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CPD Requirements for Queensland lawyers

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The mandatory continuing legal education requirements are different for barristers and solicitors in Queensland.  Click on the links below to find out more about the rules for:

Queensland Solicitors

The Qld Law Society’s mandatory continuing legal education scheme is set out in full in Part 6 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005.  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 2007 (Qld).

CPD Activities

Under the Law Society QLD continuing legal education scheme, a legal CPD activity must:

  • be of significant intellectual or practical content and must deal primarily with matters directly related to the practice of law;
  • be conducted by persons who are qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject covered; and
  • be relevant to a legal practitioner’s immediate or long term needs in relation to the practitioner’s professional development and to the practice of law.

A legal CPD activity must consist of one of the activities set out in clause 48(2) of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005 to comply with the Law Society QLD continuing legal education scheme.

LawCPD’s online CPD courses are classified as a multimedia or website based program under clause 48(2).  This means that Queensland practitioners can earn 1 legal CPD point per hour and all 10 legal CPD points annually by completing LawCPD’s online CPD courses.

Annual CPD Requirements

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

Queensland practitioners must earn a minimum of 1 legal CPD unit in each of the following three mandatory core areas:

  • Practical Legal Ethics;
  • Practice Management and Business Skills; and
  • Professional Skills.

Although it is ultimately up to practitioners to identify which core area applies to a CPD activity, LawCPD has allocated core areas to all of the online CPD courses on the LawCPD site to assist practitioners with this task.

Record Keeping and Auditing

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

Practitioners will be required to declare whether or not they have complied with Part 6 (Continuing Professional Development) of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005 when they renew their practising certificates.

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

Further Information

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

 

Queensland Barristers

Queensland barristers are required to complete at least 10 legal CPD points annually under the Bar Association of Queensland’s Administration Rules.

CPD Activities

As per the communication distributed by the Bar Association of Queensland, barristers will need to determine themselves that the CPD activities are:

  • Of significant intellectual or practical content and must deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law;
  • Conducted by persons who are qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject covered; and
  • Relevant to the barrister’s immediate or long term professional development needs.

Queensland Barrister’s can earn 1 legal CPD point for each completed hour of engagement in a CPD activity, provided it meets the above criteria. LawCPD’s online CPD courses are all meet the criteria set out in Rule 4.3 of the Administration Rules, and barristers can claim 1 legal CPD point for each 1-hour online CPD course completed.

Annual CPD Requirements

According the Bar Association of Queensland’s Administration Rules, barristers must earn 10 legal CPD points every CPD year (1 April – 31 March annually).

CPD points accrued by a barrister in the period 1 January – 31 March in any legal CPD year may be carried over into the following legal CPD year, but can only be counted in one legal CPD year.

Queensland barristers must earn a minimum of 1 legal CPD point from each of the following mandatory categories:

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility; 
  • Practice Management and Business Skills; 
  • Substantive Law, Practice and Procedure, and Evidence; and 
  • Barristers’ Skills.

Law CPD has allocated CPD categories (or CPD 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 CPD categories.

Record Keeping and Auditing

Under the Bar Association of Queensland’s Administration Rules, barristers must maintain a record of their legal CPD activities. Barristers must also retain some supporting documentation to support their legal CPD record for at least three years after the end of the legal CPD year.

Queensland barristers must electronically submit to the Bar Association, a copy of the barrister’s CPD record within 14 days of the conclusion of the legal CPD year. The Bar Council may conduct an annual CPD audit to monitor compliance with the CPD rules. 

Law CPD provides practitioners with a personalised page (MyCPD) which tracks all their learning in real time and provides a record of all legal CPD units earned through Law CPD.   

Law CPD 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 requirements when the barrister submits their CPD record to the Bar Association.

Further Information

For full details of the Bar Association of Queensland’s continuing professional development scheme and the legal CPD requirements for Queensland barristers, visit the Bar Association of Queensland’s website.