New CPD Planning Tool to Go Live July 2023
The Law Society has developed a new CPD Tool that will be launching on July 4, 2023, to support lawyers in the development of their annual CPD plans. The new tool will provide more opportunities for lawyers to reflect on their professional development goals, self-assess their current levels of proficiency and prioritize competencies to focus on each year. The new Tool also provides more opportunities for lawyers to engage with their plans throughout the year.
The Tool uses the Professional Development Profile (Profile) to provide more guidance on competencies lawyers might want to develop or enhance as part of their CPD plans. Lawyers will be guided through a self-assessment to help select at least two competencies from the domains in the Profile. The competencies are aspirational and presented with a proficiency scale that lawyers can use to self-assess and create personal goals. It is not the expectation of the Law Society that all lawyers will be highly proficient in every competency included in the Profile.
The Profile focuses on 29 competencies that are broadly applicable to all lawyers. However, lawyers can use several features of the Tool to tailor their CPD plans to their specific needs and practice areas. In addition to the two required competencies from the Profile, lawyers can also add custom competencies into the planning tool to add more focus on their specific practice areas. Lawyers will also select at least one learning activity for each selected competency which will help to further tailor their plan to their practice and learning goals.
The Law Society has always taken a broad approach regarding the types of learning activities a lawyer can engage in for CPD. Rule 67.1 of The Rules of the Law Society of Alberta allows for both formal and informal learning activities to be completed.
Another new feature of the Tool is that CPD plans can be revised throughout the CPD year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30) in case lawyers need to change their plans as their learning progresses and they develop in their practice, or if other circumstances change mid-year.
Additionally, the Tool allows lawyers to track their progress on their learning activities and reflect on whether and how each activity supported their professional development goals. This process is not required but can enhance the overall learning process and help lawyers determine the types of activities that are effective for them.
As a final step in the annual CPD cycle, lawyers will be invited to complete a year-end reflection about their overall plans to help determine what worked and what didn’t, as they head into the next CPD year.
The reorganized Resource Centre and the new Reflective Practice Course are additional resources that can help support lawyers in the development and implementation of their CPD plans.