Introducing a New Approach to Continuing Professional Development for Alberta Lawyers

April 13, 2023

The Law Society of Alberta (Law Society) has been working over the past two years on a new approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The new CPD program provides clear guidance on what the Law Society believes are important areas of focus for the professional development of Alberta lawyers.

During the development work to enhance the CPD program, the annual filing requirement was suspended until this year. The requirement to submit a CPD plan has returned and the CPD planning period, including access to the new CPD Tool, will open on July 4, 2023.

Active lawyers are required to submit a CPD plan by Oct. 1 of each year. Failure by an active lawyer to submit a CPD plan by the deadline will result in an administrative suspension, as set out in Rule 67.3 of the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.

The CPD Tool will also be available to Alberta lawyers who are not required to submit an annual plan. The Law Society encourages all lawyers to take advantage of the tools and resources being offered through the new CPD approach. The Law Society strongly believes that learning does not stop once law school ends; like all professions, lawyers (and students) must stay up to date with technology, current issues and consumer needs. Completing professional development benefits you as a lawyer, your law firm or organization and your clients.

As lawyers turn their minds to annual CPD planning, we want to assure the profession that this new approach to CPD is largely the same as the previous program, but the elements of the program that have traditionally worked well have been further enhanced. This includes focusing on self-reflection, self-assessment and learning outcomes. We are not adding a minimum hours requirement.

The main changes to the CPD program include the process, resources and the tool used to develop the plan. More detailed information about the new process, resources and tools will be provided as the program is formally rolled out in July. Find out more about the Professional Development Profile, the new Reflective Practice course, the new CPD Tool and changes to the Resource Centre on the Law Society’s website.