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Quality Assurance Monitoring: view from the firms

As a world-leading improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 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 infographic

Continuous improvement

In a ‘usual’ year around 3,000 monitoring reviews are carried out. 60% of these are carried out onsite at the offices of the firms/IPs. Despite not being able to return to a full schedule of onsite visits until Q4 2021, QAD completed a total of 2,569 monitoring reviews in 2021.

Early in the pandemic, we realised that remote visits take on average one day longer, than onsite visits. We are very grateful to our firms for supporting us with these during this difficult period.

We continue to develop and improve the way we carry out remote reviews and there are many positive aspects which we are implementing; adaptation of time allocated for scheduled reviews and a new pattern of scheduled planning time for reviewers are enabling us to speed up response times.

Since 1 September, QAD has now returned to pre-pandemic ways of working. For firms and practitioners that are in scope for an on-site visit, we find that they provide the best opportunity for high quality interaction between firms and our reviewers. They also enable the visit to be conducted in the most proportionate and effective manner for all those involved.

Further resources


View previous survey results.