Information for external CPD providers
Last updated 8 October 2013
Authorised CPD providers: Payment of annual fees
We are moving to an online process for the payment of annual fees by SRA-authorised CPD providers.
If you are an SRA-authorised CPD provider, you need take no action at present. We will contact you in January 2014 about how the process will work and what you need to do.
Our CPD scheme requires that 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
undertake a minimum of 16 hours of CPD per year.
For solicitors and RELs who work fewer than 32 hours per week, the requirement is reduced.
You can consult detailed information about CPD scheme requirements and about activities that can be undertaken for CPD purposes.
To meet the CPD requirement, a minimum of 25 per cent of every solicitor's and REL's CPD activities each year must consist of participation in accredited training courses.
CPD training courses are accredited exclusively by providers authorised by the SRA.
Accredited courses can be run externally or on an in-house basis:
external providers are authorised to offer training on a public basis to any interested solicitors or RELs, which can be either
- face to face, or
- distance learning;
in-house providers are firms or in-house departments that are authorised to provide CPD training for their own staff.
If you are interested in your organisation or institution becoming an external CPD provider, read on to learn how to apply for authorisation.
If you are interested in your firm or organisation becoming an in-house CPD provider (i.e. you wish to provide CPD training to solicitors who belong to your firm or organisation), learn how to apply for authorisation.
Becoming an external CPD provider
We authorise CPD course providers to self-accredit courses that are suitable for solicitors for CPD purposes.
If the training your firm or organisation provides meets the standards for accreditation of training, you should consider applying for authorisation as an external CPD provider.
Authorised providers can self-accredit courses for the purposes of the CPD scheme, subject to monitoring and continued compliance with the terms and conditions of the authorisation agreement.
Accreditation of training
Authorised external CPD providers are required to offer courses that
and, are either
- open to the general public, but of relevance and benefit to solicitors
- public courses, specifically designed for solicitors
- designed specifically for the staff of solicitors' firms or in-house departments
Authorised external providers can self-accredit courses that are suitable for solicitors and meet the standards outlined in the criteria for authorisation as an external CPD course provider (PDF 9 pages, 110K); they are only permitted to do so subject to monitoring and continued compliance with the terms and conditions of the authorisation agreement.
Authorised external providers of continuing professional development (CPD) training can self-accredit courses that are
Providers are permitted to self-accredit such courses, subject to
The Solicitors Regulation Authority monitors authorised CPD course providers. Monitoring is designed to ensure that the courses they offer constantly comply with the requirements of their authorisation agreement.
We undertake three types of monitoring of CPD providers (PDF 2 pages, 37K):
- initial monitoring
- random monitoring
- routine monitoring
Terms and conditions
Authorised external continuing professional development (CPD) providers are permitted to self-accredit the courses they offer—on the condition that such courses comply with standards set out in the criteria for authorisation as an external CPD course provider (PDF 9 pages, 110K).
External CPD providers remain subject to the terms and conditions (PDF 9 pages, 110K) of the authorisation agreement.
The terms and conditions (PDF 9 pages, 110K) of the authorisation agreement outline circumstances under which the authorisation agreement may be terminated by either party; they also specify CPD course providers' obligations in relation to payment of fees, accreditation of courses and monitoring arrangements.
Please carefully read the instructions below before downloading an application form and guidance on applying for authorisation.
To apply for authorisation as an external provider of face-to-face training (including short-term face-to-face courses and long-term face-to-face courses such as postgraduate diplomas and degrees), download the following:
To apply for authorisation as a provider of distance-learning courses (including courses delivered by computer, video, audio cassette and/or written materials, and long-term distance-learning courses such as postgraduate diplomas and degrees), download the following:
To apply for authorisation as a provider of the compulsory Management Course Stage 1, download the following:
Authorisation to offer face-to-face training on an external basis neither includes nor implies authorisation to offer any other type of training—such as distance-learning courses and/or the compulsory Management Course Stage 1. Submission of a separate application and payment of the corresponding authorisation fee is required in each case.