On May 26, 2022, Convocation is considering recommendations from the Competence Task Force. The key recommendations are outlined below:
- Effective January 2024, all licensees who are designating as sole practitioners for the first time would be required to take a practice essentials course comprised of practical training on foundational practice and business management topics.
- The Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines be amended to adopt the commentary regarding technological competence included in the Model Code of Professional Conduct.
- The Certified Specialist Program be wound up, effective September 1, 2022, with:
- current Certified Specialists able to use the C.S. designation until they cease practicing; and
- the Indigenous Legal Issues specialization continued subject to any future recommendation made by the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee to Convocation regarding the specialization.
- The six-hour limit on claiming archived or recorded CPD credit be eliminated.
I am in support of the recommendations, especially the practice essential course for practitioners. Spot audits are not enough. We need to be proactive in preventing problems.
The foundational program should be standardized. The content should cover client communications, template letters, billing, the Rules of Professional Conduct, Bylaws, and other areas of concern identified by LawPro. This course should be divided into short sections, ideally communicated with graphics and narrated by a professional. It should be based on an eLearn software. It should not be a patchwork of past CPD programs (ie a recording of a panel). The format needs to provide consistent content in an entertaining way, which eLearn software programs are apt to do.