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New guidance on practising certificates

ICAEW issued new guidance (effective 1 January 2017) to help members understand when they need a practising certificate.

What is it?

The guidance (now called the ICAEW Statement on Engaging in Public Practice) updates and elaborates on the former Council Statement to reflect changes in current practice and regulatory regimes, help members interpret the guidance and provide additional examples and a simplified flow chart to help members navigate the requirements.

Does it affect me?

Whilst the new guidance statement does not include substantive changes it has a potential impact on all members of ICAEW. For this reason you should consider the requirements before renewing your subscription. If you need further clarification on your own particular circumstances please contact the Regulatory Information team on +44 (0)1908 248 250.

Check the flowchart to see if you need a practising certificate – click on the image to view a bigger version on screen or download a PDF version.

What's changed?

Although the guidance does not extend the scope of current requirements it does provide useful additional clarity to help members. In particular the guidance now:

  • clarifies the status of the ICAEW statement as obligatory guidance that will be used by professional conduct to judge a member's actions;
  • explains how ‘practising in’ is determined with regards to geographical jurisdiction;
  • includes guidance on what is meant by ‘holding out’ as a principal;
  • avoids terminology such as ‘quasi employment’ and ‘similar to employment’ for members exempt from the requirement to hold a practising certificate to avoid this being used as evidence of employed status for tax purposes;
  • incorporates extensive revisions to the terminology used and improvements to the layout of the statement to make it easier for members to understand and navigate;
  • contains a simplified flow chart for members to work through to find out if they need a practising certificate;
  • includes updates to refer to the Prudential Regulatory Authority in addition to the Financial Conduct Authority and to ensure that the introduction of probate regulation and reserved legal services is covered; and 
  • recognises that due to a one-off assignment in a particular year a business may exceed the 10% rule. Revised guidance allows a member to reflect on their position and whether the provision of accountancy services is likely to regularly exceed 10%.

How can I find out more?

To find out more about the statement or for guidance on how it applies to you, please call the Regulatory Information Team on +44 (0)1908 248 250.