Back to school – Why CPD is important
The leaves are starting to turn, the shoe polish is out, and the rucksacks are packed. It might be for the kids, but it’s also true for a lot of legal professionals across a myriad of sectors, as September arrives, and Continuing Professional Development courses begin to run again.
Once you have qualified as a solicitor, it is vital that you record your ongoing training with the SRA annually under a continuing competence declaration. Whilst it is less cumbersome than the previously dictated 16 hours of accredited CPD training from SRA approved suppliers, it is still often seen as a chore amongst legal professionals who feel training eats into their business development and fee earning time.
CPD is a critical part of being able to provide the best advice and service to your clients, and whilst there is an emphasis on your firm to be able to support your CPD requirements, there is a real sense of fulfillment in taking responsibility for your own training needs.
The most obvious purpose to keep up with Continuing Professional Development is the changing law and keeping your technical capabilities sharp. When there are proposed or actual legislative changes in your sector, it is critical to be up to date and to know how it could affect your caseload and clients.
Many firms have a dedicated arm of training, which either sits under their HR team or is the responsibility of each department’s Professional Support Lawyer. Your HR department should be able to guide you on who to speak to about your CPD.
CPD broadens your skillset and expands your knowledge. CPD can apply to your sector or any crossovers, so it really is a prime opportunity to improve both your business development and networking skills, allowing you to learn when cross-selling could be appropriate, and it affords you the ability to confidently support and promote colleagues.
Of course, CPD is part of an ongoing process, and can only be effective when it is consistent, relevant and tailored, so bear this in mind when deciding on what courses to attend and time to dedicate to your training.
On top of the many positives CPD can offer, dedicating time to developing yourself professionally will help you build a successful and satisfying career. It means you are constantly evolving, learning and progressing, keeping you at the top of your game and delivering the best advice and service.
If you don’t feel your firm is offering you what you need to progress your career, get in touch with our team to find out more about our clients who consistently put budget, effort and time into developing their staff.