NSBS CPD Requirement

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society requires all practising lawyers to create an annual professional development plan and commit it to writing (see Regulation 8.3.6). Each year, lawyers will be asked to indicate on their Annual Lawyer Report whether they have prepared and written their CPD Plan and implemented their plan from the previous year.

For the current year ending on May 31, 2016, all practising lawyers are still expected to complete 12 hours of CPD and to keep a record of these hours for audit purposes. You will not be required to enter these hours on the CPD Log as in the past several years.

Commencing June 1, 2016, you will be expected to have your CPD Plan in place for the reporting year. You will be asked about this plan on your 2016 Annual Lawyer Report. If you report that you do not yet have a plan, the Society will follow up with you to ensure that you have a plan in place before the end of August.

Pursuant to Regulation 8.3.4, all practising lawyers are expected to complete a minimum of 12 hours of professional development in each reporting year.

Developing a CPD Plan
Use any type of professional development plan that works for your type of practice, as long as it is in writing and can be produced should the need arise. If you or your firm or other legal entity already have a structure for creating and implementing plans, you don’t need to change your methods. The Society will ask you to report each June if you have a plan, but your plan does not need to run from June 1 to May 31. Some organizations create professional development plans that operate over a calendar year. As long as you are able to report that you have a professional development plan in place at all times that you are practising, it need not coincide with the Society’s fee year.

Although there are no strict requirements for what may be included in your CPD Plan, it’s a good idea to include the following elements:

  • substantive legal education and skills development;
  • risk and practice management; and
  • professionalism and cultural competency

See the CPD Plans: General information section for model plans, samples, templates and suggestions for creating and assessing your plan.

Our Education & Credentials staff are also happy to assist you or your organization in creating a unique plan. For assistance, email us at CPD@nsbs.org or phone the CPD line at 902 422 1491 (ext. 371) and leave a message. We will respond as quickly as possible.

The NSBS CPD Requirement is a flexible and convenient method to ensure lawyers meet both their professional duty of competence and the Society’s public interest mandate, by implementing a regulatory program to ensure the ongoing competence and professionalism of lawyers in Nova Scotia. As the Society regulates lawyers in the public interest, it is important to be accountable and demonstrate to the public that lawyers maintain and strive for high levels of professionalism and competence in the practice of law. 

Extensions for declaring your professional development plan
To request formal extension for declaring (on your ALR) you have implemented your plan from the previous year and / or you have created your plan for the upcoming year, please use the CPD Extension Request form or CPD Exemption Request form. Prior to completing your request, please review the Policy regarding the Granting of Waivers (Extensions and Exemptions) to a Member's Continuing Professional Development requirement.

Please note the Society is no longer pro-rating hours. It is mandatory that lawyers in Nova Scotia create and declare a CPD Plan on their ALR and it is expected that each lawyer will complete a minimum of 12 hours yearly (see Regulation 8.3.4).