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PC renewal: Time to renew your PC

PC renewal: Time to renew your PC

By Law Institute Journal

Practice Management Practising Certificate 

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All current practising certificates will expire on 30 June 2020. If you intend to practise beyond this date, you must apply to renew your certificate.

PRACTISING CERTIFICATE RENEWAL FOR 2020–2021
 
RENEW BY 30 JUNE

How to apply

Apply online at www.lsbc.vic.gov.au. You will need your practitioner number, which was included in the renewal email sent to you on 29 March. Your practitioner number can also be found on last year’s certificate.

Renew early to avoid a surcharge

Surcharges apply to applications received after 30 June. Renew early to ensure you’re not charged the 200 per cent surcharge.

Complete your application

Before your application can be processed you will need to:

  1. Pay your application fee to VLSB+C
  2. Pay your professional indemnity insurance (if required)
  3. Pay any relevant contribution to the Fidelity Fund

Remember, you must complete and submit the form in LSB Online yourself. You should not ask someone else to do this for you.

Pending applications

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to issue a new certificate. Reasons your certificate might be pending include your professional indemnity insurance payment is outstanding, you have not complied with CPD requirements, the trust account audit process is not complete, or the VLSB+C is assessing disclosures made in the application process.

If there were no changes to your PC type, and you have paid your fees and insurance by 30 June 2021 you can continue to practise on your current certificate until a new one is issued.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements

For the 2020/21 practising year the cap on private study of five hours has been removed due to COVID-19. Ten units of CPD is still required to be completed by 31 March 2021, but can be done through private study of relevant audio/visual material. You can tick YES to this question even if you have done more than five hours of private study and you won’t need to complete a rectification plan.

Fidelity fund deferral and discount from 2020 

Last year lawyers were able to defer fidelity fund contributions or could be eligible for a 5 per cent discount this year if they made payment. These changes have been automatically applied via LSB Online. You can read more at the “Renewing my practising certificate” page on the VLSB+C website.

Disclosures

Each year you are asked to disclose any matters that will allow the VLSB+C to be satisfied that you are a fit and proper person to hold a practising certificate. You should disclose any matter that relates to serious dishonesty, such as criminal charges, pending criminal proceedings, misconduct, contempt of court etc. You are not required to disclose things like parking fines or speeding tickets, unless the circumstances or frequency of the offending indicate a disregard for the law (for example, multiple fines over the course of a few months). Further information can be found in the VLSB+C “Fit and proper person” policy on the VLSB+C website. 

Information on the public register of lawyers

In the “You/Your practice” section of the application form, VLSB+C is collecting voluntary information about diversity and areas of practice. You can have this information included on the register of lawyers by clicking yes in the consent questions.

Removing the ‘My employer will pay’ option

A key change this year is to remove the option to select “My employer will pay” and have your employer make payment for your practising certificate. You will need to instead pay by credit card, or select BPAY and arrange payment from your employer. 

This change addresses the significant problems faced by employers where LSB Online is not able to allocate payment directly to an individual, causing administration and reconciliation problems for many users.

Not renewing?

If you don’t intend to renew your practising certificate, please complete the “Not renewing my practising certificate” form in LSB Online. 

Further information and assistance

Visit www.lsbc.vic.gov.au to find out more or to renew online. ■


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