On April 26, 2012, the Law Society made the following changes to the CPD requirement. These changes are in effect and apply retroactively to any eligible programs or activities taken toward the 2012 CPD requirement.
New Policy - Archived CPD Programs
Viewing archived webcasts, video replays, or other recorded program formats without a colleague is an eligible educational activity for the annual CPD Requirement for up to 6 CPD Hours per calendar year. Participation in asynchronous, online courses that prompt responses throughout the learning process, such as requiring participants to respond to questions before they can move to the next module or section, is included as an approved method of archived viewing. This does not include self-study activities, which are ineligible for CPD Hours.
CPD Hours obtained through participation in recorded programs or online courses should be entered into the LSUC Portal using the "Update my CPD - Program" option.
New Member CPD Requirement
Lawyers and paralegals in their first 2 full years of practising law or providing legal services can choose from a broader selection of CPD programs and activities. New members must complete programs or activities that contain a minimum of 0.5 Professionalism Hours toward the annual CPD requirement. New members are required to complete 12 CPD Hours per calendar year, including a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours and up to 9 Substantive Hours.
The LSUC Portal was reconfigured on July 1, 2012 to accommodate this policy change.
For the full Report to Convocation, please click here.
Click here for the CPD Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours.
Repeated Programs Accreditation Expiry Date
CPD programs offered and accredited in 2010 and 2011 have a one-year accreditation period. In order to count viewing of these programs after the one-year period, an application for accreditation is required. To confirm the accreditation of any program for professionalism or new member hours, members should log into the LSUC Portal.
Overview of the CPD Requirement
What is the CPD Requirement?
Lawyers and paralegals who have been practising law or providing legal services for more than 2 years must complete in each calendar year at least 12 CPD Hours in Eligible Educational Activities (PDF) consisting of a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours on topics related to professional responsibility, ethics and/or practice management and up to 9 Substantive Hours per year. Only Professionalism Hours must be accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada. The remaining 9 Substantive Hours need not be accredited. Substantive Hours may address substantive or procedural law topics and/or related skills. Non-legal subjects may also be eligible towards Substantive Hours if they are relevant to the lawyer's or paralegal's practice and professional development.
Who has to fulfill the CPD Requirement?
Lawyers and paralegals in the 100% fee-paying category are subject to the requirement. In addition, lawyers and paralegals in other fee categories who are providing legal services based on Ontario or Canadian law to clients, including on a pro bono basis or as a life member, are subject to the requirement. Members in fee categories other than the 100% category who are not practising Ontario or Canadian law are exempt from the CPD requirement. See Fee Categories for more information. Members who need guidance determining the membership category they should be in based on the type of work that they do should contact the Law Society's Client Service Centre at (416) 947-3315, or toll-free at 1-800-668-7380, ext. 3315.
What is the purpose of the CPD Requirement?
Continuing professional development (CPD) is defined as the maintenance and enhancement of a lawyer's or paralegal's professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and professionalism throughout the individual's career. It is a positive tool that benefits lawyers and paralegals and is an essential component of the commitment they make to the public to practise law or provide legal services competently and ethically. The Law Society has an important role to play in supporting the efforts of lawyers and paralegals to maintain and enhance that competence. It also has a duty to ensure that all persons who practise law or provide legal services in Ontario meet standards of learning, professional competence and professional conduct that are appropriate for the legal services they provide.