CPD requirement of 20 hours (including minimum requirements in the categories of ‘Management and Professional Development Skills’ and ‘Regulatory Matters’) online. This derogation expires on 31 December, 2022, and does not set any precedent in respect of 2023 or subsequent years. A full review of the CPD scheme, including the eLearning limit, is underway.
The decision has been taken in light of the current circumstances with regard to Covid-19, which has seen very high case numbers in recent weeks. Since the end of February almost all Covid restrictions have been relaxed and we have seen a phased return to the workplace, in conjunction with the return of our social and recreational lives. Notwithstanding however, the Committee is aware of the health concerns and reservations that some members of the profession may understandably have. The Committee, on behalf of the Society, is committed to ensuring that the profession is supported in continuing to engage in education and that solicitors invest in themselves by undertaking CPD training. The Society therefore trusts the derogation from the 2022 eLearning limit will be of assistance and comfort to the profession, whilst we as a society continue to adjust and navigate our way post-pandemic.
If clarification on this or any other aspect of the current CPD Scheme is required, please contact the CPD Scheme Unit for assistance.
Note for the 2022 CPD Cycle
Minimum 2022 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 2022 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 2022 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. The maximum of 50% of a solicitor’s minimum CPD requirement (modified or otherwise) may be claimed for time spent writing relevant material that is published in any one CPD cycle.
Ways of completing CPD
There are three different ways of undertaking the minimum 2022 CPD requirement - group study format, and/or by eLearning, and/or writing relevant material that is published.
Group study means an organised session of CPD undertaken by three or more persons, for a period of not less than 30 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).
The eLearning limit of 50% (modified or otherwise) will be removed for the 2022 cycle. Solicitors may now complete the entire 2022 CPD requirement of 20 hours (including minimum requirements in the categories of ‘Management and Professional Development Skills’ and ‘Regulatory Matters’) online.
A senior practitioner may complete their entire modified yearly CPD requirement (3 hours CPD) by eLearning during 2022.
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, they may claim a maximum of 50% of the minimum annual CPD requirement (i.e. a maximum of 10 hours CPD during the 2022 cycle).
If a solicitor has a modified CPD requirement, they may complete up to a maximum of 50% of their modified CPD requirement for time spent writing relevant material. For example, a solicitor with a modified 2022 CPD requirement of 9 hours CPD may complete a maximum of 4.5 hours CPD for time spent writing relevant material during the 2022 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 2022.
Modification of minimum 2022 CPD requirement
The Scheme continues to allow for modifications of the minimum CPD requirement and the 2020-2022 current Scheme booklet details the particular circumstances in which the minimum CPD requirement may be reduced, such as:
- A newly-admitted solicitor.
- Senior practitioner.
- Maternity/parental/carers/adoptive leave.
- Illness/retirement/unemployment/substantive reasons cases.
- Part-time practice.
- 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, they will be required to undertake, as all or part of their 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.
- Sitting of examinations.
- Setting, correcting or marking of examination papers.
- Completing quizzes.
- General lifestyle hobbies.
- ‘Keep fit’ 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 2020-2022 CPD 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.
NOTE: To view this file, you need Adobe Reader 7 or later.
For further details, contact the CPD Scheme Unit on 01 672 4802 or by email at email@example.com.