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Regulatory and Disciplinary committees


Published: 21 Apr 2021 Update History

Independent regulatory and disciplinary committees oversee the ICAEW Professional Standards Department’s (PSD) monitoring activity, review firm applications to carry out work regulated by law (eg audit and probate) and hear disciplinary cases.
To ensure the interests of the public are maintained at all times, at least half of the members of each committee are lay members; ie they have never been accountants. In addition, the effectiveness of these committees is reviewed by the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB),  an independent board which is responsible for ensuring that ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary work is carried out in the public interest. 

Committees structure

A diagram showing the structure of the Professional Standards committees.

Structure chart

Statutory regulation

The following committees are responsible for regulatory matters. They oversee the application process for registration to practice in the regulated areas of audit, investment business, insolvency and probate and then monitor compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Practice Assurance Committee considers reports following Practice Assurance visits. It may require a member firm to take certain remedial action to address concerns, for example, in relation to the handling of client monies or the firm’s compliance with the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations. If the concerns are serious or persistent, the committee can refer the firm to the ICAEW Professional Conduct Department for further investigation. The committee normally meets six times a year. 

The Review Committee allows members or firms to ask for a review of certain decisions made by the Audit Registration Committee, the Investment Business Committee or the Insolvency Licensing Committee. Members of the Review Committee sit in panels of three and are made up of two lay members and one ICAEW member. 


The following committees are responsible for disciplinary matters. Once a complaint has been received, they decide whether an offence has been committed and, if so, what penalties, if any, should be imposed.

  • The Investigation Committee considers complaints and, if it decides there is a case, it can, among other things, offer a consent order to settle the matter or refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.
  • The Disciplinary Committee hears cases referred to it by the Investigation Committee and has similar powers to the Investigation Committee. In addition, it can exclude members from membership or prohibit a firm from using the description ‘Chartered Accountants’.
  • The Fitness Committee was introduced following changes to the disciplinary bye-laws. It meets as a panel; each panel comprises two lay members (one of which is the chair) and one accountant.

    Its primary role is to decide if an ICAEW member is fit to participate in disciplinary proceedings. Panels also consider applications from individuals registering as provisional members (ACA students) whose applications disclose potential fitness issues, such as previous criminal convictions. The panels also consider applications for readmission to membership. Membership of the Fitness Committee is drawn from the members of the Disciplinary Committee.


The Appeal Committee hears appeals from either the Review Committee or the Disciplinary Committee.

In order to achieve a clear separation of responsibility for policy making and enforcement, members of ICAEW's Council are not appointed to serve on any of these committees.

Serving on one of ICAEW's professional standards committees 

Appointments of chairs and members of the Professional Standards Committees are dealt with by the Regulatory & Conduct Appointments Committee.

Find out how to express your interest in serving on one of our regulatory committees.

Serve on our regulatory committees

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