1. How much CPD must I do?
All members in practice must complete 10 hours CPD per calendar year.
Members joining the Faculty, or returning to practice after a period as a non-practising member, between 1 July in any calendar year and the November Admissions Day, must complete a minimum of 5 hours of CPD during that calendar year. Any member joining the Faculty, or returning to practice after the November Admission Day, will not be required to complete any CPD during that year.
2. What happens if I do not complete the required amount of CPD?
The CPD Regulations approved by the Faculty Council require the Director of Training & Education to bring a failure to complete the CPD requirement to the attention of the Dean of Faculty. In the event of this referral, the Dean may: (a) suspend the member from practice; and/or (b) initiate disciplinary procedures against the member in terms of Rule 1(1) of the Faculty of Advocates Disciplinary Rules.
If a member feels before the end of a CPD year that he or she will be unable to meet the CPD requirement for a good reason, he or she may apply to the Director of Training & Education for an extension of time to complete the CPD required.
3. I would like to attend an event which is not being run by an accredited provider. Can I claim CPD?
Applications for accreditation of an event organised by a provider not listed as one of the Faculty's accredited providers should be made to the Director of Training & Education, at least two weeks prior to the event's taking place. Details of the event, including the date the event will take place, an itinerary or programme, the subject matter to be covered and the contact details of the event organiser should be submitted along with your application. If the event is deemed acceptable for CPD purposes, then it may be accredited on an ad hoc basis.
4. I already read the law reports and journals. Does this count for CPD?
While many members of Faculty take time to read current case law and periodicals, private study is not counted towards compulsory CPD, which must be carried out through an accredited provider. This is to allow the Faculty to audit providers, and to allow the Faculty to carry out random sampling of members' CPD records.
5. I have written a text book or an article. How much CPD do I get?
Writing a textbook (whether solely or as a joint author) and thereafter updating it will qualify for 3 hours CPD. It is well understood that many times that will have been spent, and the time allowed is the same as other activities which often involve several times the effort. Writing articles of 1000 words or more which are published in the list of journals which can be obtained from the Training & Education Department or downloaded from its section of the Faculty website at: www.advocates.org.uk, will also qualify for 3 hours.
You may claim 3 hours for each book or article. However, members should note that this time may only be claimed once the book or article has been published. Please provide the Training & Education Department with details.
6. May I obtain credit for giving a lecture or seminar?
It is recognised that members of Faculty contribute to their own professional development and that of others by presenting lectures and seminars. These may be given to Faculty conferences and seminars, or events organised by other bodies. A member of Faculty may obtain credit for the amount of time for which he or she presents a lecture or seminar plus the same amount of time for preparation for it. Where the lecture forms part of a larger conference, and the member of Faculty has attended the conference, he or she may obtain credit for that too. Please note that when such an event is arranged by an organisation which is not accredited by the Faculty, prior ad hoc accreditation should be sought.
7. I have given the same seminar on several occasions. Can I obtain credit each time?
A member of Faculty may take credit for preparing and delivering the same seminar or lecture only once in each calendar year. If the lecture or seminar is given again in another year, the member of Faculty may take credit once in that year.
8. I have given a lecture or seminar at a firm of solicitors. Does this qualify for CPD?
Solicitors and local law societies are unlikely to be accredited providers for CPD. A member of Faculty attending a lecture, seminar or conference, whether as a speaker or a delegate, may nevertheless obtain credit. Application should be made on the appropriate application form to the Director of Training & Education at least two weeks prior to the event's taking place.
9. I am going to speak to a conference or a seminar. Do I get CPD?
Members may take credit for the amount of time their paper lasts, and the
same amount of time by way of preparation (1 hour plus 1 hour, for example). If a member is one of several speakers and is present throughout the event, he/she is also entitled to claim credit for the balance of the seminar or conference - not the whole event plus your contribution to it.
If the event is not organised by one of the Faculty's accredited providers, an application for ad hoc accreditation and details of the event should be forwarded to the Director of Training & Education, at least two weeks prior to the event's taking place.
10. I am an instructor on the Faculty's skills training programme. Does this qualify for CPD?
In order to recognise the important contribution made by practising members of Faculty to the skills training programme, instructors may obtain credit for up to 3 hours of work as a reviewer or workshop/seminar leader on the skills training programme in any one year.
11. I am an instructor / trainer for an external organisation. Does this qualify for CPD?
Analogous to the work recognised by the Faculty's skills training programme (FAQ10), members who undertake extensive training courses for external organisations, whether as a reviewer or workshop/seminar leader, may claim a maximum of 3 hours CPD in any one year. However, the Director of Training & Education may use his discretion, in exceptional circumstances, to grant additional time where adequate justification is provided.
12. I am a university tutor. Does this qualify for CPD?
Members who tutor in law subjects on LLB, LLM or Diploma in Legal Practice courses at a Scottish university may take up to 3 hours towards their CPD total in each year. This recognises this important work, and allows the same amount of time as instructors on the Faculty's own training programme for devils, and is in addition to any one-off lectures which members may give.
In addition, up to a further 3 hours may be claimed each year for tutoring on PCC courses.
Please advise the Training & Education Department of these commitments and provide details of the courses taught.
13. I have undertaken a post-graduate law course. Does this qualify for CPD?
Post-graduate courses leading to a qualification in law or a law-related discipline (eg forensic medicine) taken part-time (whether in person or by distance learning) qualify for a maximum of three hours of CPD per academic year.
14. I have undertaken an online post-graduate university course. Does this qualify for CPD?
In keeping with the allowance given for other post-graduate courses, such as a PhD, members may claim a maximum of 3 hours each year.
15. I have undertaken a part-time post-graduate law course. Does this qualify for CPD?
As the work involved in researching and writing a PhD on a part-time basis is more analogous to the writing of legal texts or articles, members undertaking such courses may claim up to 3 hours CPD.
Full-time research degrees do not qualify - as they generally involve full-time study, which is prima facie inconsistent with practice.
16. I have sat as a PhD external examiner. Does this qualify for CPD?
Provided that the thesis has substantial legal content, members may claim a maximum of 3 hours of CPD for undertaking this work.
17. I have prepared a Faculty consultation response. Does this qualify for CPD?
Work for sub-committees of the Faculty's Law Reform Committee or ad hoc committees considering responses to consultation documents will count for CPD. Members doing this work may claim up to a total of 3 hours for all work done for all response committees in any one year. This time may only be claimed in the year in which the work is undertaken. The name of the committee and the topic should be noted in your personal record.
Please advise the Training & Education Department of these commitments and provide details.
18. I have sat on the committee of another organisation. Does this qualify for CPD?
In principle work for committees outwith Faculty, for example, the Law Society or parliamentary committees, does not qualify for CPD. However, it may be that in exceptional circumstances a member may be able to justify that such work does qualify for CPD. In these circumstances an application for ad hoc accreditation should be made to the Director of Training.
19. I am a member of the English Bar. Does my CPD in England count?
CPD activities undertaken as part of the requirements of the English Bar may also be counted towards Faculty CPD if they are undertaken with providers accredited by the Faculty or if ad hoc accreditation has been granted. Unfortunately CPD undertaken for the Faculty scheme is not reciprocally recognised by the English Bar. An up to date list of providers is available on the Faculty's website.
20. I am a Temporary Judge/Part-time Sheriff. Does my judicial training count towards my CPD?
CPD training activities undertaken with the Judicial Studies Committee are accredited for Faculty purposes. Sitting in the judicial capacity does not count for CPD purposes.
21. I have helped schools in advocacy projects/university mooting competitions. Does this qualify for CPD?
Members participating in the Bar National Mock Trial Competition and/or the Mini Trial Project may claim up to 3 hours CPD per annum. From time to time members have also been asked to act as judges in university mooting competitions. Again you may count up to 3 hours CPD per annum.
22. I have given a careers talk to school or university students. Does this qualify for CPD?
Delivering a careers talk to any organisation, job fair or educational establishment does not qualify for CPD purposes under the Faculty's CPD scheme.
23. I have acted as an unpaid assistant in a mediation. Does this qualify for CPD?
Under the Faculty's CPD scheme and analogous to FAQ No. 4, assisting the mediator in an unpaid capacity, or assisting Counsel who are involved in a mediation, does not count towards compulsory CPD, which must be carried out through an accredited provider.
24. I have assisted in an unpaid capacity for Senior Counsel in a case to gain experience. Does this qualify for CPD?
Under the Faculty's CPD scheme and analogous to FAQ No.4, assisting Senior Counsel in an unpaid capacity on a case does not count towards compulsory CPD, which must be carried out through an accredited provider.
25. Does training in IT provided by the Faculty IT Department count for CPD?
Members undertaking formal IT training designed to improve their practice management skills, for example, Electronic Fee Rendering training, may claim up to 3 hours in each CPD year. In addition, training in computer related legal research skills, whether provided in-house at Faculty or by an accredited external provider, will qualify for CPD.
26. I have participated on an online legal based course. Does this qualify for CPD?
Online legal based CPD courses which are provided by an accredited provider will automatically qualify for CPD purposes. However, in the case of non-accredited courses, members are advised to contact the Training & Education Department for clarification as to whether the course can be accredited on an ad hoc basis.
27. What happens if I take time off for the birth of a child?
Members of Faculty (male or female) who take time off around the birth of children, but who remain practising members are still subject to the requirements applying to other practising members. You may apply to the Director of Training & Education for a pro rata waiver or an extension of time to complete your annual CPD. Further details may be found in the information booklet.