Following our requirements under legislation, and in keeping with good administrative practice, we continually review our framework on CPD. We have been analysing a range of options around CPD principles for the last 3-4 years, with the aim of consulting on our ideas around this period and believe this is a suitable moment to consider changes.
We propose to deliver these via new CPD Principles. Two of the most significant recommendations are: proposals to change individual licences; and a universal CPD requirement for CLC firms operated at Practice level.
The new CPD Principles
During recent discussion we concluded that changing the existing framework was necessary to mitigate risks that the CLC sees in the delivery of legal services, to continue to improve standards in the profession, and protect consumers and to meet the LSB’s expectations.
Following a workshop focused on CPD, and a supporting dialogue around this workstream, the CLC has analysed its priorities for a revised CPD approach. Our intention is that these would keep its existing strengths and reduce risks. Our aims have been summarised into the set of principles set out below.
1. Introduce more meaningful risk/competency direction and increase the levels of mandatory evidence and reporting requirements for individual licence holders, to enable us to assess profession-wide levels of competence (and identify individual legal professionals that are failing to meet the standards of competence identified).
2. Provide quantitative and qualitative data that will help us to assess profession-wide levels of competence, understand the competence of individual non-legally qualified professionals with key accountabilities within practices, and identify practices that are failing to meet the standards of competence identified.
3. Help practices align their organisational wide training and development and risk management processes into a coherent on-going compliance and competence strategy that will help protect consumers and reduce the regulatory burden.
4. Introduce a mandatory practice-level responsibility for ongoing competence, to improve the overall risk management and performance of CLC practices.
The new CPD Framework
It is proposed that this revised approach will:
a. move away from an hours-based approach and move towards an activity and outcomes based approach;
b. include a fix mix of externally assessed and informally assessed activity;
c. introduce a regulated entity responsibility for ongoing competence, to improve the overall risk management and performance of CLC practices, which will apply to:
· Individual CLC Licence Holders
· Heads of Legal Practice
· Heads of Finance and Administration
· Money Laundering Reporting Officers
· Complaints Handling leads (these are described differently in different practices)
· Directors/Partners/Members/Sole Practitioners.
The expectations relating each of the groups above will be:
· Tailored to the needs of their roles, and moderated when one individual holds multiple roles;
· Their duties as defined in regulation; and
· Their responsibilities for the supervision of th