The law firm network LawNet is gearing up its training and development delivery with the appointment of a specialist head of learning, in a move designed to tackle any changes arising from the SRA’s current consultation on the future of CPD, which could see an end to the current hours-based approach.
The aim is to provide a wider range of solutions that will enable the lawyers that make up the 2,000-strong membership to target their specific learning needs in different ways.
Peter Riddleston joins LawNet as head of learning, quality and development. A former lawyer, he has spent the last 11 years in professional training and development, including a stint at the College of Law and more recently with Landmark Information Group, where he developed their training programme for lawyers.
Leading developments for the network, he plans to add to its face-to-face training programme with the addition of extended online and interactive learning opportunities, alongside more member-led content. There will also be increased emphasis on drawing in delivery from other providers, to expand the offering with differentiated products designed to more closely match the needs of practitioners at different stages of experience, and for those moving into different roles, such as leadership.
He said: “We have a very good face-to-face offering, much of which is free at the point of delivery, and highly valued by the members, but I will be looking to build across the whole range to reflect the changing demands of the profession, drawing in new suppliers and providers to build a differentiated range suitable for members with varied training needs.
“What also stands out is the huge amount of knowledge and experience within the membership, and I will be looking at how that can be harnessed and shared to enhance our overall learning programme and provide members with tailored learning opportunities.”
He added: “The landscape for CPD training and development is at a crossroads. The response to the SRA’s consultation will guide the future direction, and this may involve a move away from an hours-based requirement towards satisfying demand shaped by an individual practitioner’s particular learning needs – what we need to do is help firms meet any new requirements by ensuring that our learning offering has their needs at its heart.”
Welcoming Riddleston to the network, John Thomas, chief executive of LawNet, said: “Our learning programmes are a key component of what gels the network together, and our members quite rightly demand leading-edge support. Peter’s past experience will play a vital role in enlarging our offering to existing members and new member firms joining the network.”