The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.

SRA Handbook

Suspension of requirements

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Version 10 of the Handbook was published on 01/07/2014. For more information, please click 'History' Above

Part 7: Suspension of requirements

Regulation 12: Suspension of CPD requirement


If you do not work for any period in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, the application of these regulations may be suspended for that period.


You may suspend your CPD requirements in the following circumstances:


you are not working in legal practice or employment;


you are retired from practice as a solicitor or REL;


you are working, on average, less than two hours a week in legal practice or employment.


Any training undertaken during the suspension will not count towards your CPD requirement upon your return to legal practice or employment.


It is not necessary to notify us of the intention to suspend the CPD requirements.

Guidance note to 12.2:


This would apply where you are in a role in which you are not required to give legal advice to:


a member of the public;


a company;


an internal department;


an officer or member of staff, or representative of your organisation.


This applies regardless of whether the employment is paid or voluntary and whether or not a practising certificate is held.


This also covers time when you are out of legal practice or employment, whether or not you hold a current practising certificate, due to unemployment, maternity/paternity leave, long-term illness and/or working abroad.


If you are a retired solicitor you are eligible to suspend the CPD requirements, provided you do not practise or undertake legal work of any description, whether paid or unpaid. If you are a retired solicitor acting as a consultant, or who undertakes pro-bono or voluntary work of a legal nature you are not entitled to suspend the CPD requirements.

Guidance note to 12.4:


It is for you to decide whether or not you want to suspend your CPD requirements. Consideration of the following may be of assistance:


the length of time you will be out of practice or legal employment;


the amount of credit already accrued during the CPD year or first three years after admission in which the suspension would begin;


the availability of courses/access to training while out of practice;


your financial circumstances and whether you would be required to fund the training yourself.