UKCISA’s training courses are an ideal way of developing your skills and keeping up to date, for example, with changes in relevant areas of law, government guidance and administrative processes.
If you are giving immigration advice, you are subject to regulation by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Among other things, this means that you must comply with the OISC Code of Standards. This is the case even if you are not required to register with the OISC because of certain Ministerial Orders.
The OISC Code of Standards requires that all those giving immigration advice are competent to do so. So you must have the skills and knowledge to give such advice and keep up to date with all relevant changes to the immigration system, not just the law itself. It also means that you are expected to have, and develop, your skills and knowledge beyond immigration so that you can provide accurate and safe advice – including, for example, relevant IT skills and communication skills.
Those who have to register with the OISC must comply with the OISC’s CPD requirements. As from April 2016, OISC have abandoned prescriptive requirements for advisers to achieve a minimum number for core (immigration-related) and non-core (non-immigration-related) CPD hours each year. Instead, they will be introducing a scheme that would be more “outcomes focussed” in readiness for the year starting 1 April 2017.
OISC have, therefore, dropped their mandatory requirement that only CPD provided by its approved accreditors is acceptable. Some of UKCISA’s immigration courses are currently accredited by the CPD Standards Office, one of those approved accreditors. We plan to continue with this for the 2016-17 academic year. However, during the forthcoming year we will review whether to continue with this from autumn 2017 onwards.
If you are covered by a Ministerial Order exempting you from OISC registration you are also exempt from meeting OISC’s CPD requirements. There has been no indication from OISC that this would change in the foreseeable future.
Whether or not you are exempt from OISC registration and OISC’s CPD requirements, your own CPD is still important for ensuring that you give safe and accurate advice that complies with the OISC Code of Standards.