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Practice Assurance Regulations

ICAEW practising certificate holders, member firms and firms with a contract for Practice Assurance are required to comply with the Practice Assurance Regulations. These set out how the Practice Assurance scheme operates.

Changes to the Practice Assurance Regulations – summer 2019

The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) has resolved that the Practice Assurance Committee should have new powers to offer Practice Assurance penalties to ICAEW members/firms for less serious compliance and/or conduct issues identified during Practice Assurance reviews.

  • The penalties will only be applied with the consent of the member or firm.
  • This new process will enable matters to be dealt with more quickly and for less cost.

These changes have also been made to implement a recommended improvement by OPBAS, the new oversight body for AML supervisors, which wants to see quicker adjudication on AML breaches.

The ICAEW Practice Committee and ICAEW Members and Commercial Board have also been informed of the upcoming changes.

As the Investigation Committee does already, the Practice Assurance Committee will refer to the ICAEW Guidance on Sanctions to determine the appropriate penalty. Therefore, there should be no change to the level of penalty proposed – the only change is that the PA Committee will now be able to propose a penalty as well.

Referrals to the Investigation Committee

If a member/firm does not agree that a breach has occurred, or to the penalty proposed, they will have the right to request the matter is referred to the Investigation Committee (as occurs now). Serious matters will be referred by the Practice Assurance Committee to the Investigation Committee to be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Bye-laws. These will not be dealt with by way of a Practice Assurance penalty.

The introduction of these penalties will require changes to the Practice Assurance Regulations. It is envisaged the changes will take effect over the summer once reviewed and approved by the ICAEW Regulatory Board.

Otherwise, there will be no change to the role and function of the Practice Assurance Committee. It remains committed to helping firms grow and develop their practices.

More information will follow on these changes once the new regulations are published.

The new Practice Assurance Regulations will be added to this page after they are reviewed and approved by the IRB.