How CPD Requirements Differ For Legal Professionals Across Territories

Depending on the territory in which you operate as a legal professional, lawyer CPD requirements may differ slightly. Although the overarching rules are mostly the same, there are some key differences that should be noted. This is especially important for solicitors who might have relocated to work in a different state, as it cannot be assumed that the same rules will necessarily apply.

Let us take a brief look at how the CPD points for legal professionals might differ between states in some respects.

The Number of Mandatory CPD Points

All of Australia’s states require that some of the CPD points that a solicitor acquires be from a mandatory set of competency areas.

All territories require four mandatory CPD points in these areas – at least one from each. However, a notable exception to this is Queensland and the Northern Territory, which each only require three CPD points across three mandatory competency areas.

Mandatory CPD Competency Areas

Most states feature similar mandatory competency areas in which solicitors are required to earn annual CPD points. However, there are some differences between them.

All states require that at least one CPD point be earned in the area of legal ethics and professional responsibility. It is also required across all states that solicitors earn at least one CPD point in practice management and business skills. The third mandatory CPD point required in every territory relates to professional skills.

As noted before, Queensland and the Northern Territory require no more mandatory points than these three. However, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales all require an additional mandatory CPD point in the competency area of substantive law. The Australian Capital Territory specifies that one point be acquired in substantive law or procedural law.

A notable exception is South Australia, which is the only state to require a mandatory CPD point in the area of bullying, discrimination, and harassment instead of substantive law or procedural law.

Rules Regarding Recorded Sessions and Self-Study

Across all territories, one hour of engaging in a course ‒ whether in person or via a live webcast ‒ that satisfies CPD requirements will equal one CPD point. However, when it comes to attending recorded sessions, the rules differ slightly depending on which state you’re in.

  • The Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Victoria each allow an unlimited number of hours spent earning CPD points from recorded materials.
  • New South Wales, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania each impose a limit of five points in total that can be earned from self-study or the use of recorded materials.
  • Western Australia is the outlier, being a little stricter and limiting recording-based CPD points to a maximum of four per year.

At Legalwise Seminars, you can rest assured that all the mandatory lawyer CPD requirements will be met, regardless of which territory’s rules apply to you. Sign up today and ensure that you remain compliant!