Exciting new era for New Zealand lawyers

Exciting new era for New Zealand lawyers

01 April 2014

1 April 2014 marks an exciting new era for New Zealand lawyers as they embark on the first year of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The first full year of the New Zealand Law Society’s CPD initiative, will run until 31 March 2015.

Law Society President Chris Moore says every lawyer with a practising certificate has had a transitional period of six months to prepare for CPD, which requires all lawyers to create and maintain a CPD plan.

“The introduction of a CPD requirement is the logical next step for the Law Society, as regulator of the profession, in its moves to continually improve the skills and competence of the New Zealand lawyers,” he says.

“This is a contemporary and progressive CPD scheme. It is a collaborative and open initiative in which lawyers are encouraged and assisted rather than policed. This will greatly benefit lawyers, as well the general public who expect a high level of competency from their lawyer.”

The CPD initiative is learner-centred rather than prescriptive. All lawyers who provide regulated services are required to complete and reflect on a minimum of 10 hours of CPD activities related to their self-defined learning needs.

CPD caters to all lawyers regardless of location, budget and available time, progressing lawyers in fields that are not necessarily related to their day-to-day work. 

“This means lawyers will be responsible for identifying and fulfilling their own CPD requirements in accordance with recognised adult education principles,” Mr Moore says.

Lawyers must prove that they have participated in each CPD activity through an attendance record, certificate, receipt, letter, firm record or other means.

CPD activities could include participation in courses, seminars, conferences, training, coaching and study groups, distance learning programmes and webinars, as well as lecturing, teaching or instructing, writing law-related books or articles, or preparing and presenting certain submissions.

It is required that forms and receipts are signed by the participant and counter-signed by the organiser or a named participant.

Completion certificates, attendance records, letters from organisers and assessment results are also likely to be used for vertification.

Further information on the CPD initiative is available here

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