Solicitors will no longer have to undertake prescribed continuous professional development under proposals published for consultation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority yesterday.

The new approach, first set out in the regulator’s Training for Tomorrow policy statement, will instead operate through 'non-mandatory guidance issued to both entities and individuals’.

However, the SRA said it is 'keen to emphasise that continuing professional development is central to securing good outcomes for consumers’ and that the question in the consultation is not whether CPD should be prescribed, but how best to ensure continuing competence. 

Julie Brannan, director of education and training, said: 'Our role is to provide confidence to consumers of legal services that those we regulate are competent to deliver the standards they expect. By focusing more rigorously on competence we believe we can provide this assurance whilst increasing the flexibility for entities and individuals to determine training and development according to their own needs.'

The consultation runs to 2 April.