The poll, carried out earlier this year, also showed that 17% of solicitors were already using the hours-free ‘continuing competence’ system introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on 1 April this year. The existing regime will be phased out by 1 November 2016.
While 31% of solicitors said they did not know when they would be moving to the new scheme, 19% said they would be switching in six months, 15% in the next 12 months and 18% on the final day next year.
Despite the change, a large majority of solicitors (74%) predicted that they would be doing the same amount of CPD hours as before.
Almost half of the solicitors who responded to the poll, 45%, said they undertook 17-25 hours of CPD last year, with 19% doing exactly 16 hours – 2% said they did not know how much CPD they did.
In terms of knowledge of the new scheme, 44% described themselves as “unconfident”, with only 23% confident in their understanding.
More than half of the respondents’ firms (57%) had not made provisions to help with completing the annual declaration of competence solicitors will be required to make on the practising certificate applications.
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