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Statement of professional standing regulations

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This page has been archived because it is no longer current information but is still relevant, or it is current but over 12 months old
  • Publish date: 05 April 2012
  • Archived on: 15 March 2017

As part of the Financial Services Authority's Retail Distribution Review (RDR), retail investment advisers must obtain a Statement of Professional Standing to demonstrate they meet the required standards of professionalism. As an accredited body ICAEW may issue statements of professional standing to eligible applicants. These regulations set out the criteria which applicants must meet when making an application and their obligations as a holder of a statement of professional standing issued by ICAEW.

Purpose

1 ICAEW is recognised by the FCA as an accredited body and may issue statements of professional standing to eligible individuals.
2 These regulations apply to all individuals issued a statements of professional standing (SPS) by ICAEW and all applicants for a statements of professional standing.

Eligibility

3

An individual wishing to be issued with an SPS shall satisfy ICAEW on initial application and at any time thereafter while he holds an SPS, that he meets FCA requirements that:

4

ICAEW may only issue an SPS to the following individuals:

  • a member of ICAEW
  • an affiliate of ICAEW
  • a member of another accountancy body or of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
  • an employee of
    • an ICAEW member firm
    • a firm registered for audit or DPB licensed by ICAEW.
  • Where an employing firm does not meet the criteria in regulation 4(d)(i) or (ii) above, ICAEW at its discretion may issue an SPS to employees and principals of such a firm who do not meet the eligibility criteria in 4(a) (b) or (c) provided the employing firm is controlled and/or managed by ICAEW members or member firms.

Application

5

An individual shall apply for an SPS in the manner decided by ICAEW. The application must include:

  • a declaration by the individual that he agrees to be bound by the provisions of these regulations, and will ensure that he complies with them at all times;
  • a declaration by the individual that he will deal with ICAEW in an open and cooperative manner and inform ICAEW promptly about anything concerning the individual as required by these regulations;
  • an acknowledgement by the individual that none of ICAEW, its officers, staff, members of its Council or committees, an investigation and discipline scheme, their servants or agents can be held liable to the individual in damages for any act or omission arising out of the performance of any of their functions connected with the granting of an SPS, the enforcement of its terms and conditions or the monitoring of compliance with those terms in any respect, unless the act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith;
  • consent that ICAEW or its representatives may make enquiries of or about the individual as ICAEW or its representatives deem necessary and agreement that the individual will cooperate fully in the provision of such information;
  • consent that ICAEW may publish, in such manner as it may determine, any information about the individual’s SPS including whether the SPS is granted subject to conditions or restrictions or has been withdrawn by ICAEW, and the reasons for any such withdrawal;
  • an agreement that ICAEW may disclose information about the individual as set out in regulation 14;
  • in the case of an individual who is not a member of ICAEW, an agreement to be subject to the disciplinary bye laws and regulations of ICAEW;
  • an undertaking that the individual shall discharge their duties under regulation 7; and
  • payment of the appropriate fee.

Rights of an applicant or holder of a statement of professional standing

6 An applicant for, or a holder of, an SPS may apply for a review by the Review Committee of any decision to refuse an application, grant an SPS with conditions, withdraw an SPS or only allow it to continue subject to conditions or restrictions.

Obligations of a holder of a Statement of Professional Standing

7

A holder of an SPS must:

  • deal with ICAEW or its representatives in an open and cooperative manner;
  • respond, when required, to enquiries made by ICAEW or its agent(s);
  • provide when requested an annual declaration in writing that he has, in the preceding 12 months, complied with FCA Statements of principle and code of practice for approved persons and completed the continuing professional development required;
  • subject himself to any inspection or review process specified by ICAEW and provide, if so requested by ICAEW evidence in writing of the continuing professional development undertaken in any 12-month period;
  • pay any of the fees required by ICAEW in respect of his SPS, within 30 days from the date such fees is demanded; such fees may be levied at any time, including after the withdrawal of the SPS provided they relate to any issue arising prior the date of termination;
  • inform ICAEW as soon as practicable but not later than 10 business days after the occurrence of any of the following:
    • any circumstance which does or could affect an individual’s eligibility to hold an SPS;
    • any change of employment if an individual is eligible as an employee under the criteria in regulation 4(d) or (e);
    • any change of address or other contact details;
  • inform ICAEW in writing as soon as practicable, but not later than 10 business days from the date of becoming aware, of any circumstances where the individual cannot, or expects not to be able to, fulfil one or more of the responsibilities set out in this regulation. The notification must state what has happened and the action that the individual proposes to take.

Administration by ICAEW

8 ICAEW will deal fairly and openly with applicants and holders of an SPS.
9

Any notice or other document to be served on the individual under these regulations will be delivered by hand, sent by email, sent by fax, or posted:

  • if delivered by hand it may;
    • be handed to the individual and service will take effect immediately; or
    • be left at the latest registered address given by the individual to ICAEW and service will take effect on the day it is left at that address
  • if delivered by email, it must be sent to the latest email address given by the individual to ICAEW and service will take effect on sending;
  • if sent by fax, it must be sent to the latest fax number given by the individual to ICAEW and service will take effect on sending; or
  • if sent by post, it must be sent to the latest registered address given by the individual to ICAEW and service will take effect two business days after posting.
10 At the written request of an individual who is the subject of any decision to refuse an application, grant an SPS with conditions, withdraw an SPS or only allow it to continue with conditions or restrictions, such decision may be reviewed by the Review Committee.
11

ICAEW will, according to the circumstances:

  • a. consider an application for an SPS having regard to the information supplied under regulations 3 and 4 together with such other information as it considers necessary and either:
    • grant the SPS, or;
    • grant the SPS subject to restrictions or conditions, or
    • reject the application;

    save that it may postpone consideration of the application but must advise the individual accordingly;

  • withdraw an SPS;
  • impose restrictions or conditions on an SPS as it considers appropriate;
  • consider any information provided under regulation 7(g) and the remedial action planned by the holder of the SPS;
  • review any returns and reports required to be submitted under these regulations and investigate failures to make or submit such returns or reports;
  • make such enquiries as it considers appropriate about an applicant for an SPS, or a holder of an SPS (whether by requesting information orally or in writing, visiting an individual’s offices, using a periodic return, or any other method);
  • publish, in any manner it considers appropriate, any information about an individual's SPS including whether the SPS was granted with conditions or restrictions or has been withdrawn by ICAEW and if so for what reason;
  • impose fees as set out in these regulations; and
  • provide the FCA with information about individuals to whom ICAEW has issued an SPS, refused to issue an SPS or withdrawn an SPS.
12 ICAEW may delegate the performance of any of its responsibilities to a Committee, a member of staff or such other person or persons as it thinks fit and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit and may from time to time revoke or alter any such delegation.
13 ICAEW may, in discharging any of its responsibilities, consider any information including: disciplinary findings or orders, information relating to investigations in progress, or regulatory reports or decisions by any professional or regulatory body and; convictions, decisions, sentences or judgements (including criminal and civil court decisions).
14 ICAEW reserves the right to pass information about an individual to their employer, any ICAEW committee, an investigation and discipline scheme, the FCA, or any other person or body undertaking regulatory, disciplinary or law enforcement responsibilities for the purpose of assisting that person or body to undertake those responsibilities or as otherwise required or allowed by law.

Fees

15 A fee is payable for an SPS. If an application for an SPS is not accepted, the fee may be returned, less an amount to be determined by ICAEW in respect of its administration costs.
16 A fee is payable each year for renewal of the SPS.

Effective date and term of the Statement of Professional Standing

17 ICAEW will issue the successful applicant with an SPS.
18

The SPS will be effective from the date issued by ICAEW and will be required to be renewed annually unless it is withdrawn by ICAEW, or surrendered by the individual.

Withdrawal of a Statement of Professional Standing by ICAEW

19

ICAEW may withdraw the SPS if:

  • an individual fails to satisfy ICAEW that he has complied or will continue to comply with his obligations under these regulations, or
  • the SPS was issued on the basis of what ICAEW considers to be false or misleading information provided by the applicant.

Surrender of a statement of professional standing by an individual

20 An individual may surrender their SPS by notifying ICAEW in writing and by returning the SPS.

Consequences of withdrawal or surrender of a statement of professional standing

21
  • On withdrawal or surrender of a SPS, the individual has continuing obligations to pay any charges raised prior to withdrawal or surrender.
  • If an individual no longer holds a SPS, disciplinary action may still be taken against him by ICAEW for any failure to comply with these regulations during the period he held the SPS.
22 These regulations can be changed by ICAEW at any time. Notification of any such change will be deemed to take effect 7 days after their publication on ICAEW’s website.

Interpretation

In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires or express reference is made, words and phrases in these regulations have the same meaning as in the Principal and Disciplinary Bye-laws and the following words and phrases are defined as shown below.

accountancy body a body which is a member of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies
accredited body means a body recognised by the FCA for the purpose of providing the independent verification required under the FCA’s Training and Competence Sourcebook.
appropriate qualification means a qualification equivalent to Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) level 4.

Guidance: The FCA has produced a list of appropriate qualification as part of its Training and Competence Sourcebook (appendix 4E).

business days A day when banks are generally open for business (excluding weekends) in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland (as appropriate).
continuing professional development

In the context of these regulations only, continuing professional development means, a minimum of 35 hours of appropriate continuing professional development in each 12-month period including no less than 21 hours of structured continuing professional development activities.

Guidance: Examples of structured continuing professional development activities include participating in courses, seminars, lectures, conferences, workshops, web-based seminars or e-learning which require a contribution of thirty minutes or more.

FCA means the Financial Conduct Authority
ICAEW The Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales
qualification ‘gap-fill’

means the ways an individual can fill any gaps between the qualification they hold and an appropriate qualification using structured CPD. FCA has issued guidelines for qualification gap-fill in Appendix 7G of its Training and Competence Sourcebook.

Guidance: FCA has issued guidelines for qualification gap-fill in Appendix 7G of its Training and Competence Sourcebook.

statement of professional standing (SPS) means verification issued by an accredited body on an annual basis which demonstrates that an individual holds an appropriate qualification, has complied with FCA Statements of principle and code of practice for approved persons (APER) and has completed the continuing professional development required.