CPD Requirements for WA lawyers
The Legal Practice Board's mandatory CPD WA scheme is set out in full in the Legal Profession Rules 2009. Compliance with the legal CPD rules is a requirement for the renewal of a practitioner’s WA practising certificate.
On 1 April 2015, amendments to the Legal Profession Rules 2009 came into effect. The most significant changes were the addition of a new “Practice Management” competency area and the removal of the requirement for WA lawyers to complete different numbers of points in each competency area based on number of years of post-admission experience.
WA legal practitioners may only earn legal CPD points by completing approved CPD activities. An approved CPD activity must be provided by a QA provider of continuing professional development or be specifically approved by the Legal Practice Board WA to comply with the CPD WA scheme.
LawCPD has been approved by the Legal Practice Board WA as a QA Provider of continuing professional development for the WA legal profession. This means that all of LawCPD's online CPD courses are approved CPD activities.
Under the WA CPD rules, a legal CPD activity may be classified as an interactive or non-interactive activity. LawCPD's online CPD courses are classified as an ‘interactive electronic activity’ under the new WA CPD rules, which means WA lawyers can earn 1 legal CPD point per hour and all 10 CPD points each year by completing our online CPD courses.
LawCPD reviews and updates all of its online CPD courses annually to make sure lawyers have the most up to date information. This ensures that all of LawCPD’s online CPD courses comply with the current CPD rules.
Annual CPD Requirements
According the continuing professional development rules from the Legal Practice Board WA, practitioners must earn a minimum of 10 legal CPD points every CPD year (1 April-31 March annually).
Western Australian practitioners must earn a minimum of 1 legal CPD point from each of the following mandatory CPD competency areas:
- Competency Area 1: Practice Management;
- Competency Area 2: Professional Skills;
- Competency Area 3: Ethics and Professional Responsibility; and
- Competency Area 4: Substantive Law.
The remaining CPD points can be earned from any of the four mandatory CPD competency areas. Under the amended WA legal CPD rules, there is longer a difference in the number of CPD points required for lawyers based on years of post-admission experience.
LawCPD has allocated competency areas to all of the online CPD courses on the LawCPD site to assist practitioners with the task of identifying which online CPD courses fall within the different mandatory CPD areas.
Record Keeping and Auditing
Under the Legal Practice Board WA continuing professional development scheme, practitioners must maintain a record of their legal CPD activities. Practitioners must also retain some supporting documentation to support their legal CPD record.
Practitioners are required to certify whether they have met their obligations under the CPD WA scheme when they renew their practising certificates.
The Legal Practice Board WA conducts annual random audits of practitioners’ CPD records to monitor compliance with the CPD WA scheme. If a practitioner is selected for audit, they will need to provide supporting documentation to the Legal Practice Board of WA to verify that they have complied with the legal CPD scheme.
LawCPD provides practitioners with a personalised page (MyCPD) which tracks all their learning in real time and provides a record of all legal CPD points earned through LawCPD. Practitioners can print a copy of this page and provide it to the Legal Practice Board WA in the event that they are audited for compliance with the legal CPD scheme.
LawCPD also provides printable certificates for each online CPD course completed which can be downloaded from the MyCPD page. These certificates may also be provided to prove compliance with the CPD WA scheme if the practitioner is audited by Legal Practice Board WA.
For full details of the Legal Practice Board's CPD WA scheme and the CPD requirements for WA practitioners, visit the Legal Practice Board WA’s website.