Monday 2 June 2014

Abolishing CPD

The SRA Training for tomorrow WORDLE

The Solicitor's Regulation Authority (SRA) are proposing to abolish CPD. Strangely this has not met with universal delight. Having concluded that the burden of confirming CPD compliance and approving providers was an administrative burden too far, the SRA has been working on abolition. During March there were apparently) events and roadshow to publicise a consultation on the Options to replace CPD. On 21 May, they announced the results .

Despite the lack of support for the favoured Option 1 (only 9% preferred it) and overwhelming support for the status quo (with less knobs - Option 3) (50% or 35 respondents overall but 9 of 13 local law societies and 6 out of 9 of professional representative bodies including the Law Society).

It would seem that solicitors are in the habit of acquiring CPD points with "no real focus on the quality or appropriateness of the professional development that has been undertaken". Despite being professionals the SRA believes that we are box tickers, who have fallen victim to the whiles of the CPD providers including our own professional bodies who generate income by providing box ticking opportunities.

The idea is that the detailed CPD requirements are otiose, since the Code of Conduct already requires regulated entities and individuals to deliver competent legal services and train and supervise their staff.

Most significantly, for me, the Consultation recognises that competence arises from "informal learning through day to day work".  Certainly that is the main way that firms develop and spread competence within their organisations. Once you have gone SOLO though, does that work as well?. It does, but its not as easy as you don't really want to learn from mistakes, but we certainly still learn from experience (or at least I do.)

There is to be "Guidance" that will be of particular use to sole practitioners! We await that.

It seems to me that this new approach is to be welcomed. Do we want IPREG to follow suit?

One of the other options came from the gold plating pen of the micro-managers and suggested a obligation to write a formal reflective log at regular intervals. The image of a mirror finished piece of wood has been with me ever since.

What I would like to happen is that training providers would offer genuine and effective training and not simply hours. There are things I want to learn to do better but I know that sitting in the back of a lecture hall will not help. I envy the pupil barristers who get the opportunity to learn from older members of the bar, for example. Approval of providers has not made them effective. It will be interesting what effect abandoning these restrictions will have on the market.

Looking forward to your  thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. My letter to ITMA all those years ago when ITMA decided to impose CPD on its members made all of those points - that CPD would be a box-ticking exercise, with points on offer for stuff that had no real value and no points for the things that (in my experience) actually led to development of one's professional skills.

    So while it is nice to hear that the SRA has come round to that view, my immediate reaction has to be "what took you so long?".