Rely on the most comprehensive, up-to-date legal content designed and curated by lawyers for lawyers
Work faster and smarter to improve your drafting productivity without increasing risk
Accelerate the creation and use of high quality and trusted legal documents and forms
Streamline how you manage your legal business with proven tools and processes
Manage risk and compliance in your organisation to reduce your risk profile
Stay up to date and informed with insights from our trusted experts, news and information sources
Access the best content in the industry, effortlessly — confident that your news is trustworthy and up to date.
With over 30 practice areas, we have all bases covered. Find out how we can help
Our trusted tax intelligence solutions, highly-regarded exam training and education materials help guide and tutor Tax professionals
Regulatory, business information and analytics solutions that help professionals make better decisions
A leading provider of software platforms for professional services firms
In-depth analysis, commentary and practical information to help you protect your business
LexisNexis Blogs shed light on topics affecting the legal profession and the issues you're facing
Legal professionals trust us to help navigate change. Find out how we help ensure they exceed expectations
Lex Chat is a LexisNexis current affairs podcast sharing insights on topics for the legal profession
Printer Friendly Version
By Beth Pipe
In training circles we often talk about there being three types of attendees on courses. Delegates (those who want to be there), Prisoners (those who have been sent) and Holidaymakers (those who have no real interest in the course but at least it’s a day out of the office). When working with law firms there is a fourth kind – the CPD Conscripts who are only attending because they need the CPD points. CPD Conscripts are easy to spot as they sit at the back of the room and only break their steely glare to send and receive emails on their ever present Blackberry. Good job we only generally see them in October.
The SRA are looking to put an end to CPD Conscripts by substantially changing their approach to learning as part of their “Training for Tomorrow” programme. They’re doing all of the right things, they’ve launched a consultation document and they are actively looking for input before they make any changes, the problem I fear they may face is a lack of engagement, which is a shame as this is the perfect opportunity to do something positive about Learning and Development (L&D) within law firms.
In summary, they are laying out three options – and they’re looking for your feedback.
Though option one is by far the most progressive and “grown up” of the options, it will require a fundamental shift in the approach to L&D for many law firms. I deliver courses across a variety of public and private sector organisations and nowhere am I asked to squeeze a quart into a pint pot as often as I am in the legal sector. Courses which may take 1-2 days elsewhere need to be compacted into two hour sessions, often over a lunch break, resulting in a training room so full of food we may as well deliver the session in the canteen and be done with it.
Why is that? In short, billable hours targets mean lawyers are effectively penalised for attending training as any time in the classroom needs to be made up elsewhere and, because of that, the training that generally takes precedence is black letter or risk compliance.
The SRA guidance will need to emphasise the importance of management skills alongside legal skills – knowing how to develop a team, deal with underperformance and get the best out of everyone isn’t a “nice to have”, it’s an essential commercial skill in an increasingly competitive workplace. Despite the view many managers have of themselves, it is rarely a God given gift and it can’t be trained in two hours.
I’m also pleased to see that they no longer plan to accredit providers for the purposes of CPD so that any Tom, Dick or Harry (or Beth) will now be able to deliver your training. When I worked in-house commissioning training my hands were tied as to who I could use, resulting in innumerable “death by PowerPoint” sessions delivered by providers who themselves had “ticked the box” to achieve accreditation.
I sincerely hope the “Training for Tomorrow” programme signals the start of a shift towards a more progressive approach to L&D. My main concern is that it will let those who want to avoid L&D “off the hook” and they’re the ones who usually need it most. CPD Conscripts may be just ticking the box but it does mean they actually attend courses and that, at least, is a start.
0330 161 1234