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CPD compulsory fields

Under rule 6, the required 10 CPD units must include at least 1 CPD unit in each of the four compulsory fields –

  • ethics and professional responsibility
  • practice management and business skills
  • professional skills
  • substantive law

Examples of CPD activities in each compulsory field

The following are examples of some topics within each compulsory field. They are provided by way of illustration only, and are not intended to be exhaustive.

Ethics and professional responsibility

  • requirements of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015
  • duty to the court
  • duty not to abuse the court process
  • duty not to abuse the administration of justice
  • duty of competence
  • duty of confidentiality
  • professional privilege
  • conflicts of interest
  • undertakings
  • professional courtesy
  • how to identify an ethical issue
  • ethical duties in advocacy
  • when can/should you breach your duty of confidentiality
  • when can/should you report your client to the police?
  • communicating directly with third parties

Practice management and business skills

  • requirements of the Legal Profession Uniform Law General Rules 2015
  • costs disclosure
  • costs agreements
  • billing
  • negotiating fees
  • costs review
  • trust account record keeping
  • risk management
  • file management
  • how to ensure deadlines are met
  • employment-related equal opportunity & discrimination law
  • OH&S law
  • staff management & HR
  • superannuation for sole practitioners
  • income protection for self-employed practitioners
  • financial planning
  • business planning
  • cash-flow management
  • growth and development of a business
  • succession planning
  • taxation planning
  • how to finance a practice
  • business structures
  • effective use of technology
  • the electronic library
  • understanding and interpreting financial statements

Professional skills

  • effective communication skills
  • issues in cross-cultural communication
  • client interviewing – principles and techniques
  • preparing for a client interview
  • taking a witness statement
  • interviewing and the use of interpreters
  • giving oral advice – how to break bad news
  • giving advice – identifying options
  • plain English advice
  • how can I be sure my client understands me?
  • plain English letter-writing
  • plain English drafting
  • use of precedents
  • negotiation – principles and techniques
  • negotiation – the principled approach vs the positional bargainer
  • when is “without prejudice” effective?
  • drafting terms of settlement
  • lawyer’s role in mediation
  • conducting a mediation
  • advocacy for solicitors
  • appearing before tribunals
  • presenting a plea in the Magistrates’ Court
  • legal research

Substantive law

  • must deal primarily with matters related to your practice of law – see rule 7.1.1
  • must extend your knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to your practice needs or professional development – see rule 7.1.3