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CPD requirements

 

Last updated 7 June 2013

All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) in legal practice or employment in England and Wales must comply with the requirements of our continuing professional development scheme (CPD scheme).

Solicitors and RELs who work 32 hours or more per week must complete a minimum of 16 hours of CPD per year; requirements are reduced for solicitors and RELs who work on a part-time basis.

The CPD scheme is based on the principles of simplicity and flexibility.

  • You should assume responsibility for your own development, analysing your own training and development needs. Learn more about assessing training needs.
  • When you know your own training and development needs, you can identify the activities within our CPD scheme that are most likely to meet them.
  • You should record all training and development activities in your individual training record. Learn more about recording your CPD, and download an example training record.

CPD scheme

Requirements

All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) who

  • are in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, and
  • work more than two hours per week

are required by the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 3 – CPD Regulations to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) activities.

The scheme is compulsory.

Non-compliance could lead to disciplinary procedures and/or to delays in the issue of a practising certificate. Full details of

  • the annual cycle,
  • hours of training required,
  • part-time workers requirements, and
  • activities that count towards CPD

appear in the SRA Handbook.

Management Course

Solicitors (but not RELs) in legal practice or employment in England and Wales are required to attend the Management Course Stage 1 before the end of their third CPD year.

The compulsory Management Course Stage 1 comprises a minimum of seven hours of course attendance. At least three of the following topics must be covered:

  • Managing finance
  • Managing the firm
  • Managing client relations
  • Managing information
  • Managing people

The Management Course Stage 2 is optional.

If you wish to apply for exemption from the course, you should do so within the first three years after admission—you cannot apply for exemption if you are in breach of the regulation.

Please use the CPD provider search to find courses near you.

Maintaining a CPD training record

You must keep a record of all CPD training you undertake.

We may ask to see your training record at any time—for monitoring purposes.

Read on to learn more about recording your CPD activities.

Recording your CPD

All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) in legal practice or employment in England and Wales are required to keep a record of CPD activities they undertake, as stipulated by Part 5 of the SRA Training Regulations 2011 Part 3 - CPD Regulations.

We do not maintain records of individual solicitors' CPD activities.

It is the responsibility of each solicitor/REL to record details of training they undertake, including the number of CPD hours they accrue.

Solicitors and RELs who work part time (i.e. fewer than 32 hours per week) should specify in their training record the number of hours per week they work.

We may request to see your CPD training record at any time. You should keep your training record on file for a period of at least six years.

Download a training record form

Assessing training needs

We encourage all solicitors and RELs to adopt a planned approach to their CPD.

By assessing your own individual training needs and linking them to the objectives of the organisation in which you work, you will gain the maximum benefit from CPD.

Undertake CPD activities that meet your needs

To determine your training needs, you could utilise a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis, based on your own profile and circumstances.

As the name suggests, a SWOT analysis is designed to help you gauge your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This, in turn, will allow you to identify the types of training you should undertake, for inclusion in your own training and development plan (PDF 1 page, 45K).

Download a training profile, training needs analysis, and training and development plan

You should enter details of all training completed in your CPD training record.

Frequently asked questions – for solicitors

To help solicitors and RELs understand and comply with the requirements of the scheme, we have published a list of frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions – for solicitors