The Regulations governing the current 2024 practice year CPD cycle define ‘Client Care & Professional Standards’ as “education or training (or both) relating to client care, professional standards and the regulation of solicitors, including (inter alia) in this category –

(i) client care,
(ii) professional standards for solicitors,
(iii) the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015 and regulations made thereunder,
(iv) accounting and anti-money laundering compliance,
(v) the Society’s Guidance Notes for Solicitors on Anti-Money Laundering Obligations,
(vi) risk management,
(vii) data protection,
(viii) the Solicitor’s Guide to Professional Conduct;
(ix) professional ethics and the maintenance of standards of best practice in complying with regulatory obligations;
(x) the processing of complaints against solicitors by the Society and the functions of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority and the courts in relation thereto, – as may be more particularly defined and specified in the Scheme”

Having attained the minimum Professional Development & Solicitor Wellbeing AND Client Care & Professional Standards CPD requirements for 2024, it is open to you to do the remainder of your 25 hours in Professional Development & Solicitor Wellbeing AND/OR Client Care & Professional Standards AND/OR General CPD (i.e. with no obligation in such event to undertake any General CPD topics).

Professional Standards CPD may only be claimed in respect of the professional standards and regulation of the solicitor’s profession only and not in respect of the regulation of other matters. Professional Standards encompass principles, core values and standards of behaviour expected of solicitors. They provide a code of conduct by which a solicitor should observe and adhere to, and s/he should avoid any behaviour or conduct inconsistent with such guiding rules and principles. 

According to the Regulations, “Given the potential for serious repercussions and consequences for a solicitor failing to manage his/her stress appropriately, training in stress management which is intended to alleviate work pressures, is also considered a risk management tool. Training relating to stress management in the workplace may include stress and thinking patterns, unhelpful thinking styles and challenging behaviours, managing boundaries, how to recognise and alleviate triggers for poor mental health, and how to avoid legal professional ‘burn-out’, in addition to mindfulness and how to enhance performance through same.

An excess of hours in the Client Care & Professional Standards category may be claimed towards the Professional Development & Solicitor Wellbeing category.