Continuing Personal Development And Your Legal Training Requirements?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority requires all practising solicitors and lawyers working in the UK to acquire a minimum number of Continuous Personal Development (CPD) points each year. These are sometimes referred to as Continuing Professional Development points.

How many CPD points do I need each year?

The minimum level of CPD for solicitors and lawyers practising in the UK differs based on the number of hours worked. Legal professionals working for 32 hours a week and over must complete at least 16 hours of Continuing Professional Development each year. Those working part time (less than 32 hours a week), have reduced minimum requirements.

Of these required hours, at least a quarter must come from taking part in officially recognised and accredited training courses.

Solicitors are also required to attend the SRA’s compulsory ‘Management Course Stage 1’ by the end of their third year of practice.

Who is responsible for your CPD?

The responsibility for CPD lies with the individual. On the official website of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the organisation states that, “You should assume responsibility for your own development, analysing your own training and development needs.”

The advantage of this is that you are empowered to mould your own career as you see fit and can partake in CPD accredited activities which suit your long term and short term goals.

Failing to meet the minimum level of CPD may result in disciplinary action from the regulation authority and your legal practise certificates being withheld.

How are CPD points gained?

As much as three quarters of the required CPD points may be acquired by taking part in activities ranging from training courses, writing articles for legal journals and attending mentoring sessions. The remaining quarter must be obtained through attendance at SRA accredited training courses.

Accredited legal training courses and CPD points

Though the minimum number of CPD points accrued through accredited training is 25%, it is possible to satisfy the entirety of the requirement through training courses alone.

Such courses may include personal injury training, business matters relating to legal practices and a whole range of topics relevant to lawyers and solicitors. When taking part in an accredited course you will be informed of how many CPD credits you can gain through completion of the training.

CPD points and your career

Though mandatory, Continuous Personal Development should not be seen as a chore. CPD offers opportunities for growth and can help you stay up to date with current developments in the legal system.

When considering taking part in accredited courses there are hundreds to choose from, each covering a specific area that you may not be fully aware of. For example, taking part in a personal injury training course will enable you to gain a better understanding of the field and provide you with greater opportunities to take on cases involving compensation claims.

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