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Quality assurance monitoring and regulatory support during COVID-19

The Professional Standards Department (the department responsible for carrying out ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary roles) recognises that COVID-19 is continuing to create exceptional circumstances.

Our colleagues in the Professional Standards Department are working from home, in line with Government guidelines. We are able to assist with queries relating to new or ongoing regulatory applications, quality assurance monitoring reviews and annual returns questions.

Here, we will provide the latest information regarding regulation changes, quality assurance monitoring and your firm’s annual return. Please check back here on a regular basis for updates in these areas. We will also continue to send regulatory emails such as AML – the essentials, Audit News, Probate News to our regulatory points of contact when we have new updates.

Quality Assurance monitoring – updated May 2021

From 1 September 2021, we will return to our pre-COVID-19 review practices, including onsite reviews. When our scheduling team contacts you to confirm the review date, they will tell you whether the review will be onsite or desk-based. If an onsite visit is not possible because you have not yet returned to your office, our scheduling team will discuss whether we can carry out a remote visit instead.

Until 1 September, it might be possible to have an onsite review. You can discuss that with our scheduling team or the reviewer when they call you before the review.

Oversight of our monitoring work: Our monitoring work is supervised by oversight regulators; the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for audit; the Insolvency Service for insolvency; the Legal Services Board (LSB) for probate; and the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) for AML.

We agree the number of monitoring reviews and the types of firms we need review annually with each oversight regulator.

If you have any questions about your review, please contact QADvisits@icaew.com.

Annual return

If we can help you to complete your firm’s annual return, or you would like to discuss an extension for submitting your firm’s annual return or have a general query, please email annualreturns@icaew.com or leave a voicemail on +44 (0)1908 546 372 and one of our team will be in contact as soon as possible.

Regulatory applications, withdrawals and renewals

Regulatory applications

We are processing regulatory applications in the usual way and within 8-12 weeks. We are generally able to process affiliate applications within 4-6 weeks. Please ensure you use the correct and most up to date version of the regulatory application forms. Your application could be delayed if you use an old version of the form as it may not contain all the information we need to process your application. If you have any questions about the process, please contact our regulatory support team by email - regulatorysupport@icaew.com.

We can only accept regulatory applications by email. Please do not send regulatory applications by post as this will delay the start of the application process. Please send regulatory applications to regulatorysupport@icaew.com and insolvency applications to insolvency@icaew.com.

We cannot access cheques at the moment or any payments by post. Where payment is required, an ICAEW advisor will be in touch with you to arrange this.

Time extensions to respond to information requests from us will be given provided it is clear your firm is experiencing difficulties as a result of the impact of COVID-19 or Government restrictions. Please let us know why you need extra time and we will discuss alternative arrangements with you.

Regular registration and licensing committee meetings continue to take place to consider any applications that cannot be approved by the Professional Standards Department.

Regulatory withdrawals

If your firm would like to withdraw a regulatory registration, please complete the application.

Changes to firm structure

If your firm needs to notify us about any changes to the structure of your firm, please continue to use the standing data change form and email it to regulatorysupport@icaew.com. Please do not send any documents to us by post.

The regulations require firms to notify us of any changes within 10 business days. We understand this may not always be possible in the current circumstances, but please give us as much notice as possible.

Firms being monitored: External hot and cold reviews: If your firm has agreed to submit an external hot or cold file review to us (eg, as a result of a previous quality assurance monitoring visit or as a condition on the approval of your application), you should contact your external reviewer earlier than usual to check if the review can still take place as planned, or to make alternative arrangements.

If you encounter any difficulties in scheduling an external review as a result of the impact of COVID-19 or Government restrictions, please tell your ICAEW case manager as soon as possible. Where practical, we will grant you additional time, or we will liaise with the Registration Committee to agree an alternative course of action.

Regulatory renewal payments: As our offices are closed, we cannot accept payment by cheques. Renewals can be paid at icaew.com/payyourfees or by electronic transfer. Please refer to your firm’s proforma invoice for details.

Electronic transfer
Bank account: National Westminster Bank Plc, Milton Keynes
Sort code: 60 14 55
Account name: ICAEW Treasury Account
Account number: 82278237
Swift code: NWBKGB2L
International banking number: GB46 NWBK 6014 5582 2782 37

Please email your remittance advice to bacs@icaew.com, with the payment reference used and full details of the items to be paid including your firm and / or membership number (if relevant) before making payment; otherwise your payment may be returned as we may not be able to allocate it.

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