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The following steps are recommended in creating your CPD Plan. Please note that the annual CPD filing requirement will resume on September 30, 2023, and no formal plans are required until that time. However, it remains the responsibility of every Alberta lawyer to maintain their own competence and self-assess areas for improvement, especially as the Law Society develops the new program. CPD activities remain crucial for lawyers in fulfilling their Code of Conduct obligations respecting competent legal service delivery.
Please note that a new CPD planning tool and CPD review process are also being developed and will be introduced in 2023. The new review process will provide follow up and support for lawyers when developing CPD plans.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Previous CPD Plan
Evaluate your last year’s CPD activities and accomplishments. Ask yourself:
- What activities did I undertake pursuant to last year’s CPD Plan?
- How did this activity improve my competence as a lawyer?
- How much time did I spend on these CPD activities last year?
- What will be carried forward to my current year’s CPD Plan?
Past CPD plans remain available in the Lawyer Portal, but the old CPD planning tool is no longer available as it no longer aligns with our approach.
Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Professional Development Profile
The Professional Development Profile for Alberta Lawyers (the Profile) sets out the competencies the Law Society believes are important to maintain a safe, effective and sustainable legal practice in Alberta today. The Profile is designed to provide guidance to all Alberta lawyers, regardless of experience or practice area. The Profile is not intended to be a checklist and you are not required to demonstrate competency in every area of the Profile each year. It is meant to provide guidance when you are selecting areas for professional development that are meaningful to you and your practice.
Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Profile before setting your goals and activities.
Step 3: Develop Your Plan
Develop your CPD plan, whether on your own or by using the Profile and accompanying proficiency scale. Identify your CPD goals:
- What activities will be of benefit to my practice?
- What activities do I plan to undertake this year?
- How will these activities benefit my practice?
- What measurable goals do I want to set for myself for the current year?
Step 4: Keep a Copy of Your Plan
Save a copy of your plan so that you can reflect on it and refer back to it throughout the year. This will also be a helpful reference when creating plans for future years.
Step 5: Reflect on Your Plan Throughout the Year
Return to your plan throughout the year to reflect on your progress. Reflecting on the effectiveness of past CPD activities helps you get the most out of your plan, fosters lifelong learning, challenges you to explore new activities and better integrates your learning with your practice.