CPD Requirements by Jurisdiction

This page provides the latest updates in CPD requirements and processes across Canada. After reviewing this information you can search the national CPD database to find activities to help meet your own personal requirements.

Alberta
In Alberta, all active lawyers must create and declare an annual written or electronic Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan. There is no minimum CPD hours requirement. On demand programming is accepted. The CPD Plan period is 1 year – March 16 to March 15. Lawyers may use resources at www.cpdalberta.ca or any other format of their choosing to create their CPD Plan. They must then make a declaration, between January 1 and March 15, that their CPD Plan has been made. The declaration can be made online through www.cpdalberta.ca  or in paper form on the Law Society’s Membership Information Update Form that is due with member fees and other membership information on or before March 15. The CPD Plan must be kept for 5 years and be produced to the Law Society on demand. Failure to create, declare, retain or produce a CPD Plan may be factors taken into account during proceedings under the Legal Profession Act (conduct, practice review or other regulatory processes of the Law Society). For additional information, visit HERE

British Columbia
In British Columbia, all practicing lawyers are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in accredited educational activities per year, including a minimum of two hours in professional responsibility, ethics, client care and relations, and practice management. The reporting period is 1 year - January 1 to December 31. Lawyers can view a list of approved courses and submit additional courses for approval via the Law Society’s website HERE. Credit is available from the Law Society for video replays where at least two lawyers or a lawyer and articled student are together for reviewing a recorded program at the same time (including by telephone or other real time communications technology). Lawyers can log in to the Law Society of BC site and apply for approval of a course before or after they view it. If the requirement is not met by April 1 of the following year, the lawyer will be suspended until completion of all required professional development. For additional information, visit HERE.

Manitoba
Commencing January 1, 2012, lawyers in Manitoba are required to complete one hour of eligible Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities for each month in the calendar year that they maintained active practicing status. If a lawyer maintained active practicing status for three or more months in the calendar year, one and a half (1.5 hours) of the total CPD hours required must relate to ethics, professional responsibility or practice management. Newly called lawyers will report their eligible CPD activities for their first full year of practice, for example, if called to the bar in June of 2012, the first report will be for the 2013 calendar year. The reporting period is 1 year – January 1 to December 31. The Law Society does not accredit or approve CPD activities – lawyers self-select activities based on the definition of eligible CPD. Video replay programs in an organized group setting qualify as eligible CPD. The CPD report will be filed as part of the member’s Annual Report due April 1 to coincide with the Law Society’s fiscal year. The first CPD report - relating to 2012 CPD activities - will be due April 1, 2013. In order to fully comply, a member must keep all documentation substantiating completion of CPD activities until December 31st of the following year. Failure to report CPD activities or late reporting of CPD activities will have the same consequences as failure to report or late reporting of the annual report. Consequences for non-compliance with the CPD requirement include administrative suspension. For additional information, visit HERE.

New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, all practicing lawyers are required to complete 12 hours of accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year. The reporting period is 1 year – January 1 to December 31. Lawyers can find a list of accredited activities and report their CPD online by following the “Report/Display your MPCS Hours Online” link on the Law Society’s website HERE.  Lawyers can also report their CPD hours via paper forms. CPD credits are available for the actual time spent by the lawyer participating in “real time” on-line courses, streamlining video, web and/or telephone courses with Q & A provisions established. In addition, credits can be claimed for reviewing a through previously recorded course for study group activity/ in-house educational sessions where: at least two lawyers are together for educational purposes, a lawyer chairs the meeting, and the meeting is structured. In addition, lawyers may claim up to 2 additional hours of viewing CPD Now and other on demand videos annually for self-study. All activities may be approved by the Law Society either by pre-approval of the provider; or approval, before or after the event at the request of the lawyer or the provider. Lawyers can submit activities for approval by completing the “Request Approval of MCPD Activity” form on the Law Society’s website. Lawyers who fail to comply with their CPD obligations by April 1 will be suspended. For additional information, visit HERE.

Newfoundland & Labrador
No mandatory Continuing Professional Development requirements have been announced to date.

Northwest Territories
In the Northwest Territories, lawyers are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year with at least two hours focused on legal ethics and professional responsibility. The reporting period is 1 year - April 1 to March 31. The Law Society does not accredit or approve programs – lawyers self-select activities based on the definition of professional development provided.  On demand programming is accepted. Lawyers must file a CPD Report & Plan as part of their Membership Renewal due March 31. The CPD Plan & Report asks lawyers to record their professional development through the previous year and to assess their practice and CPD plan for the coming year. Lawyers who have not fulfilled the mandatory CPD requirements may face an administrative suspension until the requirements are fulfilled. For additional information, visit HERE.

Nova Scotia
From June 1, 2012, all practicing lawyers in Nova Scotia are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually, and to report this education on their Annual Lawyer Report. The reporting year is June 1 to May 31. During the first year of the new requirement, CPD may be taken in any area relevant to a lawyer’s practice, delivered through an eligible CPD activity. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society does not accredit or approve CPD activities – lawyers self-select activities based on the definition of eligible CPD. On demand programming is accepted. In the second and subsequent years, the 12 hour requirement must include a minimum of two hours in each of three areas: Substantive Legal Education and Skills Development, Risk and Practice Management, and Professionalism. Lawyers who fail to complete the required hours by June 1, may seek permission to complete the remaining hours prior to June 30. Failure to complete any outstanding hours by the end of June will be treated the same as a failure to file the Annual Lawyer Report – and may result in administrative suspension. For additional information, visit HERE.

Nunavut
In Nunavut, as of January 31, 2013, all active members of the Law Society are required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of CPD annually, including at least 1 hour devoted to professional responsibility and ethics. As long as they abide by the CPD requirements set by the Law Society of Nunavut, members can use their 12 hours of CPD fulfilled in another jurisdiction. The Law Society does not accredit providers or subject matter. On demand programming is accepted. Self-reporting is completed using Appendix B of the annual membership renewal forms by January 31 of each year. Non-compliance for lack of activities or failure to report may lead to administrative suspension. An implementation period of 2 years (from January 31, 2013 to January 30, 2015) is set to give members the opportunity to voice any concerns and share comments about requirements of the CPD policy. For more information, click HERE

Ontario
In Ontario, lawyers and paralegals are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in eligible activities each year, with no less than 3 of the 12 hours accredited on topics related to ethics, professional responsibility and/or practice management ("Professionalism Hours"). New lawyers and paralegals in their first two years of practice may apply any program or activity that contains a minimum of 0.5 Professionalism Hours toward their annual CPD requirement. Viewing or listening to archived or recorded CPD programs without a colleague are eligible educational activities up to maximum of 6 hours per year. An additional six hours can be earned by viewing recorded CPD programs with at least one colleague. Lawyers are responsible to ensure that programs that contain ethics, practice management and professionalism topics are actually accredited for Professionalism Hours. Only Professionalism Hours must be accredited by the Law Society - substantive hours need not be accredited. The reporting period is 1 year – January 1 to December 31. Lawyers and paralegals must report their CPD Hours using the Law Society’s online portal HERE by December 31. Lawyers and paralegals who fail to comply with the CPD requirement will be administratively suspended until proof of completion of the missing hours has been reported to the Law Society. For additional information, visit HERE.

Prince Edward Island
In PEI, practicing lawyers are required to complete 24 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) over 2 years, including a total of 4 hours completed in any one or a combination of the following areas: professional responsibility; ethics; practice standards, the code of professional conduct; conflicts of interest; rules of the Law Society; client relations; and, practice management. New members, including transfers from other jurisdictions, are required to achieve one credit hour for each full or partial calendar month for the remainder of the term including the proportionate number of hours for professional responsibility. The reporting period is 2 years, with the first term commencing July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2013. Immediately thereafter, all terms will run for consecutive two year periods. The Law Society does not accredit or approve programs – lawyers self-select activities based on the overall subject matter requirements provided. On demand programming is accepted. Members are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the CPD requirement and for reporting of CPD activities as directed by the Law Society. A member who does not complete the minimum CPD requirements prior to the end of the term is subject to sanction, including suspension. For additional information, visit HERE.    

Quebec
In Quebec, all practicing lawyers must complete a minimum of 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in accredited educational activities every two years. The reporting period is two years – with the first period being from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011, and the second period being from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013, and so on. All CPD must be approved by the Comité and accredited activities are posted to the Law Society’s website under their Catalog of Approved Activities HERE.  CPD activities held or viewed outside of Québec and accredited by another Canadian bar or foreign bar as part of a mandatory CPD program in that other bar are automatically recognized by the Comité. Live and on-demand audio and webinar programming is accepted. Lawyers must self-report CPD activities annually by March 31 via a Training Statement through the Law Society’s online portal HERE , and must keep certificates of attendance for all activities at least two years after filing the prescribed form with the Law Society. Lawyers face administrative suspension from practice for failure to meet requirements by the end of every two-year period. For additional information, visit HERE.

Saskatchewan
In Saskatchewan, all lawyers are required to complete 36 hours of accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities in a three year term. No fewer than 6 of the 36 hours shall be in any one or a combination of the following areas: professional responsibility, ethics, practice standards, codes of conduct, conflicts, law society rules, client care and practice management. The first term commences on January 1, 2010 and ends on December 31, 2012. Thereafter, the term becomes a rolling three year period ie. at the beginning of each new year, the calendar year that is four years prior to the current year will no longer be included in the current term. Lawyers may view accredited activities and are required to report their CPD hours through their Member Profile on the Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.sk.ca .  Lawyers may apply to have additional activities accredited by completing a CPD Activity Application form also available on the website. In order to become an accredited CPD activity, an activity must either be pre-approved by the Law Society following a lawyer’s or provider’s application, or be delivered by an approved provider. CPD credits are available for the actual time spent by the lawyer participating in “real time” on-line courses, streamlining video, web and/or telephone courses with Q & A provisions established. Reviewing a recorded version of an accredited CPD activity as part of a group event or study group is eligible to become an accredited CPD activity.  Lawyers who do not complete the minimum CPD requirements by the end of the term are subject to administrative suspension.  For additional information, visit HERE .

Yukon
In Yukon, all practicing lawyers are required to complete 12 hours of professional development annually. 2012 is considered a “practice year” for mandatory CPD and members will be expected to report when they renew their membership for 2013. The reporting period is 1 year – January 1 to December 31. Mandatory content, such as ethics/professional responsibility, do not form part of Yukon’s CPD requirements. The Law Society of Yukon does not accredit providers or subject matter, but will have the discretion to determine that activities offered by a specific provider are not eligible activities if they do not adequately meet the activities set out in the Guidelines for Eligible CPD Activities. On demand programming is accepted.  CPD reporting is done once a year on Form 13 (Annual Declaration). The consequences for members who fail to fulfill the CPD requirements will be administrative sanctions in the nature of late fees, plus the requirement to make up the hours within a specified time period and, as a final consequence, administrative suspension. For additional information, visit HERE