A show of hands at the Law Society’s in-house division conference this week showed that only two out of around 200 attendees had moved to the new continuing competence regime, which becomes compulsory on 1 November 2016. This is in stark contrast to the SRA’s survey earlier this year in which nearly half of respondents (firms and solicitors) said they had moved to the new regime.
Many of the firms which have moved to the new regime will likely have done so because their existing approach to learning and development was already in line with the continuing competence approach. Where a firm already has a competence framework, an appraisal system which includes identify development areas for the year ahead, and a system for recording and evaluating learning activities, it’s largely a case of checking the process meets SRA requirements and communicating the change.
For firms and in-house teams that haven’t yet worked out how to implement the new system, there are plenty of resources out there. The SRA’s competence toolkit includes guidance and templates, as well as the full competence statement. CLT’s popular roadshow series will continue in September, with Keith Harper walking delegates through the requirements of the new regime and sharing his insight about practical approaches firms and in-house teams can take to implement a system appropriate for them.
The CLT Competence Gateway at www.competencegateway.com provides an easy platform for solicitors to record and reflect on their development activity and monitor their progress against the four competencies.
When asked by SRA director of education and training Julie Brannan how many were aware that the CPD regime was changing, nearly all 200 solicitors in attendance indicated that they knew about the changes. However, only two said they had moved to the new scheme.