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Specialist accreditation moves national

Briefs

The development of a consistent, national specialist accreditation program has taken a step forward following an LIV-hosted forum of law societies and other interested parties.

The forum aimed to gauge the level of interest in developing a national specialist accreditation program, LIV Professional Development general manager Julie McCormack said.

“There was wholehearted agreement that this is a good idea,” she said.

The 20 people involved in the 16 May forum included representatives from the New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian law societies, accredited specialists and members of the LIV Specialist Accreditation Board, National CPD Taskforce and the College of Law in Sydney and Victoria.

Ms McCormack said a National Accredited Specialisation Coordinating Committee had been set up to progress collaboration between the law societies.

Specialisation managers and chairs of specialisation boards across the nation would be invited to join the committee, which would meet via teleconference.

Ms McCormack expected the Law Society of Western Australia, which had previously been involved with the LIV in developing a family law accredited specialist program, would maintain involvement in the collaborative process.

She also expected that eventually practitioners in Tasmania, which did not have its own specialist program, would be invited to join the Victorian program.

Ms McCormack said the aim was to develop the same competency standards across the states for specialist accreditation and to collaboratively develop the assessment tasks to share the workload.

Ms McCormack said this would result in national branding and broader recognition for accredited specialisation.

The collaborative effort was aimed at national areas of law – immigration, family law, workplace relations and mediation.

Last year the LIV’s accredited specialist family law program was run in cooperation with the law societies of NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

In Victoria, more than 1000 practitioners have completed the accredited specialisation assessment process, with 776 currently practising.

This year LIV specialist accreditation assessments will run in business law, criminal law, commercial litigation, immigration, wills and estates, and workplace relations.

The subjects for specialist accreditation alternate biennially, and new assessment tasks are developed each time.

Practitioners from other states will take part in the Victorian program which includes a written exam, an oral test and a practical application component.

For more information on the LIV specialisation program, see http://www.cpd.liv.asn.au/categories.asp?cID=63.

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