NEW Learning & Development page for solicitors
What is new?
From November 2015, the start of the cpd year, emplaw online offers an additional advantage for solicitors in that the monthly update they receive (the subscriber version of Emplaw Monthly) may be used to satisfy the specialist learning requirements under the new learning and development regime known as ‘continuing competence’ .
A solicitor still needs to record and evaluate what they have learnt and the website provides the tools to do that. Subscribers now have a personal Leaning and Development page (linked at the top of each page just below the emplaw online logo) where, each month, they can create a Learning & Development Record and Evaluation sheet to store and print as required as part of their training record.
How have learning and development requirements changed for solicitors?
In October we published an article summarising the changes and how to use Emplaw Monthly to help meet your training needs. That article is reproduced below. Information is also available on the SRA website
CPD for Solicitors: Use Emplaw Monthly Updates
CPD: What is changing?
CPD requirements are changing from a requirement to complete a fixed number of hours per year to an approach of continuing competence, which requires a solicitor to
‘consider and undertake the learning and development you deem necessary to ensure your ongoing competence and that you are in a position to provide a proper standard of service to your clients.’
Since 1 November 2014, there has been no requirement to undertake accredited training as part of the CPD requirement and the SRA no longer accept applications for authorisation from CPD providers.
When does it change?
The new approach will be implemented for all solicitors from 1 November 2016.
As of 1 April 2015, solicitors can choose to move to the new approach
Many solicitors will no doubt choose to adopt the new scheme when the next CPD year starts on 1st November 2015
What do the new requirements mean?
In essence a solicitor must
- Reflect on their practice
- Identify their learning and development needs
- Plan how to address their training needs
- Address those needs
- Record and evaluate the learning activity
Training records must be retained for a period of at least six years and the SRA may request to see a person’s CPD training record at any time.
How can Emplaw Help?
Subscription to Emplaw Online not only gives you access to 100s of incisive guides and 1000s of cases, but also you receive a regular email update called Emplaw Monthly.
Emplaw Monthly is a professional publication written by practicing employment lawyers. It prints out at more than 10 pages and presents a considered view of the month’s developments including detailed case summaries (with links to full reports) as well as the up to date legislative developments and employment news.
Whilst the decision on what training and development a solicitor needs is an assessment for each individual, keeping up to date with changes in the law and the profession that are relevant to your practice will, as the Law Society Practice note makes clear, always be important. In that regard, we would suggest
- studying Emplaw Monthly
- taking a few moments to evaluate what you have read including:
- any key learning points such as cases or news of interest; and
- any actions you will take as a result such as using information in a current case or communicating information to a client.
- record this assessment.
Each month the subscriber version of Emplaw Monthly will provide a Learning & Development Record and Evaluation sheet with useful prompts for you to print out and retain as part of your CPD training record
An individual annual subscription to Emplaw Online costs £475 (+ VAT) for unlimited access to our data bank of information and 12 Editions of Emplaw Monthly. For larger practices we are currently offering discounts on organisational membership so that the firm can be sure that the whole team are up to date. For more information, please contact us as per the details below, stating the number of logins you would be interested in.
Other tools to help
The SRA has sample training records and a sample training and development plan in the sections on Recording your CPD and Assessing training needs at http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/cpd/solicitors.page.
The Law Society has issued a Practice Note at http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/advice/practice-notes/continuing-professional-development/
Emplaw Online has also provided material for CPD and continuing competence courses provided by infolaw's Internet for Lawyers online CPD which focus on how lawyers can make best use of the internet.
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