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Practice Assurance for Probate

It's a requirement of the Probate Regulations that firms accredited for probate be subject to the Practice Assurance scheme. The scheme provides a framework of quality assurance principles, and offers practice support and advice, together with monitoring visits.

ICAEW member firms are already subject to Practice Assurance and do not need to do anything further. You can check whether you are an ICAEW member firm.
If your firm doesn’t meet the definition of an ICAEW member firm, it will need to apply to be part of the scheme.

How to apply to be part of ICAEW’s Practice Assurance scheme 

Firms that aren’t already subject to Practice Assurance can apply to be part of the scheme in one of two ways. 

  1. If your firm already has a C00 number, and you've completed an annual return in the last 12 months, complete and return any required probate application forms. 
  2. If your firm doesn’t have a C00 number or you haven’t completed an annual return in the last 12 months, complete and return:
  • any required probate application forms;
  • a copy of the last set of accounts of the firm and any connected entities listed in the application to become an accredited probate firm; and
  • examples of recent promotional materials and/or advertisements 
In either case, you should indicate in any covering letter or email that your firm is not currently subject to Practice Assurance. 

Please send your completed probate application forms to:

Professional Standards, Regulatory Support
Metropolitan House
321 Avebury Boulevard
Milton Keynes

What happens next 

Once we receive your completed probate application forms, we will draw up a standard contract. This includes the following obligations on the firm: 

  • to act in accordance with the Practice Assurance standards; 
  • to comply with the Code of Ethics and the Clients’ Money Regulations as if the firm were a ‘member firm’, ‘practising firm’ or ‘member’ as appropriate; 
  • to demonstrate a commitment to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007; and 
  • to complete an annual return, be supervised and monitored. 

Fee scales

We agree fees on a firm-by-firm basis based on individual circumstances and risk, which we assess during the application process. As an indication, a firm with one ICAEW principal and one non-ICAEW member principal should expect to pay no more than £310 (plus VAT) per year. Fees for larger firms will depend on the information provided at the time of application, including the firm's size, complexity and risk-profile, and the amount of affiliate fees already paid by the firm.

We charge an application fee when you submit the signed contract to ICAEW. We calculate the application fee based on the period between the start of the contract and 31 December. This means we can bill the annual fee on a calendar-year basis.

What being part of the Practice Assurance scheme via a contract means for you

Quality Assurance monitoring – updated 10 June 2020

In line with government guidance we are not currently carrying out onsite monitoring reviews.

If your firm is due a monitoring review in 2020 we may contact you to discuss the possibility of carrying out a desk-based monitoring review. Depending on the type of review this can include telephone meetings or video conferences with one of our reviewers. The reviewer will ask you to provide key documentation in a secure manner as part of the review. For audit and insolvency monitoring reviews, we will need access to your (paper/electronic) files and we’ll discuss how to do this with you before the review.

If you need to postpone your review because your business has been affected by COVID-19, please email QADvisits@icaew.com.

Some firms have asked if their monitoring review can be brought forward. If you would like us to bring forward your firm’s monitoring review, please let us know by emailing QADvisits@icaew.com and we will do our best to arrange this for you.

Use of legend 'A member of the ICAEW Practice Assurance scheme'

Once we've conducted our first monitoring visit to the firm, and are satisfied that the firm has addressed all the matters we've identified as ‘principal findings’, we write to the firm to confirm that it may use the legend ‘A member of the ICAEW Practice Assurance scheme’.