The Law Society's continuing professional development program allows lawyers to meet the requirement in a way that matches their own professional goals and learning preferences. The program is straightforward for  lawyers and education providers.

Activities that qualify for CPD Credit

Courses will be accredited on the following criteria:

  • attending a course;
  • participating in online “real time” courses, streaming video, web and / or teleconference courses, if there is an opportunity to ask and answer questions; or
  • reviewing a previously recorded course with at least one other lawyer or an articling student, including by telephone or other real time communications technology

A lawyer may apply for credit for individually completing an online program, including an audio, video or web program, for up to a pre-accredited limit per online program, if the program has one of the following characteristics:

  • a quiz component, where questions are to be answered, and where either the correct answer is provided after the question is answered, or an answer guide is provided after the lawyer completes the quiz;
  • the quiz is at the end of or interspersed throughout the program;
  • the lawyer can email or telephone a designated moderator with questions, and receive a timely reply.

A lawyer may apply for credit for the actual time spent attending an educational program provided by a local or county bar association, as well as for section meetings of the Canadian Bar Association, excluding any portion of a meeting not devoted to educational activities.

To qualify, at least two lawyers or a lawyer and an articling student must participate in the activity at the same time, including by telephone or other real time communications technology.

Credit will be given for study group attendance at a meeting:

  • if at least two lawyers or a lawyer and articling student are together for educational purposes (including reviewing a recorded program) at the same time (including by telephone or other real time communications technology),
  • of an editorial advisory board for legal publications, but not as a part of regular employment, or
  • of a law reform body or group, but not as a part of regular employment,
  • if a lawyer chairs or has overall administrative responsibility for the meeting.

Credit will be not given for:

  • participation on committees, boards and tribunals,
  • any time that is not related to educational activity,
  • activity that is file specific,
  • time spent reading materials, handouts or PowerPoint, whether before or after the study group session.

Lawyers may claim up to three hours of credit for each hour taught if the teaching is for

  • an audience that includes as a principal component, lawyers, paralegals, articling students and / or law school students,
  • a continuing professional education or licensing program for another profession, or
  • a post-secondary educational program,

but not if the teaching is targeted primarily at clients or is file specific.

If teaching is directed to an audience not listed above, such as the general public, one hour of credit for each hour taught, but not if targeted primarily at clients or is file specific.

The following conditions apply:

  • credit for volunteer or part-time teaching only, not as part of full-time or regular employment;
  • if the lawyer only chairs a program, the time spent chairing the program is all that may be reported, not three hours for each hour of chairing;
  • credit only for the first time in the year, and not for repeat teaching of substantially the same subject matter within the year
  • credit may be claimed for the same course year to year, whether or not there are changes to the course;
  • a lawyer claiming teaching and preparation credit can also claim writing credit for additional time writing course materials;
  • no credit for setting or marking examinations, term papers or other assignments;
  • no credit for preparation time if the lawyer does not actually teach the course. Examples include
    • assisting someone else in preparation without actually teaching,
    • acting as a teaching assistant without actually teaching,
    • preparing to teach, but the course is then cancelled.

Lawyers may claim credit

  • for writing law books or articles intended for publication or to be included in course materials intended for any audience
  • a maximum of 6 hours for each writing project, based on the actual time to produce the final product,
  • no cap on the overall credit hours available for writing,
  • in addition to credit for teaching and preparation for teaching,
  • not for preparation of PowerPoint,
  • not for writing for law firm websites,
  • not for blogging or wikis (as there are no generally accepted standards for posting to blogs or wikis at present – this will be considered as part of the next CPD review).
  • for volunteer or part-time writing only, not as a part of full-time or regular employment.

Mentoring, for purposes of continuing professional development (CPD) credit, is a relationship in which a lawyer with experience or expertise in a practice area or practice skill (the “mentor”) provides guidance or advice in support of the professional or practice goals of another lawyer, or an articled student in another firm, who requests assistance (the “mentee”) (Rules 3-26 and 3-30). Mentoring can be either face to face or by telephone, including real time videoconferencing or by electronic means.

Accreditation of a mentor

The Credentials Committee, on a referral by the Executive Director or on the recommendation of the Discipline Committee, Practice Standards Committee or its own motion, can deny a mentorship proposal where sufficient concern exists about the suitability of the proposed mentor.

Recording mentoring credits

When the requirements of the mentorship plan have been completed, the mentor must log in and mark the plan as complete. The mentee’s record will automatically be updated. The six hours must have been completed before the mentor marks the mentorship plan as complete.

The following provisions apply to mentoring:

  • A lawyer who has engaged in the practice of law in Canada, either full or part-time, for 7 of the 10 years immediately preceding the current calendar year, and who is not the subject of an order of the Credentials Committee under Rule 3-18.31(4) (c), is eligible to be a mentor principal.
  • Mentoring credit is available for mentoring another lawyer or an articling student, but not for an articling principal mentoring one’s own articling student.
  • Mentoring credit is not available for mentoring a paralegal.
  • Mentoring goals must comply with the subject matter requirements applicable for any other CPD credit.
  • Mentoring must not be file specific or simply answer questions about specific files.
  • A mentor is entitled to 6 hours of credit per mentee, plus another 6 hours (for a total of 12 hours) if mentoring two mentees separately. If two or more mentees are mentored in a group, the mentor is entitled to 6 hours, and each mentee is entitled to 6 hours.
  • Credit is for time actually spent together in the mentoring sessions, and can be face to face or by telephone, including real time videoconferencing.
  • Mentoring by email or similar electronic means qualifies for credit.
  • There is no minimum time for each mentoring session.

The following activities will not be approved:‚Äč

  • activity designed for or targeted primarily at clients

  • pro bono activities

No credit is available for activities repeated within the same calendar year.