Practice Management Course Rules and Requirements
The Practice Management Course in Queensland is governed by the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005 and the Practice Management Course Prescribed Content.
Key rules and requirements include:
- Rule 35: Each PMC must be conducted over a continuous period not exceeding twelve months in duration.*
- Rule 37: Substantial participation in all activities forming part of a PMC is required of a participant in the course and shall be taken into account in assessing whether or not the participant has satisfactorily undertaken the course (i.e. this means you must attend all Workshop sessions and successfully pass all assessment items).
- Rule 39: A PMC Statement will be issued to participants who satisfactorily complete a PMC (within 12 months). BUT NOTE: Rule 31 states that you must upgrade to a principal PC and practice as a Principal within 5 years of obtaining the Statement in order for it to remain valid.
* The 12 month duration period commences as of Day 1 of each Workshop and expires on the 365th day. In order to successfully pass the PMC, participants must: (1) complete / submit all assessment items; and (2) receive a passing grade for each assessment item within the prescribed 12 month duration period.
The learning outcomes for each of the PMC units is described in the Practice Management Course Prescribed Content.
Applications for a Deferment or Exemption of the Practice Management Course
There are two types of applications under rule 40 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005:
- Deferment of the PMC for a period of time (which allows a practitioner to obtain a Principal Practising Certificate based on specific conditions approved by QLS)
- Exemption from undertaking the whole, or part of, the PMC.
Practitioners seeking a limited principal practising certificate under Rule 10 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005 are not required to apply for an exemption. Please see further below for more information in this regard.
All deferment applications are to be sent to QLS’s PMC Team with the appropriate forms and supporting documentation attached. The preferred method of submission is via email to email@example.com, alternatively applications can be submitted in hard copy.
Applications for deferment will incur an administration fee of $220 (inc GST).
Applications will be processed within 10 business days of receipt of all required documentation and after payment has been received.
All exemption applications are to be sent to the QLS PMC Team with the appropriate forms and supporting documentation attached. The preferred method of submission is via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively applications can be submitted in hard copy.
Depending on the nature of the application, the applicant's professional history and any relevant training, the application will be considered by the QLS Council or Council’s delegate.
Council’s Delegate (Interstate Principals)
Applications by interstate practitioners who hold current qualifications to practise as a Principal in Queensland will be considered by Council’s delegate. This includes applications by interstate practitioners who:
- practised as a Principal interstate; or
- completed a Practice Management Course interstate within five years of the date of the application for an exemption (in accordance with requirements under rule 31 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005).
Applications considered by Council’s delegate will incur an administration fee of $55 (including GST) and will be processed within 10 business days.
All other applications by Queensland-based practitioners, or interstate practitioners who do not hold current qualifications to practise as a Principal in Queensland, will be considered by Council following a recommendation by the PMC Committee.
For applications considered by the QLS Council, the application approval process is as follows:
- the application will first be reviewed by the Manager of the Professional Advancement Team, who will provide a recommendation to the PMC Committee;
- the PMC Committee will consider the application and provide a recommendation to the QLS Council; and
- a final decision will be made by the QLS Council.
Applications considered by Council will incur an administration fee of $440 (inc GST) and may take up to three (3) months to be finally determined.
Grants of Exemptions
Practitioners who are granted a complete exemption of the PMC will liaise with the QLS Records and Member Services Team about applying for a principal practising certificate.
Practitioners granted partial exemptions of the PMC will still be required to complete any non-exempted units of the PMC.
Please refer to the important notice to applicant information sheet and PMC application for deferment/exemption form at the end of this page.
Checklist of documents to be submitted (see Important Notice to Applicant):
- completed application form;
- statutory declaration;
- undertaking (this may form part of your statutory declaration);
- if commencing practice as a sole legal practitioner director of an Incorporated Legal Practice or multi-disciplinary practice, please address the key risk areas for appropriate management systems by referencing the QLS Guide to Appropriate Management Systems provided below;
- letter of partnership offer from your firm (if applicable); and
- any supporting documentation such as Certificates of Admission, resume, copies of practising certificates (of particular importance if applying for a full exemption based on mutual recognition).
Note: all applications are assessed on an individual basis, please be aware that QLS conducts professional standards check before considering your application. If you have been subject to any complaints or insurance claims, details should be provided in your statutory declaration.
Limited Principal Practising Certificates (Rule 10 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005)
Limited principal practising certificates may be granted to eligible practitioners without a PMC Statement. All applications for a limited practising certificate must be sent to the QLS Records and Members Services Team with the appropriate forms and any supporting documentation attached. The preferred method of submission is via email to email@example.com, alternatively applications can be submitted in hard copy.
Rule 10 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005 states that a limited principal practising certificate may be issued to:
- practitioners of a community legal centre either in charge of, or nominated by those in charge;
- the CEO of Legal Aid Queensland, or an employee of Legal Aid Queensland as nominated by the Legal Aid Board; or
- a legal practitioner whose legal practice consists solely of matters pertaining to the assessment of costs either under division 7 of part 3.4 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 or otherwise.
Practitioners granted a limited principal practising certificate are required to surrender their limited principal practising certificate if they cease to be employed in the eligible capacity.
Practitioners who are eligible to hold a limited principal practising certificate are encouraged to complete the PMC in order to gain a PMC Statement, should they wish to practise as a principal in private practice at a later date.