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CPD Points at Paperless Academy

Continuing Professional Development


  1. Can you claim CPD points for taking a Paperless Academy course?
  2. If so, how many points can you claim?

[Short answers: 1. Yes. 2. Depends on how long it takes you to do the course (see below).]

Online CPD – Solicitors

Claiming Solicitor’s CPD for Paperless Academy Courses

The Law Society CPD Rules for the 2021 CPD Cycle are published here in summary form, and if you want to see the ‘rule book’ (a 66-page PDF) you can find it here.

Paperless Academy courses qualify as eLearning as defined in the Regulations (see Regulation 2 – definitions; see also page 27 of the rule book under ‘CPD Providers’).

The Education Committee has decided that for the 2021 CPD cycle, the eLearning limit of 50% (modified or otherwise) will be removed. Solicitors may now complete the entire 2021 CPD requirement online.

How are Solicitor’s CPD points calculated/claimed?

You calculate points based on ‘time actually spent’, subject to a maximum of 7 hours in any one day.

The rule book, at page 13, says:

The amount of CPD that may be claimed by a solicitor as a credit towards fulfilling the minimum CPD requirement is the time actually spent undertaking CPD during a particular CPD cycle. This may or may not be same as the time advertised by the provider of a course of CPD.

Online CPD – Barristers

Claiming Barrister’s CPD for Paperless Academy Courses

The Bar Council CPD Rules are published here.

Paperless Academy courses qualify as CPD activity as they are ‘practical content related to the practice of law’, ‘conducted by a person with suitable qualifications’, and ‘relevant to your needs in terms of professional development’.

For 2019/20 and 2020/21 there is no limit on the number of points that can be claimed via online CPD activities.

How are Barrister’s CPD points calculated/claimed?

Points are generally accrued on the basis of one point per hour of activity.

CPD Points for Paperless Academy Courses

How long will it take you to get through a Paperless Academy Course?

You don’t know, and neither do I.

I can tell you how long the courses last but I can assure you that it will take you longer to complete them. You can’t just press ‘play’ and then sit back and do nothing. At a minimum you’ll be pausing to complete quizzes that are sprinkled through the courses, and you’ll probably also be pausing to (a) think about the theory you are learning and how it applies to your situation, and (b) practice the methods and software skills that are demonstrated and taught.

The table below indicates the total duration of lectures on the course, the number of quizzes on the course, and the time I (very roughly) estimate it would take to complete the course.

CourseLecturesDurationQuizzesCompletion Time
Basics725 mins430 mins
File Management1355 mins52 hours
Manipulation291 hr 15 mins62.5 hours
Annotation211 hour72 hours
Notebooks332 hrs 10 mins53-4 hours

Keep in mind that it could take you longer than I have estimated – the actual time taken will vary from person to person.

Other Professions

If you’d like to know whether Paperless Academy count towards CPD in a profession other than solicitor or barrister, then get in touch.

I’ll be happy to check it out for you and add the clarification to this post.

Not sure where to start?

How about a free e-book?

The Lawyer’s Guide to Going Paperless

A comprehensive, easy-to-read overview to help you decide if going paperless is right for you.

(Hint: If you like the idea of having more free time, fewer expenses and a clutter-free office, then it probably is.)

Lawyer's Guide to Going Paperless