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 Joint Report to Convocation - CPD Two-Year Review. A change to the number of eligible CPD hours that are available for mentoring activities was made in January 2016. See the Mentoring and Advisory Services Proposal Task Force’s Final Report to Convocation.
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
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
Lawyers and paralegals who are involved in mentoring, being mentored, providing coach or advisor support, participating in a coach or advisor program, acting as an articling principal, or supervising an LPP work placement or paralegal field placement are entitled to claim their entire 12 required CPD hours annually for such activities. If claiming all 12 CPD hours through mentoring, at least three of those 12 hours must be accredited Professionalism Hours.
In order to qualify for Professionalism Hours, activities must address topics of professional responsibility, ethics and/or practice management and be accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada. See CPD Accreditation Process for more information.