Newsletter – June 2023
From the CEO
The CLSB recently carried out this year’s audit of Costs Lawyers’ CPD records. This was the second audit conducted under the new CPD Rules, which came into force in January 2021. We have drawn on the findings of the audits to update our CPD resources, and I would like to highlight some of the improvements we’ve made along with tips for thinking about your own training and development needs.
Following this year’s audit, we collated key feedback for Costs Lawyers in a lessons learned webpage. Here are some highlights:
- Make sure the CPD objectives you set are specific, reflecting your own practice, existing skills and any learning needs. This will ensure you get the most out of the process, which is designed to benefit you and your clients; it is not just a box-ticking exercise. If your role changes throughout the year, consider whether your objectives remain relevant and up to date.
- Keep good written records of CPD planning, objectives, activity and evaluation. We will look at this closely if you are audited. If you change firm during the year, make sure you take your evidence with you.
- Planning your CPD at the start of the year will help ensure you undertake CPD activities that are relevant and interesting to you, rather than doing whatever is available at the end of the year to reach the minimum points required.
- Think about any emerging issues and how they might affect your practice. In recent audits, many Costs Lawyers had reflected on the increase in solicitor-client disputes and the training needs they presented, with others considering how their practice had changed in light of the pandemic.
- Remember to keep records of CPD activities you undertake for two years. Keeping track of this information as you complete your CPD, and storing it in a single place, will ensure you can respond to an audit request promptly and without unnecessary worry.
Based on these themes, we have updated our CPD Guidance to include a new section on the different ways in which you can evidence your CPD (see new paragraphs 34 to 37). We have also updated our template form for planning and recording your CPD, to add more tips and hints, as well as a new question in the annual assessment section (see question 4). Please use the latest version of the template going forward.
Our CPD resources – including the Guidance, the template, a worked example of how to complete the template, and extensive FAQs – can all be found on our CPD webpage.