New online program tracks Continuing Professional Development

The Law Society of BC’s Continuing Professional Development program is set to begin on January 1, 2009. Throughout 2008, the Benchers’ Bulletin is running a series of articles to assist lawyers with meeting their CPD requirements. This is the third article in the series.

CPD LogoOn January 1, 2009, the Law Society will launch its new Continuing Professional Development program. To assist members in meeting the program’s requirements, the Law Society has developed an innovative online resource to track individual CPD progress.

When the Continuing Professional Development program begins, members will be able to easily record and report their professional development online. The Law Society’s automated system will send individual progress reports to members, showing the hours of professional development completed and the requirement to be fulfilled to the end of the year.

Lawyers will also have online access to a current listing of approved courses and educational activities. These course offerings will continually be expanded by the society, in partnership with education providers and through input from lawyers. Lawyers are invited to submit requests for approval of courses and educational activities not already listed for CPD.

Many non-traditional educational programs have been approved to complement conventional, classroom-based courses. This will facilitate a customized type of learning that is most beneficial to lawyers and their practices.

Some approved educational activities include teaching a law-related course, attending Canadian Bar Association section meetings or education-related activities, participating in a study group focused on law-related activities, and writing law books or articles relating to the study or practice of law.

All practising lawyers will be required to complete no fewer than 12 hours a year of continuing professional development in approved educational activities. Not less than two of the 12 hours must pertain to any combination of professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations, and practice management.

The online continuing professional development tool and an enhanced list of frequently asked questions will be available to all members in November. For additional information, please contact Member Services.