Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Mandatory CPD was first introduced in the Northern Territory in April 2007. Amendments have been made to the CPD scheme which came into effect on 1 October 2012.
Practitioners have a continuing obligation to themselves and to the community to participate in professional development that improves their ability to engage in the practice of law, by extending their knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to their current and future practice needs. CPD allows them to meet this obligation.
As of 1 October 2012 practitioners are required to complete a minimum of 10 CPD points in a CPD year. The CPD year begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March the following year.
LSNT offers a variety of seminars and workshops to assist practitioners in accruing the required CPD points, including in the core competencies. CPD activities can be undertaken through a broad range of providers, professional organisations, educational institutions and in-house trainers. You decide which activities satisfy your individual requirements.
CPD points can be attained through a variety of activities - it's not just a matter of attending seminars at a set location, for example web streaming, DVDs, contributing to a professional journal such as Balance magazine, Interstate and overseas conferences can also attract points. Attending lectures or writing assignments or theses as part of post graduate study can also be used to accrue CPD points. There are limits to the number of points that can be accrued for certain activities - Points table.
CPD is an opportunity for you to develop your abilities as a solicitor/barrister and provide a higher standard of legal counsel to your client. Keeping up with the requirements under mandatory CPD won't be onerous, because you are probably doing it anyway. As a professional, you are probably spending time keeping up with new legislation and technology, improving your performance skills and understanding changing market environments. Mandatory CPD simple formalises this process.