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). 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.
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. In 2020 this figure was slightly lower (2,639) because of the restrictions of the pandemic and from mid-March all onsite visits took place remotely. It is expected to be a similar figure for 2021. Early in the pandemic, we realised that remote visits take on average one day longer, than onsite visits. Despite this, in 2020, we were able to carry out 88% of the pre-COVID-19 quality assurance monitoring target (2,639 of 3,000) that we are required to do to meet our statutory and regulatory responsibilities. We are very grateful to our firms for helping us achieve this despite such a 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. Subject to the continued easing of government restrictions, QAD plans to return to onsite reviews from early September 2021.