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CPD Requirements for ACT lawyers

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ACT Solicitors

The current ACT Law Society continuing professional development (CPD) Guidelines for ACT practitioners commenced on 1 April 2015.  Complying with the requirements of the legal CPD Guidelines is a mandatory condition for the renewal of a practicing certificate pursuant to section 47 of the Legal Profession Act 2006 (ACT).

CPD Activities

Under the legal CPD Guidelines introduced by the ACT Law Society, a legal CPD activity must:

  • be of significant intellectual or practical content and must deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law;
  • be conducted by persons who are qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject covered;
  • seek to extend a practitioner’s knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to the practitioner’s practice needs.

A legal CPD activity must consist of one of the activities set out in Guideline 5 of the ACT Law Society CPD Guidelines. 

LawCPD's online CPD courses are classified as an online presentation or other educational activity under Guideline 5 of the ACT Law Society CPD Guidelines. This means that ACT practitioners can earn 1 legal CPD unit per hour and all 10 legal CPD units annually by completing LawCPD’s online CPD courses.

Annual CPD Requirements

According to the ACT Law Society CPD Guidelines, ACT lawyers must earn 10 legal CPD units in every CPD year (1 April – 31 March annually). Up to 3 CPD units accrued by a practitioner in the period 1 January – 31 March in any CPD year may be carried over into the following CPD year, if the practitioner has completed more than 10 CPD units in the current year. 

ACT lawyers must earn a minimum of 1 legal CPD unit from each of the following four core CPD areas:

  • Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility;
  • Practice Management and Business Skills; 
  • Professional Skills; and
  • Substantive Law and Procedural Law.

Lawyers may determine which core area a legal CPD activity fits according to the context and content of the activity.  LawCPD has allocated mandatory core areas to all of the online CPD courses on the LawCPD site to assist lawyers with this task.

Record Keeping and Auditing

Under the ACT Law Society CPD Guidelines, lawyers must maintain, or arrange to have maintained, their own legal CPD records. Records may take any form but must establish to the satisfaction of the ACT Law Society that the legal CPD was undertaken.

Lawyers must attest that they have complied with the legal CPD Guidelines when required to by the ACT Law Society. To that end, a declaration for signature by the practitioner will be included in the practicing certificate renewal application form.

The ACT Law Society may also conduct random audits of practitioners’ legal CPD records to monitor compliance with the legal CPD Guidelines.
LawCPD provides ACT lawyers with a personalised page (MyCPD) which tracks all their learning in real time and provides a record of all legal CPD units earned through LawCPD.   Lawyers can print a copy of this page and provide it to the ACT Law Society in the event that they are audited for compliance with the legal CPD Guidelines.

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 legal CPD Guidelines if the lawyer is audited by the ACT Law Society.

Further Information

For full details of the ACT Law Society CPD Guidelines and the legal CPD requirements for ACT practitioners, visit the ACT Law Society website.

ACT Barristers

LawCPD is currently clarifying whether our online CLE seminars fall within the ACT Bar Association’s Continuing Professional Development Rules. For further information on the legal CLE requirements for ACT barristers, visit the ACT Bar Association website.