Changes to the National Requirement in effect January 1, 2018

After a comprehensive review, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has announced revisions to the National Requirement that will go into effect January 1st, 2018.

The National Requirement specifies the competencies and skills graduates must have attained and the learning resources and academic programs that law schools must have in place. It applies to both new and existing Canadian law school programs and to internationally educated candidates whose qualifications are assessed by the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA).

Effective January 1st, the reference to “legal and fiduciary concepts in commercial relationships” from the list of required private law principles set out in paragraph 3.3(b) of Section B (Competency Requirements) will be deleted; and the word “presumptively” will be removed from paragraph 1.1 of section C. The updated National Requirement is available here.

The NCA Assessment Policy has been revised to implement the change to the National Requirement.  Business Organizations, currently under the substantive legal knowledge requirements (NCA Assessment Policy 1.3.2.2.2.), will no longer be a core subject but will be moved to the list of optional subjects.  This change will apply to all NCA candidates whose files are ready to be assessed by the NCA on or after January 1, 2018.  PLEASE NOTE: The NCA will not revise any assessment issued before this change comes into effect.

The National Requirement was adopted by the Council of the Federation in 2009 and was approved by Canada’s law societies in 2010 and came into effect on January 1, 2015. It was also decided that the National Requirement, as a national standard, be reviewed at least every five years with the first review to be completed by 2018.