Notice to the Profession – CPD Audit 2020

22 Apr 2020

The Legal Practice Board is aware that the recent spread of COVID-19 and the associated warnings and protective measures have created significant pressure for the profession, particularly with isolation and remote working arrangements.
In the circumstances, the Board has made the decision that the routine annual CPD audit will not be conducted for the CPD year ending 31 March 2020.  
However, the Board wishes to remind practitioners that they are still required to comply with their CPD requirements as set out in the Board’s notice dated 18 March 2020.
Further, notwithstanding that the Board will not be conducting this year’s audit, any practitioner who has not complied with CPD requirements or are waiting for approval of CPD activities have an obligation to make an appropriate declaration when completing an application for renewal of a practising certificate. That is, in circumstances where you have not complied with CPD requirements for the period ending 31 March 2020 you must answer ‘no’ to question 10(a) ‘have you complied with your continuing professional development requirements’ in the practising certificate application form, and providing an explanation.
If you believe that you have not complied with your CPD requirements, you are encouraged to contact the Board as soon as possible by email to using “CPD compliance query” in the subject line.
Finally, the Board wishes to remind the profession that in usual circumstances the Board audits approximately 10% of the legal profession to ascertain general compliance with the CPD condition. If selected for a CPD audit, it is expected that a legal practitioner will provide the information requested under the audit process. The Board encourages legal practitioners to read the CPD audit information on the Board’s website to familiarise themselves with the process and to enable the maintenance of correct CPD records.
The resources set aside for this year’s CPD audit will be redirected to developing an electronic and online CPD platform the purpose of which is to enable CPD providers and practitioners to upload to the Board’s electronic database confirmation of completion of approved CPD activities, apply for approval of activities, and apply for accreditation as a CPD provider. Once developed, compliance with CPD requirements can be assessed automatically and auditing will be directed at those practitioners who have not demonstrated compliance.
The development of the above system may not be available to assess CPD compliance by March 2021. It is anticipated that a routine CPD audit will be conducted for the CPD year ending 31 March 2021 and it is important that legal practitioners are aware of and comply with their CPD obligations.