To whom does the Scheme apply?
The Faculty's continuing professional development scheme applies to all practising members from 1st
January 2004. It will also apply to any non-practising member of Faculty who returns to practice on or
after 1st January 2004.
What are the requirements?
The primary policy underpinning the Faculty's CPD Scheme is to encourage members to extend their
knowledge in areas of law and practice relevant to their practice. This involves members attending
events at which information and knowledge is imparted to them. The Faculty considers that a planned
programme of continuing professional development is the most efficient way for advocates to maintain
and improve their skills.
All practising members are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of accredited continuing
professional development (CPD) in each calendar year, by attendance at courses, conferences, symposia
and similar events organised by training providers accredited for the purpose by the Director of
Training & Education.
Members joining the Faculty or returning to practice after a period as a non-practising member,
before 30th June in any year must complete 10 hours CPD in that year. Any member becoming subject
to CPD after 30th June in any year, must complete 5 hours of CPD in that period, and 10 hours each year thereafter.
How is CPD administered?
Recording attendance at CPD events
Members should sign the registration document, which will be available at accredited CPD events.
They are also required to keep their own record of events on an
of Attendance form (.pdf - 14.5KB) in accordance with CPD regulations 5 (1) of the Continuing Professional Development Regulations.
CPD Regulations 2010 (.pdf - 78.8KB)
While the Training and Education Department will maintain a record of members' attendance some CPD providers
are quicker than others at providing registration details. In addition, we rely on members to inform us of
individual undertakings, such as writing books or articles, tutoring and preparing responses. A member's own
record will help them check their own annual record form.
At the end of the CPD year, the Training & Education Department will send each member a copy of its record
of the members' CPD for the year, which the member should sign and return to the Department no later than
1st March of the year following, confirming that they agree with the details listed.
If there are any events that a member attended that are not listed, they should send details of the
event, including the date(s) on which the event took place, an itinerary or programme, the subject
matter covered and the contact details of the event organiser(s) to the Training and Education
Department. However, a member should have applied in writing using the appropriate
Ad Hoc Accreditation form (.pdf - 166KB).
for accreditation of the event
in question to the Director of Training and Education on an ad hoc basis at least two
weeks in advance of the event taking place.
How CPD hours are calculated?
Accredited CPD events will carry credit in units of 30 minutes.
Accredited CPD hours are the hours spent in either courses, conferences, symposia and similar events,
added up and rounded down to the nearest half an hour. Breaks and lunchtime are not included in this
calculation. Members will only be credited with the hours that they actually attended, i.e., they will
not be credited with the time lost if they arrive late for an event or leave early.
If a member is not only attending an event but also speaking or presenting a paper, he or she will be
credited with twice the length of time spent in delivering their paper in CPD hours, in addition to
being allowed CPD hours for the remaining time spent at the event. However, credit cannot be obtained
for repeat delivery of an event in the same calendar year.
How do I choose appropriate courses or activities?
Given the diversity of practice at the Bar, there are no set events which members are required to
attend. Although the Training and Education Department can provide advice, members have the responsibility
of choosing appropriate professional development activities that contribute to their individual personal or
The Training & Education Department maintain and regularly update an
online list of courses which have
been accredited for CPD purposes. For more information on these contact the Training and Education Department.
Courses are also advertised in ASPECT and other publications and on the notice board in Parliament House. All training provided by the Training & Education Department, the
formally constituted special interest groups in the Faculty, and Stable organised CPD events are automatically
accredited. In addition, the same can be said of all training provided by the following organisations: Judicial
Studies Committee, Appeals Service, VAT and Duties Tribunals, Special Commissioners of Inland Revenue, Asylum
and Immigration Tribunals, Criminal Injuries Compensation Authorities, Employment Tribunal Service and the Crown Office.
The Faculty is aware that members may be on a restricted income in their first few years of practice and is
making every effort to ensure that there are sufficient courses available free of charge and at reasonable rates.
Many of the special interest groups offer discounted fees for new members and some external providers may
also give discounts on request.
There are now 60 approved providers of CPD courses and events. These providers are primarily based in
Edinburgh and Glasgow and a number are based in England and Wales.
Accreditation of courses
Only attendance at accredited events counts for CPD purposes. A list of currently accredited course
providers may be found at
List of Accredited Providers (.pdf - 82.6KB) or obtained from the Training and Education
If a member wishes to attend or has attended a non-accredited event, they should complete the appropriate
ad hoc accreditation application form
Ad Hoc Accreditation form (.pdf - 166KB) and send it, along with details of the
event to the Director of Training & Education, at the Faculty of Advocates, Mackenzie Building, Old Assembly
Close, 172 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QX (Tel: 0131 260 5682, Fax: 0131 260 5723), at least two weeks prior
to the event taking place.
How will the Faculty monitor compliance?
Accredited course providers will provide a registration document at the start or end of the CPD event,
which members are required to sign to confirm that they have attended. The records will be used by the Faculty
to audit a percentage of CPD records at the end of each year. Members must therefore ensure that they have
signed the form and that the details on the form are accurate. Each member must also keep their own record
of the events which they attend
Individual Record of Attendance form
(.pdf - 14.5KB)as they will be required to
confirm that the details listed on the Training and Education Departments' record of attendance corresponds
with their own record of attendance, no later than 1st March following the year in question.
What happens if I do not complete & submit my CPD record of attendance form?
If you do not complete and submit your CPD record of attendance form, the Director of Training & Education
will refer the matter to the Dean.
What happens if I do not complete or I do not think that I will complete the minimum
If you do not complete the minimum number of hours of continuing professional development, the Director
of Training & Education will refer the matter to the Dean. Therefore, If a member anticipates that they
will be unable to complete the requirements in the given period, for example, if they are going on
maternity or paternity leave, taking a career break or have other personal circumstances that will
prevent them from completing their CPD requirement, they must apply for an extension of time
Extension of Time Application form
(.pdf - 14.3KB)
Extension of Time guidance notes
(.pdf - 17.0KB).
The Director of Training & Education has the power, in relation to any member of Faculty, to waive
any or all of the CPD requirements or to extend the time within which they must be completed
(.pdf - 78.8KB). Applications for a waiver or extension of time must be made in
writing on the appropriate application form, setting out all mitigating circumstances
relied upon and supported by all relevant documentary evidence
Application for Waiver Form
(.pdf - 13.7KB)
Application for Waiver Guidance Notes
(.pdf - 16.2KB).
Such applications must be accompanied by the required £125.00 administration fee
(or such other sum as the Faculty Council may from time to time determine),
which may be in the form of a cheque or deducted from a member of Faculty's FSL account.
The Training & Education Department will seek payment from FSL before processing any application.
In the case of maternity or paternity leave, it is anticipated that the fee for such an application
will be waived. It is however advisable to submit a timeous application where ever possible.
The Director of Training and Education will consider each case, and if appropriate, will grant an
extension of time. Members are strongly advised to contact the Training & Education Department if
they anticipate having difficulty in meeting the requirements at any stage.
Compliance Reporting Dates
1st January - 31st December
All practising members of Faculty are required to fulfil their CPD requirement.
Individual CPD records held by the Training & Education Department will be sent out to each member
of Faculty requesting that they check the record, noting any additions or amendments and return it
to the Training & Education Department. Members' CPD requirements will only be marked as complete
when the signed record form is returned.
Signed CPD records to be returned to the Training & Education Department.
Alternatively, any applications for an extension of time or waiver should be submitted to the
Training & Education Department on or before this date.
The Training & Education Department will issue a final reminder to Members in the name of the
Dean of Faculty.
Start of Summer Term
The Training & Education Department will report members failing to comply with the CPD Regulations
to the Dean of Faculty.