Your views on our proposals

Thank you for taking the time to respond to our consultation on changes to CPD arrangements.

Before answering the questions below you might find it helpful to read the consultation document on our website, but it is not essential. 

Please answer the simple questions below. If you would like to provide more detailed views there is space for that, but you are not obliged to do so.  

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* 1. The CLC proposes to replace all current CLC definitions of CPD with a new amended definition, namely:
‘CPD is any activity undertaken by a CLC Lawyer which will:

a.    Maintain, improve or develop the skills, knowledge and competence necessary for the execution of their legal responsibilities;

b.    Ensure that consumers and the public remain confident in the profession; and

c.    Contribute to the sharing of knowledge, skill and good practice within the profession.’

The CLC is interested in the views of the regulated community on whether you agree with the proposed new definition for CPD?

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* 2. In November 2016, the Council approved a policy shift in CPD, which moves away from a prescribed number of hours of CPD to an outcome based approach which concentrates on the impact of a CLC Lawyer’s learning and their ability to provide a competent service. This approach makes each CLC Lawyer responsible for deciding the scope and volume of CPD that they should carry out.

This consultation sets out the CLC’s new way of regulating CPD, which is intended to replace the current scheme.

The broad principles of the new scheme are as follows:
  • The new scheme removes the necessity to complete a minimum number of hours each year and is instead an outcomes focused scheme that will allow CLC Lawyers to identify and manage their own training and development needs according to their area of practice and work/market demands.
  • The CLC recognises that a scheme which is purely outcomes based can be difficult for regulators to monitor. For this reason, whilst predominantly outcomes based in nature, the new CPD scheme will contain an ‘input’ component. Namely, that CLC Lawyers will be required to include a minimum of 10 entries on their CPD record.
  •  Entries will need to record either planned or unplanned activities (with a minimum of 6 planned entries to be completed in each CPD year), and of the 10 CPD entries required, at least one entry in the CPD record will need to relate to Operational Risk (further information is provided at paragraph 50-54).
  • The CLC will continue its current monitoring and sampling of CPD records to ensure overall compliance with CPD requirements, but will introduce new assessment criteria to ensure records are assessed consistently and fairly across the board.

Do you agree that changing the current CPD scheme to a more outcomes based scheme (with an input element) will give more encouragement for CLC Lawyers to continue improving their skills?

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* 3. The CLC is proposing that under the new scheme all CLC Lawyers will be required to make at least 10 entries on their CPD record irrespective of whether they are a manager or an employee.

Do you agree that CLC Lawyers (whether as managers or an employees), should have the same CPD requirements?

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* 4. Do you foresee any challenges with the new scheme?

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* 5. The new scheme is explained in the CPD practice note in Annex 1. The practice note explains the CPD requirements and will be supported by other activities (such as webinars) to assist the regulated community in planning and selecting appropriate CPD. CLC Lawyers will be taken through the new scheme, advised on how CPD activities should be recorded and on the requirements to keep supporting documentation safe for a minimum of 6 years.

Do you have any comments on the draft CPD Practice Note at Annex 1?

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* 6. In order to complete planned activities, CLC Lawyers will be required to reflect on their area of practice, plan activities which will maintain, improve or develop their knowledge and skills; implement the outcome of their plan through participation in relevant CPD activities and evaluate how the activity impacted on their work and practice.This process is known as the  ‘reflective cycle’ 

Do you agree that requiring CLC Lawyers to follow the reflective cycle for all planned CPD activities will ensure that the CPD activities chosen will be relevant to the development needs and practice of CLC Lawyers?

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* 7. With an emphasis on reflection on practice and undertaking relevant CPD, the CLC proposes that under the new scheme, CLC Lawyers will also be able to record learning from their fee earning work, for example, research that they need to complete for a client in a new or unfamiliar area of law. Specific learning can be listed and included in the CPD record up to the maximum of 4 from the 10 entries required overall.

Do you agree that CLC Lawyers should also be able to count knowledge and skills they have learnt or developed whilst carrying out their fee earning work?

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* 8. One of the regulatory aims set out in the Regulatory Standards Framework requires regulators to have ‘a robust understanding of the risks to consumers associated with legal practice and the ability to profile the regulated community according to the level of risk ‘.
As the specialist property regulator, the CLC expects CLC Lawyers to be alert to the highest areas of risk faced by the consumer and by the practice, and how they can be mitigated. The CLC has considered how its CPD scheme could ensure that the regulated community also had a robust understanding of these risks.
In order to embed this requirement for CLC Lawyers, operational risk is being introduced as a compulsory element into annual CPD requirements. It is therefore proposed that one entry on the record each year will be on the subject of operational risk. 

Do you agree that there should be an annual compulsory operational risk requirement as part of the revised CPD scheme?

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* 9. As with the existing CPD scheme, the CLC will carry out a random sampling of CPD records to monitor compliance with the CPD requirements.

A CLC Lawyer selected for sampling will need to provide:

a.    CPD record sheet;

b.    The planning and evaluation document for each planned activity with all planned activity evidence documents;   

c.    All unplanned activity evidence documents and accompanying evaluation document

The CLC will review CPD records against assessment criteria set by the CLC (see CPD Practice Note). 
The assessment criteria has been formulated to ensure that all CPD records are assessed fairly and consistently and to provide CLC Lawyers with a framework to help them to understand how to complete their CPD requirements in a compliant way.
Do you agree with the new assessment criteria?

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* 10. The CLC has assessed the potential impacts (positive and negative) within the Consultation paper (See page 21 & 22).

Are there any other impacts (positive or negative) which the CLC should take into account?

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* 11. The timescales for implementation of any new approach will depend largely on the responses received through this consultation and on the final approach adopted. It is the CLC’s intention, that any new approach would be implemented at the end of an existing CPD year to avoid the need for transitional arrangements and any disruption to CLC practices.

The CLC welcomes any views on the extent to which adjustments would need to be made to existing systems in order to accommodate the new approach?

Thank you for taking part in this consultation.