Plan and address

Updated 9 August 2022

You have a competence requirement to take responsibility for your personal learning and development.

How you choose to plan and address your needs can depend on things like:

  • your preferred learning style
  • the nature of your practice
  • your professional goals
  • requirements or opportunities from your employer if you have one.

You can use our learning and development template to record:

  • the activities you plan to complete to address your learning and development needs
  • what you want to achieve from each activity
  • your timescales for completing each activity.

Our template also includes an example of the steps a solicitor could take to address a learning and development need. Other examples could include:

  • Meeting your competence requirement to maintain an adequate and up-to-date understanding of relevant law, policy and practice by setting aside time (eg weekly or monthly) to complete self-study (eg of newsletters, law journals and blogs).
  • Acquiring knowledge about a new or evolving issue in your area(s) of practice by attending an event about it.
  • Completing training to improve a technical legal skill such as advocacy.
  • Completing training to develop or strengthen other skills or attributes, such as behaving inclusively and dealing effectively with people who are vulnerable.
  • Completing a secondment to a different department, practice area, office or organisation to acquire new knowledge or skills and diversify your practice.
  • Finding a mentor to help meet your professional goals.
  • Observing more experienced lawyers practise a specific skill to improve your understanding of how to provide it to a high standard.
  • Taking part in initiatives run by a professional network to develop your knowledge or skills in a particular area.
  • Attending regular meetings with colleagues to discuss developments in your area(s) of practice and share knowledge and good practice.
  • Forming an informal reflective discussion group with a colleague or small group of colleagues, to help meet your competence requirement to learn from other people.
  • Taking part in development initiatives run by your employer if you have one.