Collaboration with the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) - regulation of ACCA Insolvency Practitioners (IPs)
ACCA has entered into a collaboration arrangement with the IPA in regulating ACCA licensed IPs.
The work of IPs is highly specialised and, in the last few years, the Insolvency Service (IS) has sought to bring about a high degree of standardisation across the Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) through the Memorandum of Understanding, Principles for Monitoring, Complaints Gateway and the Common Disciplinary Sanctions Guidance. In addition, recent inspections by IS indicate that it is seeking further standardisation in the licensing, monitoring and complaints-handling processes across the RPBs.
ACCA’s regulatory arrangements go beyond insolvency and further standardisation of regulatory processes by IS is likely to require ACCA to develop bespoke arrangements for the regulation and discipline of IPs. A change which may be suitable for the regulation of IPs may not necessarily be suitable for the wider regulated ACCA member population, and this would mean running two separate regulatory and disciplinary systems, which adds complexity to ACCA’s regulatory arrangements.
The IPA is the specialist insolvency regulator amongst the Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs), and currently licenses 600 IPs across the UK. It also provides insolvency support services to its IPs, such as a handbook, helpline, and CPD events with a regulatory slant (including two annual conferences, practical insolvency and refresher courses, and a series of regional roadshows) – aimed at ensuring that IPs keep abreast of and are well-equipped to meet required regulatory standards.
The collaboration will therefore enable ACCA to consolidate its regulatory arrangements for IPs with those of IPA, which in turn will ensure ACCA is able to meet its obligations as a RPB and regulate its IPs in an efficient and effective way in line with IS’s requirements.
Through the collaboration, the regulation of ACCA IPs will be undertaken by IPA, and will cover:
- licensing, save that initial eligibility for insolvency authorisation will be undertaken by ACCA
- monitoring, including regulatory action following IPA’s procedures
- complaints and discipline, including referral of ACCA IPs to IPA’s disciplinary committees.
ACCA will exercise appropriate oversight of the activities undertaken on its behalf and will continue to keep under review IPA’s regulatory arrangements for licensing, monitoring and complaints and discipline to ensure they are consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding, Principles for Monitoring and Memorandum of Understanding for the Complaints Gateway.
The collaboration will also see four ACCA employees involved in insolvency monitoring and complaints-handling transferring to IPA, which will allow for a degree of continuity.
The new arrangements will come into effect on 1 January 2017 and information on the regulatory framework that will apply is attached for your information. The IPA welcome pack, while not applicable to ACCA IPs in its entirety, provides information of the IPA’s regulatory processes in regard to monitoring and complaints-handling arrangements, which ACCA will adopt. Renewal documentation for the 2017 ACCA insolvency licences is expected to be issued on or around 24 October 2016.
If you should have any questions on the collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact:
Sundeep Takwani,Director – Regulation
Telephone: 020 7059 5877
Michelle Lawton, Head of Investigations
Telephone: 020 7059 5688
Andrew Teague, Head of Monitoring
Telephone: 020 7059 5876