he Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) has embarked on a comprehensive review of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) arrangements for their members.
A Working Group within ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) has been established and over the course of a year, the Group will be looking to improve and build on the existing CPD scheme, to make certain that it is as robust and effective as it can be in ensuring on-going competence and the professional development of members.
Background to the current review
CPD was introduced at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 1999 and it has been reviewed periodically since that time. The current scheme requires that members in the Associate, Graduate and Fellow grades should undertake a number of hours CPD commensurate with those grades and that in addition half of these hours should be in the member’s area of specialist practice.
The types of CPD that qualify are varied and include attendance at courses, law updates provided by ILEX Tutorial College, journal reading and in-house training provided by employers.
Last year, IPS made changes to the CPD scheme which means that members who have not submitted an online declaration to the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives for 2011 confirming their compliance with the CPD requirements have had their practising certificates suspended until they bring their records up to date.
It is clear from literature coming from PARN and other organisations that one of the purposes of CPD is to maintain and develop competence as a professional, and in pursuit of this goal, innovative methods of measuring the effectiveness of CPD to the individual are emerging. IPS is now beginning a further period of review, building on the solid CPD scheme which already exists.
Initial research indicates that many Chartered Institute of Legal Executives members of all grades carry out a range of CPD activities throughout the year.
Next steps for the Working Group include considering the possibility of a move towards an outputs-measured scheme, looking at the benefits that members have gained from the activity rather than simply ‘ticking the hours box’.
IPS will be undertaking a period of research into CPD schemes which exist both nationally and internationally, covering a selection of professions including the legal profession.
Using this information, together with the valuable research carried out by PARN, IPS will then be looking at how this information can be used to make CPD at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives work for the members, enabling them to demonstrate maintenance and development of knowledge and skills and fostering an ethos of lifelong learning.
This article appeared in PARN's CPD Spotlight newsletter in the Feb/March 2012 edition.