Frequently Asked Questions

Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) Frequently Asked Questions



Why is continuing professional development (CPD) becoming mandatory for lawyers in Manitoba?

Am I required to report my CPD activities?

Who will be accredited as providers for eligible CPD and how may providers advertise their activities?

Who will answer any questions that I have about MCPD?

Who can tell me if I attended a Law Society of Manitoba CPD program?

What qualifies as eligible CPD? 

Does self-study qualify as eligible CPD?

If I am a presenter, can I count my preparation time?

I am a sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Law. Does my teaching time count as eligible CPD?

I am employed as a faculty member at the Faculty of Law. Does the teaching that I do as part of my employment count as eligible CPD?

Is writing an eligible CPD activity?

Does mentoring a student or another lawyer on specific client files qualify as eligible CPD?

What must I report about my CPD activities?

What documentation must I provide with my report?

What amount of eligible CPD must I do in a year?

Can I carry over or bank hours from one year to the next?

If, in the current calendar year, I watch a DVD (with an interactive component) that was recorded last year, should I report that activity in the year the DVD was recorded or in the year that I watched it?

What will happen if I don’t report or I report less than the required amount of eligible CPD?

When will I report my eligible CPD activities?

How will I report my eligible CPD activities?

How will the Law Society monitor my compliance?


 

Why is continuing professional development (CPD) becoming mandatory for lawyers in Manitoba? 

The Law Society has a statutory mandate to ensure that lawyers who practise law in Manitoba are competent. The Benchers decided that like other professions and many other Canadian law societies, every practising lawyer in Manitoba should be required to take some CPD every year as part of their overall plan to enhance competency.

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Am I required to report my CPD activities?

Beginning with the 2012 calendar year, if you have active practising status at any time during the calendar year, you must report your eligible CPD activities by April 1 of the following year. For greater clarity, the CPD runs from January 1 to December 31 and the report on those activities is due three months later by April 1.

If you had inactive or non practising status for part of the year, you must report for the part of the year that you had practising status.

Newly called lawyers will report their eligible CPD activities for their first full year of practice. So if you are called to the bar in June of 2012 your first report will be for the 2013 calendar year.

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Who will be accredited as providers for eligible CPD and how may providers advertise their activities?

The Law Society will not accredit providers, but will have the discretion to determine that activities offered by a specific provider are not eligible activities if they do not adequately promote competent practice.

Providers may indicate the number of CPD hours on marketing materials. It is up to the lawyer to determine if the activity is an eligible CPD activity.

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Who will answer any questions that I have about MCPD?

If you have questions about the substance of the MCPD program, e.g. what qualifies as an eligible activity, contact:

Brenda Silver, Director Professional Education & Competence
204-926-2024
bsilver@lawsociety.mb.ca

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Who can tell me if I attended a Law Society of Manitoba CPD program?

If you want to know whether you attended a Law Society of Manitoba CPD Program, please contact:

Corinne Penner, Registration Assistant Professional Education & Competence

204-926-2035

cpenner@lawsociety.mb.ca

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What qualifies as eligible CPD?

CPD activity is any learning activity that enhances a lawyer’s competency and is:

    • relevant to the professional needs of a lawyer;

    • pertinent to long-term career options as a lawyer;

    • in the interests of the employer of the lawyer; or

    • relates to the professional ethics and responsibilities of lawyers

Eligible CPD activities must, in addition to the above, meet all of the following requirements:

    • relate to substantive, procedural or practical aspects of law, including law office management

    • not relate to a specific client file (the legal content portion of a seminar targeted toward multiple clients would be eligible)

    • not relate to the purely business or social aspects of an activity (the legal content portion of a mixed activity would be eligible).

Typical eligible CPD activities include:

    • Live programs, workshops and conferences offered by the Law Society of Manitoba, the Canadian Bar Association, the Manitoba Bar Association, regional bar associations, the Federation of Law Societies and other continuing legal education providers

    • In-house legal education programs offered by law firms and legal departments

    • Interactive on-line programs (see below re self-study qualifications)

    • Video and DVD replay programs in an organized group setting

    • Organized education discussion groups such as MBA section meetings

    • Post LL.B degree programs

    • Teaching (including preparation time) in CPLED, CPD sessions or at the Faculty of Law

The benchers have the discretion to require members to participate in specific mandatory activities (as was done for the new Code of Professional Conduct).

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Does self-study qualify as eligible CPD?

Self-study is not an eligible activity except:

    • Legal writing if the intended readers are not a specific client;

    • On-line “real time” activities or teleconferences where questions can be asked and answered; or

    • On-line activities if not in “real time” if a test or exam is included,

The CEO may also approve self-study activity to accommodate appropriate circumstances (e.g. you are unable to access CPD due to distance, physical disabilities, lack of relevant CPD options).

Reading is not eligible CPD.

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If I am a presenter, can I count my preparation time?

Actual presentation time will be multiplied by a factor of three to reflect preparation time. For example, 30 minutes of presentation time will be equal to 1.5 CPD hours.

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I am a sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Law. Does my teaching time count as eligible CPD?

Your teaching would count as eligible CPD.

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I am employed as a faculty member at the Faculty of Law. Does the teaching that I do as part of my employment count as eligible CPD?

Your teaching would count as eligible CPD.

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Is writing an eligible CPD activity?

Writing is an eligible CPD activity with some restrictions. Writing hours can be credited based on the actual time to produce the final product to a maximum of six hours for each writing project. Credit is available for volunteer or part-time writing only, and not for writing that is done as a part of the lawyer’s regular employment. Credit is available for writing law books, articles, blogs intended for publication and relating to the study or practice of law for one or more of the following audiences:

    • lawyers, paralegals, articling students and/or law school students; or

    • other professions, including students in a licensing program for another profession; or

    • students in another educational program; or

    • the public

but not for writing targeted primarily at clients.

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Does mentoring a student or another lawyer on specific client files qualify as eligible CPD?

No, mentoring is not an eligible CPD activity.

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What must I report about my CPD activities?

You must demonstrate that you have met the minimum requirement for eligible CPD. For each CPD activity, you will be asked to report the following:

    • number of hours dedicated to the educational activity, excluding exclusively social aspects of the activity

    • name of the provider of the activity

    • type of activity (seminar, meeting, on-line activity, written materials)

    • your role during the activity (presenter, learner, author)

    • subject matter (e.g. specific area of substantive law, ethics, practice management, professional responsibility)

    • primary audience for activity (lawyers, CPLED students, law students, legal support staff)

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What documentation must I provide with my report?

You are not required to provide any documents with your initial report. You should retain receipts and proof of participation for one year in case you are audited for MCPD compliance.

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What amount of eligible CPD must I do in a year?

We encourage you to do as much CPD as you feel is appropriate for your circumstances. There is no maximum number of hours!

Beginning in 2012, the Law Society has set a minimum number of hours of eligible CPD.

If you are a practising member you must complete at least 1 hour of eligible CPD for every month that you have active practising status during the calendar year.

If you have active practising status for three or more months during a calendar year, then one and a half hours of the eligible hours must relate to ethics, professional responsibility or practice management.

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Can I carry over or bank hours from one year to the next?

The CEO of the Law Society may pre-approve banking or carryover to the immediate next year of no more than 12 hours to accommodate exceptional circumstances such as lengthy CPD programs (e.g., pursuing a Masters of Law degree, the Federation of Law Societies’ Criminal Law Program, the Federation of Law Societies’ Family Law Program).

The CEO of the Law Society has pre-approved carry over of up to 12 hours to the immediate next year for the Federation of Law Societies' Criminal Law and Family Law programs, including carry over of up to 1.5 hours for ethics, professional responsibility and practice management. You do not need to request pre-approval to carry over CPD hours from these programs to the next year.

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If, in the current calendar year, I watch a DVD (with an interactive component) that was recorded last year, should I report that activity in the year the DVD was recorded or in the year that I watched it?

Record the activity in the calendar year in which you actually participated in the activity.

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What will happen if I don’t report or I report less than the required amount of eligible CPD?

Failure to report or late reporting will have the same consequences as failure to report or late reporting of the annual report. Failure to complete and file the report without reasonable excuse may constitute professional misconduct.

Subject to the CEO’s discretion, the consequences for substantive non-compliance (i.e., number of hours, eligible activities) will be:

  • First occasion:

    • Letter advising you that you have 60 days to satisfy MCPD requirements and failure to do so will result in administrative suspension until MCPD requirements satisfied;

  • Second occasion:

    • Letter advising you that you have 60 days to satisfy MCPD requirements and failure to do so will result in administrative suspension until MCPD requirements satisfied and referral to the Complaints Investigation Committee.

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When will I report my eligible CPD activities?

You will file your CPD report before April 1st of each year. The report on your 2013 CPD activities will be due by April 1, 2014.

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How will I report my eligible CPD activities?

You can electronically file your CPD report as part of your annual report by logging on to the Members’ Portal on the Law Society website.

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How will the Law Society monitor my compliance?

The Society will audit members for compliance with MCPD requirements. If you are audited you may be asked to provide receipts or other documents to establish the number of hours of your participation and the eligibility of the activities.

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September 30, 2014 - Limited Scope Retainers: Tips and Traps (Webinar)
October 2, 2014 - Everyday Ethics Series: Conflicts 101...Avoiding, Spotting, Resolving them
October 3, 2014 - Perfecting the Twenty-First Century Law Practice
October 7, 2014 - Intellectual Property: Protection and Enforcement
October 16, 2014 - Anatomy of an Estate * Sold Out
October 24, 2014 - The Approximately 11th Annual Accommodation in the Workplace, Featuring an Analysis of Recent Cases
October 30, 2014 - Canadian Competitive Bidding Law - for Lawyers!
November 3, 2014 - Everyday Ethics Series: Complaints and Discipline 101 (The Inside Story)
November 4, 2014 - Assisted Reproduction: Legal Parentage & Birth Registration
November 7, 2014 - New Legislation: The Municipal By-Law Enforcement Act
November 15, 2014 - Criminal Defence Advocacy Skills Workshop: Charter Defences in Drug Cases
November 28 & 29 - 2014 Isaac Pitblado Lectures - Accessing Justice: Beyond Barriers
December 3, 2014 - Everyday Ethics Series: Money 101 (Billing, Accounting, Borrowing and Lending)
December 8, 2014 - Can’t We all Just Get Along: Using Estate Planning Agreements to Address Family Issues
January 9, 2015 - Everyday Ethics Series: Privilege and Confidentiality
February 11, 2015 - Everyday Ethics Series: Mobility 101...from Pangnirtung to Chicoutimi
October 2014 - March 2015: Everyday Ethics Series
March 11, 2015 - Everyday Ethics Series: Glass 1/2 Full (Little Things that Cause Big Problems)
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