What is CPD
Originally launched in 1991 as the Continuing Legal Education Scheme, the current mandatory Continuing Professional Development Scheme (“CPD”) was introduced in 1998. The Scheme has applied to all trainee solicitors and to all solicitors with practicing certificates since 1 January 2003, although the Society may grant exemptions in very limited circumstances. In this sense, CPD is more in line with the concept of continuing professional education or life-long education.
Due to the developing nature of law and legal practice and to a lawyer’s professional obligation to keep up with the law, lawyers must continue to learn as they progress in their careers in order to be effective and successful. Lawyers should stay up to date with the ever-evolving landscape of the modern legal environment.
Solicitors must accumulate 15 CPD accreditation points each practice year, while a trainee solicitor must accumulate 30 points by the end of his period of employment as a trainee solicitor.
The CPD practice year runs from 1 November to 31 October in each year.
Sanctions for Non-compliance
For Solicitors who do not accumulate the necessary CPD points for the preceding CPD year (1 November – 31 October) will have their practicing certificates suspended or cancelled, unless they subsequently acquire the points by 15 December of the succeeding CPD year or provide acceptable factors for the non-compliance.
For trainee solicitor, failure to acquire the required number of 15 CPD points will be referred to the Conduct Section of the Compliance Department for investigation. In the absence of an acceptable explanation, the Council may suspend or cancel a trainee solicitor’s contract.
What is RME
RME or Risk Management Education aims to raise the awareness of risk issues and to promote good risk management in legal practices. Its objective is to minimize the risk of a person’s exposure to claims against him in the course of his professional practice and to reduce the extent of loss which may arise from such claims. Every lawyer and staff member are responsible for risk and risk management. Therefore, training lawyers and staff through Risk Management Education (RME) courses is very important.
The RME was introduced in November 2004 and now applies to all solicitors and trainee solicitors, as well as any registered foreign lawyer practicing as such in a Hong Kong law firm (“practitioner’)
A practitioner must complete the RME core before the expiry of the practice year in which the Rules first apply to them, and must thereafter in subsequent practice years attend at least 3 hours of elective courses annually. The practice year is the same as the CPD year namely a period of 12 months commencing on 1 November and ending on 31 October the following year.
A practitioner who does not satisfy his RME obligations in a particular practice year will have to complete them in the immediately succeeding year.
Sanctions for Non-compliance
A solicitor is required to make a statement of compliance with RME requirements when he/she applies for renewal of his practicing certificate. An incorrect or false statement may amount to misconduct and result in a referral by the Society to the Disciplinary Tribunal.
Sanctions for non-compliance with RME requirements are the same as in the CPD Scheme.
Where can you easily acquire CPD and RME points?
Legal Beagle Online Training helps Solicitors, Registered Foreign Lawyers and Trainee Solicitors in Hong Kong acquire their CPD and RME requirements in their most convenient time.
At Legal Beagle, we’ve tailored our solutions to meet the demands of legal professionals wanting to pursue their CPD and RME requirements in Hong Kong faster, easier and from a mobile source that can be accessed wherever and whenever needed. All course materials are available for online access giving solicitors the freedom to complete their requirements in a way that is entirely flexible to suit their needs.
Legal Beagle is basically Hong Kong’s principal provider of high quality and affordable online training that has been accredited by the Law Society of Hong Kong for RME and CPD requirements.
Legal Beagle is now the world’s largest online library of online video training accredited by the Law Society of Hong Kong. They have now more than 30 accredited CPD and RME courses. These courses are instructed by qualified Speakers who are experts in their specific fields.
Many of Hong Kong’s largest and leading law firms count Legal Beagle as their trusted partner to provide online CPD and online RME to their own Solicitors and Registered Foreign Lawyers. For more information, visit our website!