FAQs about complaint adjudication

Why has the Assessor referred the case to a Disciplinary Committee?

The Assessor will make a referral to the Disciplinary Committee if he/she is satisfied that there is a real prospect of the allegation being proved in the light of the evidence and it is in the public interest for the case to be heard by the Disciplinary Committee. 

Will I receive a copy of the Assessor’s decision to refer?

Member: Yes, you will be provided with a copy of the decision and reasons for the referral.

Complainants: No, you will be advised of the referral, but you will not be entitled to a copy of the decision or reasons for the referral.  

Will I need to attend the Disciplinary Committee?

Member: It is advisable that you attend in order to be asked questions by ACCA’s case presenter and the Disciplinary Committee.

Complainant: You may be required to attend. However, a request to attend will be dependent on the nature of the case. If you are requested to attend you will be advised in advance and reasonable reimbursement will be made for travel costs.

Am I entitled to representation at the Disciplinary Committee?

Members are entitled to nominate any person to represent them at a Disciplinary Committee and you should provide details to ACCA at the earliest possible opportunity. 

Will others find out about the Disciplinary Committee?

Before the hearing, ACCA gives advance publicity of the allegations that will be put before the Disciplinary Committee. At the conclusion of the hearing, all orders and findings will be published. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the member will be named.

Hearings are generally held in public, which means that anyone may attend. The Disciplinary Committee may, in an appropriate case, decide to hear a matter in private for all or part of the proceedings. The Disciplinary Committee may also decide to exclude from the hearing any person whose conduct is likely to be disruptive.  

What are the possible outcomes from the Disciplinary Committee?

The Disciplinary Committee’s powers at the conclusion of the hearing depend on whether it is a firm or an individual member that has appeared before it.

In respect of individual members the Disciplinary Committee may make any one or more of the following orders:

  1. Order that no further action be taken
  2. Order that the member be reprimanded or severely reprimanded or admonished
  3. Order that the member be fined a sum not exceeding £50,000
  4. Order that the member pay compensation to the complainant a sum not more than £1,000
  5. Order that the member waive or reduce his fees to the complainant by a specific sum
  6. Order that the member be excluded from membership

In respect of firms, the Disciplinary Committee may make any or all of the orders at 1-5 above.

In addition, the Disciplinary Committee may order that the member or firm be referred to the Admissions and Licensing Committee.

I do not agree with the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee?

At the conclusion of the proceedings, ACCA will send a written notice to the member detailing the reason for the Disciplinary Committee’s decision. This notice will contain information on your right of appeal and the deadline for applying for permission to appeal.

The Committee Unit will also notify the complainant of the Disciplinary Committee’s decision; however, they have no right of appeal. 

Is an Order made by the Disciplinary Committee immediate?

The decision of the Committee will not normally take effect until the appeal period has expired, or until the outcome of any application for permission to appeal which has been lodged.

However, in certain circumstances the Committee may order that its decision takes effect immediately.

Can ACCA appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Committee?

In exceptional circumstances, where there is a clear public interest in the decision being reviewed, ACCA may apply for permission to appeal the decision of the Admissions and Licensing or Disciplinary Committees.

If a decision is made by an Appeal Committee, that decision is effective immediately, for example as soon as it is announced. For further information or any queries about ACCA’s Disciplinary and Regulatory Committees, please contact CommitteeUnit@accaglobal.com