Accreditation Updates for CPD Providers


February 2018 
The Law Society of Ontario publishes the Accreditation Update for CPD Providers to keep educational providers, including Accredited Providers of Professionalism Content, up to date on information about, changes to, and tools and resources for the Law Society’s CPD Accreditation Process

This Accreditation Update focuses on the changes to the CPD Requirement and accreditation processes related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). All providers should review the information below to familiarize themselves with these changes. Sections of this Update that apply to Accredited Providers are shown with AP; sections that apply to all other educational providers are shown with P

What you need to know and do
Accredited Providers
Your status allows you to accredit programs for EDI Professionalism Hours. You will need to:
Educational Providers
If you are not an Accredited Provider, you will need to:
Quick Tips:

- Application procedures and processes for accrediting equality, diversity and inclusion content are the same as for other professionalism content. For more information, see CPD Accreditation Process.

- The new Accredited EDI logo may be used for programs that contain both EDI Professionalism Hours and other Professionalism Hours so long as Educational Providers and Accredited Providers clearly indicate in the advertisement and other program materials:

  • the total number of hours accredited for EDI Professionalism content and
  • the total number of hours accredited for all other Professionalism content.

The New CPD EDI Requirement (AP, P)

In September 2017, the Law Society introduced the new CPD EDI Requirement. 

Effective January 1, 2018, lawyers and paralegals subject to the CPD Requirement must complete the CPD EDI Requirement. This means that:

  • Licensees have until December 31, 2020 to complete a total of 3 accredited Professionalism Hours that focus on advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal professions and
  • Each year thereafter, licensees must complete 1 Professionalism Hour that addresses issues of equality, diversity and inclusion

Equality and Inclusion Professionalism Hours are a subset of the CPD Professionalism Hours Requirement and, therefore, count towards the required 3 Hours of Professionalism each year.

The purpose of the mandatory CPD training on equality and inclusion is to

  • enhance diversity and inclusion within all legal workplaces in Ontario
  • reduce barriers created by racism, unconscious bias and discrimination and
  • promote better representation of racialized licensees in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority

For more information see the Final Report of the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group.

New EDI Accreditation Criteria (P, AP)

The Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours were revised to take into account the new CPD EDI Requirement. The accreditation criteria for EDI Professionalism Hours are listed under section D. Professionalism Topics on the Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours webpage.

In order to assist all providers and licensees in understanding the equality, diversity and inclusion criteria, the Law Society has prepared Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the CPD EDI Requirement. The FAQs include examples of topics that would and would not qualify for Equality and Inclusion Professionalism Hours.

The Law Society has adopted a flexible and iterative approach to EDI Professionalism Hours. Programs that advance equality and inclusion in the professions or that support progress towards the objectives identified will qualify for EDI Professionalism Hours. 

New Accreditation Application Forms (P)

The accreditation application forms for programs and activities have changed to reflect the new CPD EDI Requirement. The new forms also now require licensees and educational providers to indicate what part(s) of the program or activity include equality, diversity and inclusion content, what part(s) address other professionalism topics, what those professionalism topic(s) are, and how that content is connected to the Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours.  The accreditation application for programs requires providers to detail this information for each program session.

The new forms replace all previous versions. Accordingly, licensees and educational providers seeking accreditation of programs or activities for Professionalism Hours, including EDI Professionalism Hours, must use the new application forms effective immediately. You can get started by accessing the new application forms using the following links:

Click here for examples of how to complete the new accreditation application forms.

Re-accreditation Process (AP, P)

Educational providers whose CPD program was accredited by the Law Society for Professionalism Hours prior to December 31, 2017 may apply to have the program re-accredited to take into account the part or parts of the program that focus on equality, diversity and inclusion topics.

The Law Society has developed a new Application for Re-Accreditation – Program (EDI Professionalism Content Only) to support providers seeking re-accreditation of CPD programs for EDI Professionalism Hours. For guidance on the re-accreditation application process, please visit the CPD Accreditation Process webpage.

Accredited Providers do not need to apply for re-accreditation of CPD programs for equality, diversity and inclusion content. However, Accredited Providers are encouraged to review and assess whether any of the accredited CPD programs they have previously offered address equality, diversity and inclusion issues and concepts.  If any of the previously accredited CPD programs contain equality, diversity and inclusion content and the Accredited Provider wishes to deliver these programs in 2018 and onwards (e.g., in an on-demand format), the Accredited Provider may re-accredit the programs for EDI Professionalism Hours if:

Accredited Providers should also review programs that they have accredited and promoted but not yet delivered for 2018 to determine whether these programs should be re-accredited for EDI Professionalism Hours.

Accreditation Advertising – New Logos (P, AP)

The Law Society has a new Accredited logo and a new Accredited EDI logo to identify accredited programs containing Professionalism Hours and/or EDI Professionalism Hours.

law-society-of-ontario-accredited.png law-society-of-ontario-accredited-edi.png

The new accreditation logos must be used in accordance with the Communication Guidelines for Providers.

Click here to download the new accreditation logos.

Report on Content Accredited for Equality and Inclusion (AP)

Accredited Providers should maintain records of all programs accredited for EDI. These records should include a brief explanation of what part(s) of the program or activity include equality, diversity and inclusion content, what part(s) address other professionalism topics, what those professionalism topic(s) are and how that content is connected to the Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours. The Law Society will require Accredited Providers to report on content that they accredited for EDI beginning in the 2018 Annual Declaration.

Contact the CPD Accreditation Team (AP, P)

All providers are encouraged to contact the Law Society at for guidance regarding the interpretation and application of the equality and inclusion accreditation criteria and the new processes for accreditation.