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Continuing professional development

Find out about the continuing professional development requirements, including changes for 2020/21.

If you hold a current practising certificate, you need to complete 10 hours of CPD activities each year. The CPD year runs from 1 April through to 31 March of the following year.

For the 2020/21 practising year the cap on private study of 5 hours has been removed due to COVID-19.

10 units of CPD is still required to be completed by 31 March 2021, but can be done through private study of relevant audio/visual material. 

When completing your 2020/21 practising certificate renewal application you can tick the ‘Yes’ box even if, due to the special circumstances arising from COVID-19, you have exceeded the 5 unit cap on private study of audio/visual material to complete your required 10 CPD units. The PC renewal process will then proceed as normal.

There are other limits to the number of hours you can do for each activity, please see the table below.

CPD Activity Units of Activity Limits that Apply
Participate in a lecture, seminar, workshop or discussion group 1 unit per hour of activity No limits
Research, prepare and/or edit a legal article 1 unit per 1,000 words No more than 5 CPD units per year
Prepare and/or present CPD activity 1 unit per hour of activity No more than 5 CPD units per year
Be a member of a legal committee, taskforce or practice section 1 unit per 2 hours of activity No more than 3 CPD units per year
Postgraduate studies 1 unit per hour of activity No limits
Private study of audio/visual materials or other educational activities 1 unit per hour of activity No limits for the 2020/21 practising year

 

Proceed with your practising certificate application and select ‘No’ to the question regarding continuing professional development (CPD). We may not process your application until you have met the requirements.

After submitting your PC application form you’ll receive a written notice asking you to submit a rectification plan within 21 days. Your plan must set out the CPD activities that you intend to take to make up for the CPD you missed, and you will be given 90 days to complete those activities. You can download a rectification plan template here.

You can get an exemption from completing some or all of your CPD activities for the year under certain circumstances. Some reasons for exemption include:

  • if you have a disability or you have suffered an illness;
  • if you work in a remote area and do not have access to CPD resources; and
  • if you work part time, or reduced hours.

To apply for an exemption, please contact the Victorian Bar (for barristers) or the LIV (for solicitors). 

You can get an exemption if you only practised for part of the CPD year. In this case you only need to complete CPD units for the time that you held a practising certificate. The pro-rata calculation table in the CPD rules will show you how many units you need to complete. If you have met the pro-rata CPD units you can select 'Yes' to the continuing professional development question on the renewal application.

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