Changes to the CPD Requirement

Frequently Asked Questions 

Summary of Changes

The Law Society made changes to the CPD requirement in response to lawyer and paralegal input and following its two-year review of the program. Some of the changes took effect in May 2013 and the remainder were implemented for the 2014 reporting year. See the Report to Convocation.

 

May 2013

1.  Co-writing and co-editing are eligible activities  

Writing and editing books or articles with a co-author became eligible CPD activities, to a maximum of 6 Hours annually. Each author must be able to verify the number of hours he or she spent writing or editing. Previously, only sole authorship activities were eligible.

2. Writing and editing for firm publications are eligible activities

Writing and editing for law firm or other in-house publications became eligible CPD activities, to a maximum of 6 Hours annually. Previously, only writing and editing of materials for third-party publication or course materials were eligible. Writing for personal use remains ineligible for CPD Hours.

3. Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours expanded

The Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours were revised to clarify the descriptions and provide increased flexibility for its application. The revised Criteria are broader and recognize a range of professionalism issues that may arise in different practice areas and practice contexts. Highlights of the changes include: 

  • realignment of section headings to better describe content
  • expansion of language to address government and in-house contexts
  • expanded approach to client communication and legal writing
  • addition of business of law topics such as financial considerations, client development and strategic planning
  • broader approach to use of law office technology

January 2014  

1.  Accredited Provider Framework established

2.  Elimination of separate New Member Requirement

The separate New Member CPD requirement was eliminated for 2014. With this change, new lawyers and paralegals who practise law or provide legal services are subject to the same CPD requirement as experienced lawyers and paralegals. 

New lawyers and paralegals are required to meet the CPD requirement on a pro rata basis in the month after which they become licensed. For example, lawyers called to the Bar in June must complete 6 Hours of CPD, including 1.5 Professionalism Hours, by December 31. Similarly, paralegals licensed in March will be required to complete 9 CPD Hours by December 31, including 6.75 Substantive Hours and 2.25 Professionalism Hours. 

All hours must be completed between the license date and December 31. Hours accumulated during articling do not qualify for the CPD requirement.

3.  Late fee implemented

Lawyers and paralegals who do not complete their CPD Hours or who fail to report their CPD through the LSUC Portal by December 31 are charged a late fee of $100, in addition to being subject to administrative suspension. 

4.  Simplified reporting system

The CPD reporting system was simplified as a result of feedback from lawyers and paralegals. 

Highlights of the enhancements include:

  • A single free form entry screen for all programs and activities
  • Fewer steps and improved navigation

Frequently Asked Questions     

Why did the Law Society change the CPD Requirement?

The Law Society made changes to the CPD Requirement in response to lawyer and paralegal input and following its two-year review of the program. The changes simplify the administration of the requirement and facilitate compliance, while ensuring the fundamental goal of supporting the competence of the profession is maintained. 

(revised November 4, 2015)

 When did the changes come into effect?

All changes came into effect as of January 1, 2014.  The late fee implementation applied to the 2014 reporting year and was billable in early 2015.

Where do I find out more information?

More information is available in the CPD Requirement section of the Law Society website. 

How much is the late fee? 

The late fee for failing to complete or report your CPD Hours in the LSUC Portal by December 31, is $100.00.

When will I need to report my CPD Hours to avoid the late fee? Is there a default period like there is for annual report filing? 

You will be charged the late fee and be subject to administrative suspension if you do not complete your CPD Hours and record them in the LSUC Portal by December 31.  The late fee is due on January 1 of the following year.  You will have 30 days to pay the late fee.

How does my organization apply to be an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content status?

To apply for the Accredited Provider status complete the application form and send it electronically with all supporting documents to cpdacc@lsuc.on.ca for review. 

Under the Accredited Provider Framework, is it required that my organization be an accredited provider in order to provide CPD programs with professionalism content?

Providers who are not accredited can continue to apply for accreditation of a specific program. Members can also still apply for credit for an activity through the current accreditation process. 

What is the CPD Requirement for newly licensed lawyers and paralegals?

New lawyers and paralegals who practise law or provide legal services are subject to the same CPD Requirement as experienced lawyers and paralegals.

New lawyers and paralegals who practise law or provide legal services are subject to the same CPD Requirement as experienced lawyers and paralegals. New lawyers and paralegals will be required to meet the CPD Requirement on a pro rata basis in the month after which they become licensed. For example, lawyers called to the Bar in June must complete 6 Hours of CPD, including 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism, by December 31. Similarly, paralegals licensed in March will be required to complete 9 CPD Hours by December 31, including 6 hours and 45 minutes of Substantive and 2 hours and 15 minutes of Professionalism. All hours must be completed between the license date and December 31. CPD hours accumulated during articling, LPP work placement or paralegal field placement do not qualify for the CPD requirement.