All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) in legal practice or employment in England and Wales must comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's 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 (PDF 36K).
All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) who
- are in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, and
- work 32 hours or more per week
are required by the Training Regulations 2009 to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) activities.
The SRA's CPD scheme is compulsory.
Non-compliance could lead to disciplinary procedures and/or to delays in the issue of a practising certificate.
A summary of CPD requirements (PDF 56K) explains the annual CPD cycle and the requirement in hours; it also outlines the requirement to attend accredited courses and other activities that can be undertaken for the purposes of CPD.
Download more information
Solicitors (but not RELs) in legal practice or employment in England and Wales are required to attend the Solicitors Regulation Authority 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 Solicitors Regulation Authority Management Course Stage 2 is optional.
Download management course information
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.
Learn more about recording your CPD activities.
Download a CPD training record – blank form (PDF 37K).
Download CPD forms and guidance
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 continuing professional development (CPD) activities they undertake, as stipulated by Part VI of the Training Regulations 2009.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority does 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.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority 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 registered European lawyers to adopt a planned approach to their continuing professional development (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 41K).
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 (PDF 37K).
Frequently asked questions – for solicitors
To help solicitors and registered European lawyers understand and comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's continuing professional development scheme, we have published a list of frequently asked questions.
Frequently asked questions – for solicitors