Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for legal practitioners

Legal practitioners in most jurisdictions across Australia are required to undertake mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity in order to maintain their practising certificate.

Practitioners who undertake a course or subject in the Melbourne Law Masters program that is relevant to their professional development and practice may be eligible to earn CPD points through their study.

Undertaking your CPD through the Melbourne Law Masters gives you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills as a legal practitioner and improve the level of legal counsel you provide to your clients. It can also help you maintain a competitive edge in your area of practice and may assist those looking to move to a different area of practice.

The following information provides further details on the CPD requirements of each state and territory in Australia so that Melbourne Law Masters students, as well as those considering studying with us, can easily identify the relevant requirements.

Please note the following information is intended as a guide only. Practitioners are advised to check with the CPD governing body in their jurisdiction for the most accurate and up to date information.

 

Victoria

Victorian Solicitors

The CPD Scheme in Victoria requires all legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in Victoria to undertake 10 units of CPD activity each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may contribute to your CPD requirements if they are relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of law. 

The CPD Scheme for Victorian practitioners is self assessed and practitioners undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may claim one CPD unit per hour of attendance (excluding refreshment breaks). Practitioners should be aware that CPD points must be earned across four compulsory fields.

Victorian Barristers

Victoria's Compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Rules require barristers holding a practising certificate issued by the Victorian Bar to earn at least 10 CPD points each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may contribute to Victorian barristers' compulsory CPD requirements. Rule 5(f) of the CPD Rules 2008 states that a barrister may claim three CPD points for each semester as a student in an advanced study course such as a Graduate Diploma or Masters degree in Law.

There is no limit to the number of CPD points barristers may claim each year for participation in this type of CPD activity however you should be aware that CPD activities undertaken must cover four compulsory legal fields as specified in the CPD Rules 2008.

 

New South Wales

New South Wales CPD Requirements

All legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in New South Wales are required to undertake 10 units of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) in each MCLE year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may contribute to your MCLE requirements if they are relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of law. 

New South Wales Solicitors

The MCLE Scheme for New South Wales practitioners is self assessed and practitioners undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may claim one CPD unit per hour of attendance (excluding refreshment breaks).

New South Wales Barristers

Barristers in New South Wales must contact the NSW Bar Association to request accreditation for any external professional development activity and provide details of the activity undertaken:

 

Queensland

Queensland Solicitors

The Queensland Law Society requires all legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in Queensland to undertake 10 units of CPD activities in each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters can contribute to your CPD requirements if they are relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of law.

Practitioners undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters can claim five CPD units per subject. There is no limit to the number of CPD units practitioners may claim each year for participation in this type of CPD activity.

Queensland Barristers

All legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in Queensland are required to undertake 10 points of CPD activities in each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may contribute to your CPD requirements subject to the requirement that the sessions are live, interactive programs and relate to the practice of a barrister.  

Barristers undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters can claim ten CPD points on successful completion of assessment. If you consider that a mandatory strand of Ethics, Advocacy or Practice Management applies to the subject please contact the BAQ CPD Committee for further accreditation.

 

Western Australia

Western Australian Solicitors and Barristers

The Legal Practice Board of Western Australia requires all legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in WA to undertake 10 points of CPD activities in each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in WA who are undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters can apply to the Legal Practice Board of WA for accreditation of their studies. Participants will receive seven CPD points for each approved subject undertaken (once approved).

Practitioners are advised that applications for approval of CPD activity can be made retrospectively and should be made no more than two months after the subject has been completed to avoid further application fees. Application forms are available on the Legal Practice Board's website.

Practitioners should note that CPD points must be earned across three competency areas and should check with the Legal Practice Board of WA for detailed information regarding the required competency areas required for their level of experience.

 

South Australia

South Australian Solicitors and Barristers

As of February 2012, there is now mandatory CPD. The South Australian Law Society requires all legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in South Australia to undertake 10 units of CPD activity each CPD year. Practitioners must now undertake ten units including one unit in practical legal ethics, professional skills and one in practice management or business skills.

 

Tasmania

Tasmanian Solicitors and Barristers

There is currently no requirement for legal practitioners to undertake mandatory CPD in Tasmania.   

 

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Solicitors

The ACT does not currently have a mandatory CPD requirement for solicitors. The 2008 Annual General Meeting of the ACT Law Society resolved to introduce mandatory CPD in the future however the scheme's requirements have yet to be determined.

 

ACT Barristers

All barristers holding a practising certificate in the ACT are currently required to undertake 10 points of CPD activities in each CPD year (1 April to 31 March). The CPD Scheme for ACT barristers is self assessed and practitioners may be entitled claim one CPD point per hour of attendance (excluding breaks). Barristers should be aware that CPD points must be earned across four compulsory strands (minimum of one point in each strand).

 

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Barristers and Solicitors

The Law Society Northern Territory requires all legal practitioners holding a practising certificate in the Northern Territory to undertake 12 points of CPD activities in each CPD year (1 April to 31 March).

Courses and subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may contribute to your CPD requirements if they are relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of law.

Practitioners undertaking courses or subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters may claim a maximum of six CPD points per year for each subject undertaken.