The vision underpinning the exploratory discussions would see ICAEW and CIPFA combining their strengths and resources to better equip them to serve the public interest across all areas of economic activity, including the enterprise, public and third sectors.
In a joint statement, ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza and CIPFA’s Chief Executive Rob Whiteman said: “We believe there is significant strategic benefit in our two bodies working more closely in the future and our discussions will examine ways of achieving that.”
The two bodies have committed to detailed discussions to thrash out details of how such an arrangement could work in practice, with the aim of bringing forward formal proposals early in 2022. Any outcome to these discussions will be subject to approval within the Institutes and by key external stakeholders including the UK Government, the Privy Council and other regulators.
In a letter to members, Izza said ICAEW’s Council had this week agreed by a large majority that a potential closer working relationship with CIPFA could support and accelerate ICAEW’s strategy. “The vision driving the discussions would see ICAEW and CIPFA sharing a common strategy, under which CIPFA would continue to have a differentiated market presence, a distinctive membership and dedicated specialist staff,” Izza says in his letter.
Under current rules, qualified members of CIPFA with a minimum of five years' full membership may be eligible to apply to join the ICAEW through the Pathways to Membership programme. Those intending to practise in the UK or EC as an ICAEW member must have been a member of CIPFA for at least two years and must apply for a practising certificate.
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