Under the Law Society’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy, all active members are required to complete 12 hours of accredited CPD annually. The CPD term is a one-year period commencing on January 1st and ending on December 31st each year. This requirement combined with the ethics hours requirement constitutes the Minimum CPD Requirements under the CPD policy.
Not less than 2 hours of the required 12 hours must pertain primarily to any one or any combination of the following topics (“ethics hours”): professional responsibility; ethics; practice standards; The Code of Professional Conduct; conflict of interest; Rules of the Law Society; client care and relations; and practice management.
Refer to Schedule B in the CPD Policy for detailed “ethics hours” criteria.
All active members are required to meet the Minimum CPD Requirements in order to maintain practicing status.
All inactive members (i.e. those members who have submitted a declaration of non-practice) will receive an exemption at the rate of 1 CPD hour for each full month they are inactive in the current term. The Law Society will not review or assess the reasons for the member being inactive.
Those members who maintain their practicing certificate (and therefore, are considered “active” members) but who are not practicing can apply for a CPD hour exemption. The Director of Admissions & Education has the discretion to grant an exemption in exceptional circumstances.
For members who are inactive at the end of a term and who failed to meet the Minimum CPD Requirements for that term, reinstatement to active status may be conditional upon additional CPD requirements at the discretion of the Director of Admissions & Education.
For new members, your term commences on January 1st of the year you are admitted and the Minimum CPD Requirements will be adjusted to require one CPD hour for each full or partial calendar month for the remainder of the current year, including the proportionate number of ethics hours. For example, if you were admitted on July 1st, you will receive a credit for 6 CPD hours (1 of which will qualify for ethics) so you will only be required to report an additional 6 CPD hours (1 of which must qualify as ethics hours) by December 31st.
Yes, members will be allowed to carry over up to 12 CPD hours (2 of which can qualify as ethics hours) into the consecutive year. Therefore, if a member attends a multi-day CPD program that qualifies for more than 12 CPD hours, they will not lose those additional hours because they are able to carry over up to 12 hours into the consecutive calendar year.
No exemption is available for being too busy, such as having a lengthy trial.
Law Society Members, who are also members of another Canadian law society with comparable mandatory CPD requirements to Saskatchewan, may apply to the Director of Admissions & Education to request an exemption from the Minimum CPD Requirements. The Director may require the member to provide proof of completion of the mandatory CPD hours from another jurisdiction. The Director has the discretion to determine whether the requirements from another jurisdiction are sufficiently comparable to allow for an exemption and to limit the number of CPD hours to be exempted.
A lawyer who does not meet the Minimum CPD Requirements by the end of the term may be disqualified from active practice pursuant to Law Society Rule 721. Under special circumstances, the Executive Director of the Law Society may delay disqualification of a member for a specified period of time.
A lawyer who will not complete the Minimum CPD Requirements prior to the end of the term may submit a Remedial CPD Plan, along with the prescribed fee in Rule 1406, for review and approval by the Director of Admissions & Education. All remedial CPD activities must be completed by April 1st of the following year.
A late fee, as prescribed in Rule 1406, will be applied in situations where a member fails to comply with the CPD Policy by the December 31st deadline, but complies prior to being disqualified in the new year. The Director of Admissions & Education has the discretion to waive the late fee in special circumstances.
Under the CPD policy, lawyers are required to report their own CPD hours online. After completing an accredited CPD activity, lawyers report such activity in their Member Profile through the Law Society website.
Yes, when reporting CPD hours, a lawyer is entitled to report the actual number of hours that they attended/participated in the CPD activity. This means that if a lawyer attended a portion of a CPD activity (ie. came late, left early, etc.), they should report the actual hours they were there as opposed to the maximum hours the CPD activity is approved for. The Law Society may conduct random audits to monitor this issue.
Lawyers are responsible to ensure that the CPD hours they have reported in their Member Profile are correct. As well, lawyers are to retain records of their CPD activities and to make the records immediately available to the Law Society upon request.
CPD activities will be approved by the Law Society upon application by either a provider of the activity or by a lawyer wishing to attend the activity or presenting at the activity.
The subject matter of all Accredited CPD Activities must satisfy the following criteria:
Accredited CPD Activities will not be limited to subject matter dealing primarily with the practice of Saskatchewan or Canadian law. Accreditation may be obtained for subject matter relating to the law of other provinces and countries, if related to the conduct of the lawyer’s practice.
Generally speaking, credit will be given for the actual time a lawyer was in attendance at, or participating in, the CPD activity, excluding any time that was not related to the CPD activity, such as time spent on social breaks and/or meals. Partial hours shall be rounded up or down to the closest half hour.
Yes, the following additional types of CPD Activities are available for CPD hours:
The teaching must be in compliance with the overall subject matter requirements set out in the CPD Policy. CPD hours will not be available if the CPD activity is targeted primarily at clients. You are entitled to report three CPD hours for each hour you teach/present/instruct at an Accredited CPD activity. CPD hours will not be available for repeat teaching of substantially the same subject matter within the calendar year.
A lawyer who serves as a faculty member for a skills workshop or a panel member for a panel discussion will be entitled to report two CPD hours for each hour spent performing their role as a faculty or panel member. The workshop or panel must be part of an Accredited CPD activity.
CPD hours are available for writing law books, articles or other legal materials that are intended for publication, or to be included in course materials, including the preparation of materials for a CPD activity. CPD hours for writing will also be available for reviewing and updating legal materials intended for publication or inclusion in course materials, where the final product includes substantive new content. However, no CPD hours are available for simple editing or time spent preparing PowerPoint materials. CPD hours are available for writing based on the actual time spent to produce the final product, up to a maximum of six hours for each writing project. CPD hours are available for volunteer or part-time writing only, and not for writing that is done as a part of the lawyer’s full-time or regular employment. The available CPD hours for writing are in addition to the CPD hours available for teaching or serving as a faculty or panel member.
CPD hours are available for study group sessions where at least two or more lawyers meet (including by telephone or other real-time communications technology) to discuss content that is in compliance with the overall subject matter requirements set out in the CPD policy.
No CPD hours are available for work on individual client files. The CPD hours available for credit are the actual time spent attending the study group session, excluding any time that is not related to continuing professional development content. A lawyer must have overall administrative responsibility for each study group session and a lawyer must chair each session. No CPD hours are available for time spent reading materials, handouts or PowerPoint presentations, whether before or after the study group session.
CPD hours are available for the actual time spent attending a CPD activity provided by a local bar association in Saskatchewan, as well as for section meetings of the Canadian Bar Association, excluding any portion of the meeting that is not devoted to the CPD activity, such as time spent on meals.
No, these forms of learning are not currently available for CPD hours.
Yes, the Law Society provides a $50 discount to members who are required to travel 100kms or more (one-way) to attend in-person Law Society seminars. This discount applies to those seminars which will not be webcast live and for which a recorded version will not be available (however, there are some exceptions to this, where a travel discount will be available even if the seminar is being webcast and/or recorded). If a seminar is eligible for the travel discount, it will be noted in the pricing section of the registration form. If a seminar is offered in a location that is within 100kms of a member’s residence, but they choose to attend in a distant location, the member does not qualify for the travel discount.