Maintaining Your Specialisation

Accredited specialists are required to meet a number of requirements to ensure that they comply with the Accredited Specialisation Rules.

To maintain your specialist status, you must:

  • hold membership with the Law Institute of Victoria 
  • hold a current practising certificate
  • maintain substantial involvement in your area of specialty – this shall mean legal work in the area of practice for which accreditation is held, which is equivalent to at least 25 per cent of the total work load of a practitioner engaged in full time practice, which is considered to be equivalent to 460 hours per year
  • pay the requisite annual fees for your membership and accreditation.

Re-Accreditation

You are required to apply for re-accreditation once every three years following your conferral as an accredited specialist. You will be notified of the re-accreditation application requirements in early April in the year your re-accreditation is required. You will be required to complete and return your Re-Accreditation form. Following the acceptance of your re-accreditation, you will be re-issued a Certificate of Accreditation for the following three-year period. Download application for reaccreditation form

Change in Circumstances

An accredited specialist who becomes unable to satisfy the conditions for maintaining accreditation must notify the Secretary of the Board in writing of such change in circumstances at the earliest practical date. 

Leave of Absence

If you are unable to satisfy the conditions for maintaining accreditation due to a change in circumstance involving your level of involvement in their area of accreditation, you must, in order for the accreditation to continue, apply in writing to the Board for a leave of absence of up to two consecutive years. If you are seeking a leave of absence, please submit the Leave of Absence Request form.

Return from Leave of Absence

No later than 28 days prior to the expiration of the leave of absence period or such other period the Board may determine, you must make written application to the Board for approval of your return from a leave of absence as an accredited specialist, and include in the application evidence of satisfying the conditions while on a leave of absence, such as CPD obligations and substantial involvement. If you are seeking to return from a leave of absence, please submit the Return from Leave of Absence form.

CPD Requirements

As an accredited specialist, you must complete a total of 12 hours (12 CPD Scheme units) between 1 April and 31 March each year to maintain your accreditation.

  • Eight of the 12 units must be in your area of specialisation.
  • The remaining four units can be in any area which may include the compulsory units:
    • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    • Professional Skills
    • Substantive Law
    • Practice Management and Business Skills.

Completion of these 12 unit requirements will ensure compliance with the 10 unit requirement under the Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Solicitor) Rules 2015 (as long as the compulsory units are completed).

If you hold more than one area of accredited specialisation, eight CPD units must be completed in each area of specialisation.

All accredited specialists should record their involvement in CPD activities throughout the year. An online recording tool is available to members via your My LIV portal or a spread sheet template can be supplied upon request.

Each year accredited specialists confirm they have complied with the CPD requirements to maintain their Accredited Specialisation through the annual Accredited Specialisation CPD reporting process. The reporting process requires accredited specialists to either submit a CPD report or CPD declaration confirming compliance with the requirements of the Rules regarding CPD.

CPD Report Format

The CPD report should be set out with the following information:

  • date of each activity
  • title of the activity
  • provider
  • format of the activity (eg seminar, workshop, study group)
  • relevance to your practice area and
  • number of CPD units claimed.

The report can be used for both the Accredited Specialisation Scheme and the CPD Scheme reporting requirements. Download the CPD Report Template (DOC).

Who Needs to Submit a CPD Report?

In the first three full CPD cycles (April 1–March 31) after obtaining accreditation, each specialist must submit a CPD report to the Board by the prescribed date.

You will also be required to submit a CPD report if:

  • you have been selected as part of the random audit
  • your area of law has been subject to significant change
  • you have returned from a leave of absence within the last 12 months
  • you have previously experienced difficulty in complying with the requirements for continuing accreditation.

Accredited specialists will be notified via email in April each year to advise whether they are required to submit a CPD report or CPD declaration.