Code of Practice
Chapter 14. Continuing Professional Education
Continuing professional education for notaries was introduced by the Master of the Faculties in 2010. The rules are contained in the CPE Regulations and apply to all notaries who are not under supervision. Notaries who are under supervision are subject to the Post-Admission Rules (see Chapter 19 – Supervision). Additional continuing professional education requirements apply to notary-conveyancers and notary-probate practitioners.
Continuing professional education for notaries is intended to ensure that notaries are kept up to date with developments in relevant law and practice and to enhance the provision of notarial services to the public.
All notaries are required to acquire six CPE credit points during each Continuing Professional Education period. One CPE credit point equates to one hour of educational activity.
At least three of the six CPE credit points required annually must be acquired through accredited activities. Accredited activities are provided through lectures, seminars, workshops, distance-learning courses, and online courses. These activities are normally accredited by the Master of the Faculties before they are offered [CPE Regulation 11.1] and a certificate of attendance or completion issued by the course provider [CPE Regulation 13.3], but it is also possible for notaries to apply for accreditation of activities provided by other persons [CPE Regulation 11.2], including activities that have already been completed (subject to a limit of six months from the time that the activity was completed [CPE Regulation 11.3]).
Unaccredited activities are more broadly defined and are listed in Schedule 1 to the CPE Regulations. An unaccredited activity, in whatever form, must be at an appropriate level and contribute to a notary’s professional skill and knowledge in relation to notarial practice, and not merely advance a particular fee-earning matter [CPE Regulation 9.2]. Research required to complete a client’s matter is therefore unlikely to be an activity for which CPE credit point may be claimed, but time spent reading an academic article that relates to that client matter will normally be claimable. Activities such as preparing lectures and seminars on subjects relevant to notarial practice, coaching and mentoring, including acting as a supervisor under the Post-Admission Rules, writing academic articles relevant to notarial law and practice, self-study, preparing and taking relevant examinations, and setting and marking examinations are all permitted unaccredited activities and actual time spent may be claimed, although an upper limit is imposed for some activities. Schedule 1 to the CPE Regulations provides full details of the activities and limits.
Whilst only three of the six CPE credit points required annually must be from accredited activities, the CPE requirement may be met in full through accredited activities if so desired.
A notary-conveyancer must comply with special continuing professional education requirements under the CPE Regulations [CPE Regulation 4].
In addition to the six CPE credit points in notarial practice that must be acquired by all notaries who are not under supervision, a notary-conveyancer must obtain six CPE credit points in conveyancing of which at least three must be from accredited activities.
A notary-probate practitioner must comply with special continuing professional education requirements under the CPE Regulations [CPE Regulation 5].
In addition to the six CPE credit points in notarial practice that must be acquired by all notaries who are not under supervision, a notary-probate practitioner must obtain six CPE credit points in probate activities of which at least three must be from accredited activities.
- Continuing professional education ensures that the services provided to the public by notaries are of a high standard.
- High quality educational activities are available to notaries in relevant areas.
- Notaries keep up to date with developments in practice, law, and regulation.
- Skills and competences are enhanced and extended throughout a notary’s career.
- The range and breadth of skills within the notarial profession is furthered through continuing professional education.
- You attend educational events and complete educational courses that are relevant to the services that you provide as a notary.
- You approach continuing professional education requirements in a positive manner by identifying any weak areas in your knowledge and selecting activities that improve your knowledge in those areas.
- You actively monitor changes to relevant law and practice and research those changes through self-study if no course is available or reasonably accessible.
- You contribute to the provision of continuing professional education for notaries by presenting lectures, seminars, or workshops, and writing articles covering relevant topics.
- You acquire CPE credit points in a manner that does not materially enhance or extent your knowledge and competences as a notary.
- You are inattentive during educational activities and fail to derive the desired benefit to your knowledge and competences.
- You fail to keep an accurate record of the educational activities that you complete.
- You do not complete your CPE Training Record fully or with sufficient information to enable the Faculty Office to review your application for a practising certificate on a proper basis.