Continuing competence


The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) uses continuing competence to make sure solicitors can do their jobs to the standard expected of them.

Continuing competence focuses on:

  • identifying and reviewing your learning needs
  • undertaking learning to meet your needs
  • reflecting on your learning
  • identifying and reviewing future learning needs

Continuing competence replaced continuing professional development (CPD) on 1 November 2016.

Under CPD you had to complete a certain number of hours of specified activities each year, with courses and learning provided by approved organisations. Some firms may have decided to keep using this method.

But any activity that helps you meet your learning needs counts towards continuing competence, and there is no target for the number of hours you have to spend learning.

You must complete an annual declaration when you renew your practising certificate, even if you do not identify any learning needs. The annual declaration states you’ve:

  • reflected on your practice
  • identified and addressed any learning and development needs