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The Law Society of Alberta’s Professional Development Profile for Alberta Lawyers (the Profile) is a first step in the redevelopment of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for Alberta lawyers as it sets out the competencies the Law Society believes are important to maintain a safe, effective and sustainable legal practice in Alberta today.
For more information, read our FAQ.
|The Profile: Full Version||The Profile: Shortened Version for Print|
Introducing the Profile
View the video below for an introduction to the Profile from Ken Warren, QC, Law Society of Alberta President and Barbra Bailey, Manager of Education.
About the Profile
Professional Development Profiles are used by organizations to understand the skills and abilities (competencies) that individuals should have to do their role effectively. Individuals may either already possess some of the competencies or can develop them with training and learning over time.
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 lawyers are not required to demonstrate competency in every area of the Profile each year. It is meant to provide guidance when lawyers are selecting areas for professional development that are meaningful to them and their practice.
The Profile does not include substantive areas of law, but broad areas of knowledge, skills and abilities that lawyers practising in all areas might look to develop or expand. As always, lawyers are encouraged to pursue CPD specific to their practice areas in addition to the areas in the new Profile.
The Profile outlines nine domains:
- Legal Practice
- Continuous Improvement
- Cultural Competency & Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Lawyer-Client Relationships
- Practice Management
- Professional Conduct
- Professional Contributions
- Truth & Reconciliation
Each domain contains competencies or areas a lawyer may want to develop. The competencies should be thought of as a menu of options to pursue when creating CPD plans, rather than as a checklist of requirements.
A proficiency scale, developed by Principia Assessments, Ltd., accompanies the Profile to help lawyers assess their current proficiency levels in various competencies and to set goals to improve or enhance those proficiency levels. For any competency selected from the Profile or elsewhere, different proficiency levels are expected at various career stages and in various practice areas or settings.
While the Law Society can offer guidance and suggestions, it is up to each lawyer to determine how to best improve proficiency in chosen areas of professional development, depending on level of experience, practice context and goals.
Additional Resources and Tools
The Law Society will continue to develop guidance and resources to support lawyers in creating meaningful and effective CPD plans. The next step in this work will be to create an interactive tool and review process to help lawyers with CPD planning. We will release new resources and tools as they become available.
Development of the Profile
The Law Society hired ACT, Inc. (ACT) to facilitate the development of the Profile. ACT is a not-for-profit organization based in the United States. ACT’s Credentialing and Career Services group provides advisory and consulting services to organizations that educate, license and certify individuals in a range of professions.
The 2021–2022 Bencher Lawyer Competence Committee served as the project Steering Committee and provided guidance and oversight throughout the development process. The Law Society also assembled a volunteer Task Force comprised of Alberta lawyers to lead the drafting of the Profile and received feedback from four focus groups made up of Alberta lawyers.
The Profile was developed using a rigorous process that involved expertise, input and feedback from over 65 individuals at key points in the development process. The profession was surveyed (online) in January 2022 and asked to provide feedback to validate the draft Profile, which was approved by the Benchers at the April 2022 Board meeting.
CPD Filing Requirement
As a reminder, the annual CPD filing requirement was suspended until 2023 and will resume on September 30, 2023, so no formal plans are required to be submitted to the Law Society until that time. Past CPD plans remain available in the Lawyer Portal, but the CPD planning tool has been deactivated as it no longer aligns with the new CPD approach.