IPReg's approach to Continuing Competence is fundamentally changing. All attorneys should carefully read the Continuing Competence guidance which sets out our new requirements. The guidance explains the move away from the current, prescriptive ‘hours- based’ model of continuing professional development (‘CPD’) to a more flexible approach of maintaining competence through regular self-evaluation and development.
You can access the webinar on Continuing Competence IPReg held with CITMA and CIPA on 21 September, here.
How will the transition between the two approaches work in practice?
When attorneys come to complete their annual return at the end of the 2023 calendar year, they will be asked to make a Continuing Competence Declaration. They will need to confirm that they have:
- reflected on their practice over the course of the year
- identified learning or development needs or opportunities to embed their understanding of a particular area
- put in place steps to meet those needs or opportunities
- recorded what they have done.
IPReg will not require attorneys to upload evidence that they have reflected on their practice, but as part of our assurance processes we will ask some attorneys to provide their records to us over the next 18 months. The purpose of this is not to punish failures to follow the new process, but to understand how well the new rules are becoming embedded, identify whether there are any obstacles in place preventing attorneys from complying with the new rules and sharing best practice across the professions more widely.
If an attorney will be going on long term leave (such as sick leave or maternity/paternity leave) before 1 July 2023 and will not be returning to active practice before 31 December 2023, they will still be required to make the Continuing Competence Declaration. They should therefore have recorded the activities undertaken and if later asked by IPReg, be able to explain why they chose those CPD activities and whether they met an identified development need. Attorneys returning to work following long periods of leave should always reflect on their practice and take steps to consider what learning of development activities they may need to undertake to ensure they remain competent to practise.