The new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) declaration period is from July 1 – September 30. Remember to check with your plan and reflect on your progress through the lawyer portal.
In 2016, the Benchers approved two changes to the Continuing Professional Development Program (CPD). The first change shifts the annual deadline for CPD declarations from March 15 to September 30. The second change improves program accountability through the implementation of an administrative suspension for failure to declare a plan. Beginning in 2017, lawyers who do not develop and declare a CPD plan by the September 30th deadline will be administratively suspended. Read more in the October 14, 2016 eBulletin.
You can access your CPD profile to view, update and monitor your annual CPD Plan activities. For further information, please contact CPD at 403.229.4700 or toll free at 1.800.661.9003.
About the CPD Program
The CPD Program is a regulatory program of the Law Society and is a mandatory requirement for all active lawyers in Alberta to annually make a CPD Plan declaration.
The CPD Program is a flexible and convenient way for lawyers to enhance their professional competence. It is important for us, as regulator, to be accountable and demonstrate to the public that lawyers maintain and strive for high levels of professionalism and competence in the practice of law. We are committed to self-regulation of the legal profession, and to establishing the highest standards of governance and protection of the public.
Although there is no mandatory minimum hourly requirement, the annual planning, declaration and implementation of a CPD Plan is mandatory for all active lawyers practising in Alberta.
The Law Society Code of Conduct, Chapter 3, imposes an ethical responsibility on lawyers to be competent in all legal services undertaken on a client’s behalf.
Under the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, each active lawyer is accountable for developing, implementing and declaring their CPD Plan.
Continuing Professional Development
67.1 (1) “Continuing professional development” is any learning activity that is:
(a) relevant to the professional needs of a lawyer;
(b) pertinent to long-term career interests as a lawyer;
(c) in the interests of the employer of a lawyer or
(d) related to the professional ethics and responsibilities of lawyers.
(2) Continuing professional development must contain significant substantive, technical, practical or intellectual content.
(3) It is each lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether a learning activity meets these criteria and therefore qualifies as continuing professional development.
67.2 Every active member shall, in a form acceptable to the Executive Director:
(a) prepare and make a record of a plan for his or her continuing professional development during the
twelve month period commencing October 1 of each year;
(b) make a declaration, no later than September 30 of each year, confirming compliance with (a) above;
(c) maintain a record of the plan for five years from the date of declaration; and
(d) produce a copy of the record of the plan to the Executive Director on request.
67.3 (1) Every active member who does not comply with Rule 67.2 before October 1 in a year shall stand automatically suspended as of that date.
(2) Rule 165.1 shall apply to any suspension under (1).