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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.

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. 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.

Firms and IPs are asked to complete an anonymous survey after each monitoring review. They are asked to provide feedback on the review process; the quality of interaction and the support provided.

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

QAD monitoring infographic for Q3 2023

Quality Assurance Monitoring

In the third quarter of 2023, we had an excellent quarter with 93% of firms satisfied with the management of the process, 82% being very satisfied. Plus 95% were satisfied with the interaction they had with QAD staff, and 83% were very satisfied.

These are encouraging results, showing that quarter on quarter, reviewers continue to be rated extremely well by firms, confirming a good level of service.

A particular highlight this quarter is that there has been a notable appreciation of reviewers' skill-based performance, with a number of positive comments from firms about their respective visits, including their pre-visit contact from the team.

One firm shared, "The Reviewer was very professional, experienced and was able to debate issues thoroughly and took the time to discuss current insolvency affairs/matters of interest. Queries raised were valid, helpful to us and conclusions were fair and reasonable."

Another shared, "The discussion with the reviewer about having an alternate has enabled me to come to a decision as to how to proceed with regard to enabling my clients in the event of my incapacity. The opportunity to have feedback from an independent expert is, in my opinion, a key component of the review and should be promoted by the ICAEW as very much a positive aspect of the whole experience."

Monitoring visits are an important part of our commitment to fulfil ICAEW's statutory responsibilities and commitments to oversight regulators. So far, we have reviewed 1,600 firms. In 2022, we undertook a total of 2,520 visits.