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Quality Assurance monitoring: view from the firms

As a world-leading improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor more than 12,000 ICAEW firms and insolvency practitioners (IPs), holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competency and conduct. Find out what our firms thought of the monitoring review process from our latest survey.

Monitoring is carried out by the Quality Assurance Department (QAD), which is part of the Professional Standards Department (PSD). PSD is responsible for carrying out ICAEW's regulatory and conduct roles. These roles are separated from ICAEW’s other activities through internal governance so that we can monitor, support or take steps to ensure change if standards are not met.

After each monitoring review, firms and IPs are asked to complete an anonymous survey, providing feedback on the review process, the quality of interaction and the support provided. The infographic illustrates the results of the responses.

QAD monitoring infographic for Q4 2023
These survey responses are collated and analysed by an independent research agency and we receive a quarterly and annual overview report which we use to support the continuous improvement of our monitoring processes and procedures.

Monitoring reviews ensure and reassure firms/IPs they are meeting the expected requirements of the standards, regulations and the ICAEW Code of Ethics. In turn, we take action where the requirements are not met.

Latest Quality Assurance monitoring feedback

The overall feedback for 2023 from firms and IPs remains positive. Compared to 2022, it shows that the satisfaction with the management of the process and quality of interaction with QAD staff continues to average around 97%, even with 199 more firms reviewed in 2023 than the year before. It also shows a trend in the right direction compared to results reported in 2021.

In terms of reviewer performance, the feedback from firms is extremely positive across the five criteria of technical competence, good business understanding, and constructive, patient and courteous interactions, perhaps best summed up by one of the firms visited:

Excellent – detailed comprehensive review undertaken in the right tone/manner with the opportunity for constructive conversations. Thank you.

The high percentages recorded throughout confirm that QAD is committed to taking on the feedback it learns from the surveys undertaken so that firms and IPs get the most from their interactions with reviewers. The members of QAD strive to continue to maintain very high standards of work commitment and communication with firms and IPs and in relation to the detailed reports QAD produce, the feedback shows that members from QAD are held in high regard.

Monitoring visits are an important part of our commitment to fulfil ICAEW's statutory responsibilities and commitments to oversight regulators. Survey feedback from visits is important to us in our mission to continuously improve our role as an improvement regulator. In 2023, we reviewed 2,027 firms. In 2022, we undertook a total of 1,828 visits.