Back to Navigation

CPD Accreditation for Licensees

A. Introduction

B. Accreditation Criteria 

C. Individual Program Application Process 

D. Frequently Asked Questions — Accreditation Process

E. Frequently Asked Questions — Accreditation of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Content 

 A. Introduction

Lawyers and paralegals must complete in each calendar year at least 12 CPD Hours in Eligible Educational Activities, consisting of a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours and up to 9 Substantive Hours per year. 

Between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020, lawyers and paralegals must complete a total of 3 Professionalism Hours that focus on advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in the lawyer and paralegal professions. Each year thereafter, lawyers and paralegals must complete 1 Professionalism Hour that addresses equality, diversity and inclusion principles. These hours count towards the 3 Professionalism Hours required each year.  

Only Professionalism Hours must be accredited by the Law Society. The remaining 9 Substantive Hours need not be accredited. Substantive Hours may address substantive or procedural law topics and/or related skills. Non-legal subjects may also be eligible towards Substantive Hours if they are relevant to the lawyer's or paralegal's practice and professional development.
 

B. Accreditation Criteria

Programs and activities must meet the standards outlined in the Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours in order to qualify for accreditation.

In order to be eligible for Professionalism Hours, programs and activities may address topics from one or more of the following categories of professionalism content: professional responsibility, ethics, practice management and/or equality, diversity and inclusion. Professionalism content may be included as one or more topics within a substantive law program; offered as part of a series of programs related by subject matter; or presented as a stand-alone program. Alternate eligible educational activities such as teaching, writing/editing, mentoring, and study groups may also be accredited for Professionalism Hours if they address professionalism topics.

Professionalism Hours are calculated based on actual time spent on professionalism topics in a program or activity. For example, where a program contains 1 hour of professionalism content, the program will be accredited for 1 Professionalism Hour. Substantive content included in the same program does not need to be accredited to be eligible for Substantive Hours. A minimum of 15 minutes of professionalism content must be included in the program or activity to be eligible for accreditation.
 

C. Individual Application Process

1. Application Date

Content should receive accreditation from the Law Society prior to the delivery date of the program or activity.

2. Application Forms and Deadlines

(a) CPD Programs

Application for Accreditation
To facilitate accreditation of Professionalism Hours in advance of the delivery date of the program, providers must submit a completed Application for Accreditation - Program (PDF) together with a highlighted program agenda, a minimum of 30 days prior to the delivery date of the program.

Application for Re-accreditation
Providers whose CPD program was accredited by the Law Society for Professionalism Hours prior to December 31, 2017 may apply to have the program re-accredited to take into account the part or parts of the program that focus on EDI topics. To apply for re-accreditation, providers must submit a completed copy of the Application for Re-accreditation – Program (PDF) together with all supporting documentation a minimum of 30 days prior to the program date.

(b) CPD Activities

Lawyers and paralegals seeking accreditation of activities such as teaching, writing, study groups or mentoring must complete an Application for Accreditation - Alternate Eligible Educational Activities (PDF) a minimum of 30 days in advance of the commencement date of the proposed activity.

3. Expedited Review

Applications submitted fewer than 30 days prior to the program date may not be considered for accreditation prior to the program date unless the applicant makes an expedited review request to the Law Society for special consideration. 

Requests for special consideration will only be granted in circumstances where a program is:

i. being expedited to address a change in legislation or procedure, a precedent-setting decision or other time-sensitive issue; and
ii. scheduled at least three days from the Application date.

The Law Society will review each application for completeness upon receipt. If the Application is approved, the Law Society will notify the provider or licensee as to whether the program is accredited for Professionalism Hours. If additional information or revisions are required to complete the Application, the Law Society will notify the applicant. The applicant may then revise and resubmit the Application.

4. Response Time

The Law Society will endeavour to respond to applicants within 15 business days from the initial receipt of a completed Application. Accreditation review may be delayed if the Application is incomplete or if more information is required.

5. Communication Guidelines

See Communication Guidelines for Providers.

6. Accreditation Period

Accreditation is valid as long as the content is aligned with the Accreditation Criteria for Professionalism Hours. Providers must routinely review and, where applicable, update their archived content to ensure that it remains current and relevant.

7. Changes to Accredited Programs or Activities

The Law Society recognizes that changes to the program or activity content may occur after the program has been accredited. If a change is made to the title or timing of an accredited program, the provider is required to notify the Law Society. If significant changes are made to the program or activity content, the provider or member must reapply for accreditation.

8. Record-Keeping and Monitoring

Providers whose program content has been accredited by the Law Society are required to implement record-keeping systems and be able to provide licensees with written confirmation of their registration at the program. The Law Society may also require providers to submit the registration and/or attendance records of the licensees who registered and/or attended the accredited program.

To validate the information contained in the Application and to assess the content of an accredited program or activity, the Law Society may

  1. attend the program; and
  2. require the provider to supply a copy of the program materials.

In addition, licensees should retain materials such as agendas, papers, and discussion notes on file until the end of the year following the year in which the accredited program or activity was completed. For a detailed outline of required documentation according to the type of eligible educational activity, please see Record Keeping Standards - Evidence of Compliance with Section 4 of By-Law 6.1 (PDF)

9. Application Information and Law Society Portal

Licensees enter program details on their own using a free-form entry screen, including those that contain Professionalism Hours.

Once a program is accredited for Professionalism Hours the Law Society will notify the provider. The provider is responsible for ensuring attendees have all of the program information to allow them to enter their attendance on the Law Society’s Portal. The Law Society will have accreditation information for programs approved outside of the Accredited Provider Framework. For attendance at Accredited Provider programs, please contact the provider directly for program information. The Law Society agrees to keep Applications from providers, including information about program agendas, confidential.

Once an activity is accredited for Professionalism Hours, the Law Society will notify the licensee. Once the accredited activity is completed, the licensee can log into their Portal account to update their hours to reflect the hours listed on the Notice of Accreditation.  

10. Revocation of Accreditation

If Law Society monitoring reveals that a provider's accredited professionalism content does not meet the criteria, accreditation for the Professionalism Hours of that provider's program may be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the Executive Director, Professional Development and Competence of the Law Society.

Questions?

For additional information please contact us by e-mail at cpdacc@lso.ca or by phone at 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315 or 416-947-3300, ext. 3315.

Terms or Concepts Explained