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CPD Requirements for NT lawyers

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The Law Society of the NT legal CPD scheme is set out in full in Schedule 2 of the Legal Profession Regulations (NT).  Failure to comply with the requirements of the legal CPD scheme may amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct and/or professional misconduct under the Legal Profession Act (NT).

On 1 October 2012, the Legal Profession Regulations were amended to bring the Law Society of the Northern Territory continuing legal education requirements into line with the majority of Australian jurisdictions.  These changes are reflected in the information below.

CPD Activities

Under the Law Society of the NT legal CPD scheme, a legal CPD activity must:

  • be of significant intellectual or practical content;
  • deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law; and
  • be relevant to the practitioner's immediate or long term professional development needs.

NT practitioners can earn legal CPD points for participating in legal CPD activities relevant to the practitioners’ current and future needs to engage in legal practice.

A legal CPD activity must consist of one of the activities set out in clause 2(1) of Schedule 2 of the Legal Profession Regulations (NT) to comply with the Law Society of the NT continuing legal education scheme.

LawCPD’s online CPD courses are classified as a multimedia or website based program under clause 2(1).  This means that NT practitioners can earn 1 legal CPD unit per hour and all 10 legal CPD units annually by completing LawCPD’s online CPD courses (see clause 9).

Annual CPD Requirements

According the Law Society of the NT legal CPD scheme, practitioners must earn a minimum of 10 legal CPD points every CPD year (1 April – 31 March annually).

Under the amended legal CPD rules, practitioners must complete a minimum of 10 CPD points each CPD year (1 April – 31 March) and must earn a minimum of 1 legal CPD point in each of the following core competency areas:

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

Record Keeping and Auditing

Under the Law Society of the NT continuing legal education scheme, practitioners must maintain a record of their legal CPD activities.  Practitioners must retain some supporting documentation to support their CPD record.

At the end of each CPD year, practitioners are required to declare whether or not they have complied with the Law Society of the NT legal CLE scheme by completing a record sheet and declaration form. 

The Law Society of the NT conducts annual random audits of practitioners’ CPD records to monitor compliance with the legal CLE scheme.  If a practitioner is selected for audit, they will need to provide supporting documentation to the Law Society of the NT to verify that they have complied with the continuing legal education scheme.

LawCPD provides practitioners with a personalised page (MyCPD) which tracks all their learning in real time and provides a record of all legal CLE points earned through LawCPD.   Practitioners can print a copy of this page and provide it to the Law Society of the NT in the event that they are audited for compliance with the legal CLE 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 legal CLE scheme if the practitioner is audited by the Law Society of the NT.

Further Information

For full details of the Law Society of the NT legal CLE scheme and the continuing legal education requirements for NT practitioners, visit the Law Society of the NT’s website.