Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
Following the implementation of the OISCs revised principle-based code of standards, and after changes to the CPD schemes of other legal services regulators, the OISC has decided to make changes to its own CPD scheme and guidance is now available.
The revised CPD scheme will reflect the OISCs greater focus on outcome based regulation but will still require you to take a professional and accountable approach to their CPD activities.
The revised requirements will provide you with greater flexibility in how you identify and achieve your own personal CPD requirements and allow you to engage with a wider field of providers.
1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 will be a transition year. It will provide sufficient time for organisations to prepare themselves and make an assessment of how they and their advisers will deliver CPD in the future.
For this current CPD year 2016-17 the OISC has removed the requirement for advisers to undertake a set number of CPD hours and also the requirement for advisers to record their CPD activity on the OISC CPD website.
The OISC appreciates that a number of you have already taken CPD courses this year and that some of this will have been in the expectation of having a set number of hours to complete. We welcome the fact that you are assessing your CPD needs early in the year and achieving what you need to maintain your competence.
The CPD website has now been closed down and the OISC on-line courses are no longer available.
Until now, only courses accredited by recognised CPD accrediting bodies (e.g. the Bar Standards Board) have qualified for the OISCs CPD scheme.
With immediate effect this will no longer be the case and you are free to choose who delivers your CPD. It will now be for advisers and organisations to assess the quality and value of the CPD they are going to undertake.
You may want to take into account that those CPD training providers that have acquired accreditation have gone through a strict process that assesses and assures the quality of the training provided.
Continuing Professional Development Requirements from 1 April 2017
All authorised immigration advisers are expected to demonstrate that they comply with the commissioners CPD requirements. This includes advisers registered at all levels and categories.
CPD is training you can take to keep your skills and knowledge up to date you and the registered organisation you work with decide how you do it . CPD is essential in maintaining your fitness and competence and improving the service that you provide to your clients.
As an authorised adviser, you can take CPD in different ways. For example, you can:
- update your listening and advising skills;
- go to local or national meetings or seminars;
- research developments in immigration and asylum law or practice;
- spend time developing your business skills;
- go on formal courses;
- spend time on the internet carrying out research; or
- network with other immigration advisers.
Plan your CPD
CPD is an ongoing process for all advisers. Registered organisations should work with advisers to plan what their CPD should be. Each organisation can decide what works best for them and should review their CPD activity - an annual review is recommended.
Record your CPD
The CPD you take should relate to the immigration advice or services that your organisation provides or intends to provide. In order to plan and keep track of your CPD activities we advise that you keep a record, with supporting material.
Your organisation retains responsibility to keep track of your compliance with CPD in order to make an annual CPD declaration.
Organisations apply to the OISC for registration and for continued registration and as part of this process they sign a declaration confirming that their advisers have complied with the CPD requirements.
Help with CPD requirements
We have produced a booklet that offers guidance on how advisers can carry out CPD activity. This booklet helps in showing how advisers can comply with CPD requirements and show they are fit and competent. A CPD Learning Development Plan and a CPD Learning and Development Record can also be downloaded (to help plan and keep a track of your activities.
OISC caseworkers will review registered organisations compliance with the CPD requirements:
- during a premises audit
- as part of a complaint investigation; or
- by dip sampling.
Failing to show compliance with CPD
You or your organisation will fail to show compliance with the CPD requirements if:
- there is no evidence that CPD was planned;
- there is no evidence that the CPD plan was followed; or
- the planned CPD activity was not relevant to the adviser or their organisation in terms of providing immigration advice or services.
If your organisation fails to show compliance with the CPD requirements, we will discuss this with them. We may also make specific recommendations about future CPD activity.
Where you or your organisations failure to comply with the CPD requirements has resulted in you failing to provide fit and competent advice or services we may:
- require you to immediately take specific training or development;
- ask you to retake a competence assessment;
- reduce your registered advice Level or restrict the categories of advice youcan give (this may affect the registration of your organisation too); or
- withdraw you or your organisations registration.
If you have any questions please read this booklet for further guidance or contact your caseworker.