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We expect ICAEW Chartered Accountants to maintain the highest standards of practice and conduct. All ICAEW members, firms, affiliates and 'relevant persons' have a duty to report any event which may indicate that they and/or another member, firm affiliate or 'relevant person' may be liable to disciplinary action by the ICAEW Conduct Department, regardless of the type of organisation you or they work for. The guidance (first issued in 1993) on what and how to report misconduct has recently been updated.

The Duty to Report Misconduct requirement is set out in Disciplinary Bye-law 6.1. A 'relevant person' means provisional members, Foundation Qualification Holders, Provisional Foundation Qualification Holders or CFAB students..

Examples of cases that require a member to make a report include:

  • intentionally providing false or misleading information to a principal, employer, senior manager, client or regulator, among others;
  • knowingly (or recklessly) breaching AML (Anti-Money Laundering) requirements;
  • abusive or intimidating behaviour directed at employees, managers, clients or other third parties;
  • harassment, sexual or otherwise;
  • being convicted of a criminal offence (minor motoring offences that do not result in disqualification are an exception);and
  • inappropriate use of social media.

This sample list is a mix of professional and personal misconduct, but longer (non-exhaustive) lists in each category are available in the guidance.

The Guidance on the duty to report misconduct covers:

  • a summary of what you need to report to the Conduct Department and when;
  • examples of matters that include issues that relate to ICAEW members’ personal and professional lives;
  • who should make the report if issues arise within your firm;
  • what to consider when making a report (eg, client confidentiality, AML obligations and GDPR);
  • how to make a confidential report to the Conduct Department and what we can do with anonymous reports;and
  • where to access advice or assistance to make a report.

Updates to the Guidance June 2023

The Duty to Report Misconduct has been extended to include firms, so it now applies to ICAEW members, firms, affiliates and relevant persons (as defined in the new disciplinary framework, effective 1 June 2023). In addition to this, the public interest test has been removed and individuals and firms must now report any matter which may give rise to disciplinary action.

The Guidance has also been updated in order to align the terminology with the new disciplinary framework. For example, some committee names and references to specific Disciplinary Bye-laws have been amended.

What do recent changes to the duty to report misconduct mean in practice?

Read more