This symbol shows you the number of CPD Hours for your OBA program.
CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is defined by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) as the maintenance and enhancement of a lawyer’s professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and ethics throughout the individual’s career. As of January 1, 2011, every lawyer licensed to practise in Ontario must complete 12 hours of CPD each year, including a minimum of 3 Professionalism Hours devoted to topics of ethics, professionalism and/or practice management and up to 9 Substantive Hours.
The Law Society made several policy and process changes to the CPD requirement. The changes were effective April 26, 2012 and apply retroactively to January 1. While every effort has been made to ensure the information presented here is accurate and up-to-date, please refer to the LSUC website for more information regarding CPD.
The three hours of ethics, professionalism and/or practice management may take the form of stand-alone programs/activities or they may be incorporated into other CPD programs that include substantive material as well. Only Professionalism Hours must be accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Purely substantive material need not be accredited. It is important to note that to qualify for Professionalism Hours, any program or activity that deals with ethics, professionalism and/or practice management must be accredited in advance. The OBA will strive to have as many programs as possible accredited by LSUC for Professionalism hours, in addition to continuing to provide quality programs that will count towards a lawyer’s substantive CPD hours.
New Lawyer Requirement
New lawyers in their first two years of practice must also complete 12 hours of CPD per year and can apply any program or activity that contains a minimum of 0.5 Professionalism Hours toward their annual CPD requirement. As with established lawyers, new lawyers must complete a minimum of three Professionalism Hours and up to 9 Substantive Hours every year.
In addition to attending educational programs, lawyers can fulfill their annual CPD requirement though participation in a number of eligible CPD activities such as:
- Viewing archived webcasts, video replays, or other recorded program;
- Acting as an articling principle or mentoring or being mentored or supervising a paralegal field placement (qualifies to a maximum of six hours/year);
- Writing or editing books or articles (qualifies to a maximum of six hours/year),;
- Study group participation; and
- Educational components of any bar/law association meetings.
All of these activities must be on topics which relate to the individual’s practice, which can include the law in other jurisdictions or non-law topics as long as these topics are related to the individual's practice.
Teaching, which includes speaking at CPD programs such as those offered by the OBA, is credited on a 1:3 basis – for every hour of instruction, a teacher is credited with three hours toward his or her annual CPD requirement to reflect the teacher’s preparation time.
All lawyers must report their CPD online via the LSUC member portal and this can be done at any time in advance of the December 31st annual deadline. As a member benefit, OBA members can track their CPD hours online using tracking tool on the CBA professional development website.
Failure to Complete CPD Hours
Failure to complete CPD hours or reporting by the end of the calendar year will result in an administrative suspension which will continue until the necessary CPD hours are completed and reported. Random CPD audits will be done each year on a certain number of lawyers by the LSUC and will require proof of CPD activities.
OBA CPD Programs
A listing of upcoming OBA Continuing Professional Development programs, including the Substantive Hours and accredited Professionalism Hours for each program, can be found on the OBA website.