For the first time, lawyers holding a New Zealand practicing certificate, including those living or working overseas, will need to have 10 CPD hours completed, recorded and signed off by 31 March this year.
Melissa Fini, manager of CPD & learning solutions at Auckland District Law Society, said the Society has received an increased number of enquiries from lawyers asking what they need to be doing to meet the requirements prior to the deadline.
The regime is aimed at relating learning requirements to individual needs and requires lawyers to complete 10 hours and the CPD Plan and Record, then submit the declaration online within five business days of the cut-off date.
“NZLS took a fairly holistic approach to this mandatory CPD regime. They wanted to avoid lawyers cramming CPD hours into the last couple of months in areas of law that possibly didn’t have a connection or direct connection with the areas in which they practiced,” she said. “The idea behind this CPD Plan and Record was that lawyers think about what their learning needs are, where they really need to up their game or spend some time learning and record those needs, identify actions that they can take against that and reflect on their learning.”
Fini said the new rules have created a competitive market for CPD learning providers and that time efficient solutions such as Auckland District Law Society’s ‘On Demand’ product have proven particularly popular with lawyers.
“It makes it flexible. If they’re at the gym, on the exercycle, they could tune into it. If they’re commuting, using public transport, they could tune into it. It creates that sort of efficiency,” she said. “We’re finding that lawyers have really responded so well to all those innovations.”