It is not necessary to have your CPD activities accredited by the Law Society of Alberta. It is your obligation to ensure that the CPD activities you undertake and incorporate into your CPD Plan meet the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta Rule 67.1.
For Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Providers:
While CLE providers can develop and market the courses they offer to Alberta lawyers as being activities that may be included in an Alberta lawyer’s annual mandatory CPD Plan, the Law Society does not accredit courses offered by CLE providers. Below is the suggested wording to place in your CLE brochure:
For Alberta lawyers, consider including this course as a CPD learning activity in your mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development Plan as required by the Law Society of Alberta.
Unlike other jurisdictions, the Law Society of Alberta’s CPD Program does not have a mandatory minimum number of accredited hours to be counted towards CPD. It is mandatory however, that lawyers in Alberta make an annual CPD declaration that they have made a CPD Plan including a range of learning activities relevant to their professional development.
Rule 67. 1 defines continuing professional development as any learning activity that is:
- relevant to the professional needs of a lawyer;
- pertinent to long-term career interests as a lawyer;
- in the interests of the employer of a lawyer or
- related to the professional ethics and responsibilities of lawyers.
Continuing professional development must contain significant substantive, technical, practical or intellectual content. It is each lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether a learning activity meets these criteria and therefore qualifies as continuing professional development.