Legal practitioners have an obligation to themselves and the community to participate in continuing professional development (CPD) that maintains and extends their knowledge, expertise and competence in areas in relevant to their practice.
A mandatory Continuing Professional Development Scheme, as directed by a Practice Guideline, is applicable to all legal practitioners in Tasmania. This means that a legal practitioner must, as a pre-requisite to their practising certificate renewal, complete a minimum of 10 units of CPD activity in each CPD year (which runs 1 May to 30 April).
Mandatory CPD categories
Under the Practice Guideline, when calculating their minimum 10 points of CPD activity in respect of a CPD year, a legal practitioner must include at least one (1) point from each of the following five categories:
- Practical legal ethics;
- Practice management or business skills;
- Professional skills;
- Substantive law; and
- Equality and Wellbeing.
Certification of compliance
Subject to any exemptions granted by the Society under the Practice Guideline, a legal practitioner who makes application for renewal of a practising certificate (PC) must certify that they have completed a minimum of 10 CPD points in the CPD year preceding the year to which their PC application relates. Practitioners who fail to comply must supply details of their non-compliance.
Verification of compliance
To verify compliance with the mandatory CPD Scheme, the Society audits 5% of the legal profession each year. In conducting these annual audits, a reasonableness approach is adopted by the Society. Non-compliance is a professional conduct matter which will, in certain circumstances, be reported by the Society to the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania.