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Flexibility key to CPD changes


Cite as: (2007) 81(7) LIJ, p. 22

The LIV has developed strategies to help practitioners manage new continuing professional development requirements.

Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) members should have recently received a publication which clearly outlines changes to the rules governing continuing professional development (CPD).

The publication, Professional Development Solutions: The LIV guide to managing your CPD requirements, provides a guide to the changed rules, annual requirements and CPD exemptions.

Newly-appointed LIV Professional Development manager Julie McCormack said the new CPD Rules, which came into effect on 1 April, encouraged a more flexible approach to gaining CPD units.

“Activities that attract CPD units include attending seminars, conferences, workshops and lectures, preparing and presenting CPD material, writing articles published in law journals or other publications, online learning and taking part in discussion groups,” she said.

As well as sending out the guide, the LIV has recently held seminars for members to introduce the key changes to the CPD program.

Members have asked and had answered a wide array of CPD questions.

At one of the seminars LIV CEO Mike Brett Young advised members to see CPD activities as an opportunity for reconnection and renewal within the profession.

He emphasised the ease of gaining the minimum required CPD units by explaining how he had spent some time researching an issue and presenting his research to his peers.

Undertaking such an exercise in a rigorous way will enable both researcher and discussion participants to accrue CPD units.

All legal practitioners who hold a practising certificate in Victoria need to comply with the new CPD requirements each year. These include:

  • the completion of 10 CPD units within the prescribed 12-month period (specialists 12 units);
  • the completion of at least one CPD unit in each of the compulsory fields:
  1. ethics and professional responsibility;
  2. professional skills;
  3. substantive law; and
  4. practice management and business skills; and
  • each CPD activity must:
  1. be of significant intellectual or practical content and must deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law;
  2. be conducted by persons who are qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject covered; and
  3. seek to extend the practitioner’s knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to the practitioner’s practice needs.

Examples of how practitioners are undertaking their CPD requirements will be described in further LIV publications.

The CPD year begins on 1 April and the 10 CPD units must be completed by 31 March the following year. CPD units cannot be carried forward.

CPD compliance is based on self-assessment which requires practitioners to determine the relevance of any CPD activity.

The LIV is required to conduct a random audit each year to ensure CPD requirements are being met by solicitors.

Soft copies of Professional Development Solutions are available from LIV Member Services, ph 9607 9470 or can be downloaded from

Ms McCormack said she expected the CPD program to evolve to meet member needs and experiences and she welcomed feedback from LIV members about the program.

Ms McCormack, who took up her role at the LIV last month, previously worked with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as its national manager of continuing professional development.

She can be contacted on ph 9607 9462 or email


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