Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles for Mandatory Continuing Professional Development.
Adopted by the Benchers February 10, 2011

  1. Members are required to complete 12 hours per year, or the equivalent of 1 hour per month of active practice, of eligible continuing professional development activities

  2. Of the 12 hours or equivalent time, 1.5 hours must relate to ethics, professional responsibility, including practice management

  3. Pre-approved banking or carryover to the immediate next year of no more than 12 hours is permitted 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)

  4. Reporting period is calendar year

  5. Annual reports are due by April 1st to coincide with Society’s fiscal year

  6. New calls report on their first full year of practice

  7. Annual report includes the number of hours and the specifics of the activities

  8. CPD activity is defined as:

  9. Any learning activity that enhances a lawyer’s competency in the protection of the public 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

    • Related to the professional ethics and responsibilities of lawyers

  10. Eligible activities must:

    • 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)

  11. 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 is included,

    unless the activity has been approved to accommodate appropriate circumstances (e.g. member is unable to access CPD due to distance, physical disabilities, lack of relevant CPD options). Approval may be given to all or part of the required hours.

  12. The Society does not accredit providers, but has the discretion to determine that activities offered by a specific provider are not eligible activities

  13. Benchers have the discretion to require members to participate in specific mandatory activities (as was done for the new Code)

  14. The Society will audit members for compliance with MCPD requirements

  15. Failure to report or late reporting will have the same consequences as failure to report or late reporting of the annual report

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

    • First offence:

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

    • Second offence:

      • Letter advising that member has 60 days to satisfy MCPD requirements and failure to do so will result in administrative suspension until MCPD requirements satisfied and referral to CIC.

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