The Bar Council has slammed the Bar Standards Board’s forthcoming continuing professional development regime as being burdensome, complicated, unfit for purpose, and involving “pointless” self-assessment. It warned that the scheme would lead to “many practitioners” being “likely to fail in their compliance”.
Many at the Bar and beyond will be familiar with the ‘10,000 hours’ theory – put forth by Swedish psychologist K Anders Ericsson and further propagated by popular writer Malcolm Gladwell. That is: the formula for success, in any field, is 10,000 hours of practice. Integral to this, but perhaps less well known, is the notion that such practice needs to be deliberate – carefully structured and executed in a way that will have the greatest results for performance. In other words, quality matters just as much as, if not more than, quantity.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has said that over 200 law firms of all sizes have opted into its new ‘continuing competence’ regime. From 1 April firms have been able to leave behind the old hours-based continuing professional development system.
The Legal Services Board has approved the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s proposals for changes to the CPD system, with hours-based CPD requirements for solicitors set to become a thing of the past. I believe this presents a great opportunity for the profession to raise the bar through a culture of learning, although it will demand a significant change in attitude for some.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s high-profile move away from the annual minimum 16 hour CPD requirement has been well documented and most in the profession will by now be aware that the change will be phased in from this spring and fully implemented by 1 November 2016. But does this really mean the end of (continuing) professional development training for solicitors?
What’s your favourite time of year? Mine is April, but not this year. Other are conspiring against me—the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the government, the Legal Services Board, the Legal Ombudsman, HM Treasury and even the European Commission.
Failure to undertake continuous professional development will be an “aggravating factor” when enforcement decisions are made against those guilty of incompetence, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said.
The Bar Council has warned of a potential “cost to quality”, following an announcement from the Bar Standards Board (BSB) that from next month it will only accredit CPD providers, and not individual courses.
Online training company Datalaw has secured a six figure investment from a northern venture capital fund and promised to quadruple the number of its continuous professional development (CPD) courses.
Almost a fifth of firms have reported “failures in competent legal service delivery” in the last 12 months, a major study for the Solicitors Regulation Authority has found.