The Practice Management Course as CPD

If a practitioner undertakes and successfully completes an approved practice management course the practitioner will be credited with having fulfilled the full 10 point CPD requirement for the CPD period in which the approved practice management course was completed, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Expiration of the PMC 

It has come to the Board’s attention that a number of practitioners are completing an approved practice management course (PMC) without an intention to engage in legal practice as principal within two years of completion.

The Board’s policy is that in order for the PMC condition to be revoked, the traditional course is for a practitioner to successfully complete a PMC within the 2 years prior to commencing as a principal.

It follows that if a legal practitioner does not commence as a principal of a law practice within 2 years of successfully completing a PMC, the Board is not likely to revoke the PMC condition on the practitioner’s practising certificate and the practitioner may be required to complete a further approved PMC, in full or in part, or impose other conditions relevant to providing skills in the operation of a law practice.

Overseas principals and the PMC condition

When a legal practitioner is practising as a principal of a law practice internationally and is, or is likely to be, advising or representing clients (overseas or in Western Australia) in respect to Western Australian law, the legal practitioner is a principal for the purposes of the LPA and, if applicable, should apply for the variation or revocation of the PMC condition.

Introduction of a Practice Management Course for Principles of a Legal Practice

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Amendments to the Legal Profession Rules 2009 (Rules) were gazetted on 19 February 2016. Division 2A, Condition on local practising certificate: practise as principal of law practice, has been inserted into the Rules.

Division 2A of the Rules requires a local legal practitioner to have successfully completed an approved Practice Management Course (PMC) or to have obtained an exemption from completion of the PMC, and to give notice to the Legal Practice Board (Board), before practising as a principal of a law practice.

In 2015 amendments to the Rules regarding the continuing professional development (CPD) scheme were introduced that established a mandatory category of Practice Management as one of the four mandatory CPD categories required to be undertaken by local legal practitioners each year.

On 18 February 2015 the Board’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) resolved that:

  • A recommendation be referred to the Board for the introduction of a PMC;

  • The PDC proceeds with the development of criteria for the curriculum and delivery of the PMC;

  • The PDC proceeds with the development of criteria for the approval of providers of the PMC; and

  • The PDC proceeds with the development of the necessary rules and amendments to the Rules to enable the imposition of the condition on practising certificates requiring the completion of the PMC.

On 8 April 2015 the Board endorsed the recommendations of the PDC to introduce a PMC.