A diagram showing the structure of the ICAEW regulatory and disciplinary committees.
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 Audit Registration Committee (ARC)
- The Investment Business Committee (IBC)
- The Insolvency Licensing Committee (ILC)
- The Probate Committee (PC)
Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) Committee
ICAEW’s PII requirements for members and firms are overseen by the PII Committee. The committee is responsible for all matters relating to PII including keeping under review ICAEW’s policy on compulsory PII, considering revisions to the PII regulations and minimum approved wording and approving the form and content of contracts underpinning the PII arrangements.
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, Probate Committee, Professional Indemnity Committee or the Insolvency Licensing Committee. A review is not an appeal against the decision of a regulatory committee. A panel will consider the matter afresh, taking into account all relevant matters. The essential elements of this function are:
- to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in accordance with the Principal Regulations and the Review Committee's own regulations and that they are fair to the firm or individual applicant;
- to assess all the evidence, both fact and opinion, if expert opinion is relied upon;
- to ensure that it considers only the papers before it and does not undertake any independent searches for information regarding the case, even if the information is in the public domain
- to make a decision on the merits of the case; and
- having made a decision, to make an appropriate order in accordance with the powers conferred by the Principal Regulations bearing in mind: the interests of the public; ICAEW's responsibility for maintaining high standards of public practice and conduct; and any other matters which it considers to be relevant in the particular circumstances of the case.
Other committees and boards
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 Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Board
ICAEW, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) operate a compensation scheme for members of the public who have incurred a financial loss as a result of investment advice given by a firm of chartered accountants which, at the time the advice was given, was authorised or licensed to give such advice by one of the three institutes.
The Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Board administers and manages the scheme. It also considers claims arising from investment business conducted by authorised/licensed firm under the investment business rulebooks.
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.
Apply to serve on an ICAEW regulatory or disciplinary committee
Find out more about current lay and accountant vacancies on the regulatory and disciplinary committees.