New Approach to Continuing Professional Development
The Law Society is working on a new approach to continuing professional development (CPD) for Alberta lawyers that is more self-directed and provides guidance around the professional competencies that are relevant for legal practice in Alberta today.
Two key pieces of work essential to the new CPD approach include the development of a new Professional Development Profile for Alberta lawyers (the Profile) and a CPD planning tool. While the CPD planning tool will not be available until 2023, the Benchers approved the new Profile at the April Board meeting, and we are currently working to finalize it along with supplementary educational materials.
Although the CPD filing requirement was lifted for an additional year until 2023, CPD activities remain crucial for lawyers in fulfilling their Code of Conduct obligations respecting competent legal service delivery. Lawyers are encouraged to develop an annual CPD plan, whether on their own or by using the existing CPD planning tool through the Lawyer Portal, which continues to be available to track and declare professional development activities.
The new Profile will be available ahead of the CPD planning tool, so lawyers have ample time to become familiar with it before the annual filing requirement resumes. The Profile outlines nine competency areas that the Law Society sees as being relevant to effective legal practice today.
The Profile was designed to have broad application to various practice settings and some content will not be applicable to all lawyers. 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.
Taking the time to schedule professional development benefits you as a lawyer, your law firm or organization and your clients. To learn more, read our frequently asked questions and stay tuned as more information will be provided on how to use the Profile as it is rolled out in the coming months.
If you have questions about the Law Society’s new approach to CPD, please contact our Education department.