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As an improvement regulator, the Professional Standards Department (PSD) will initiate and respond to consultations on issues that relate to our regulatory responsibilities. This includes specific regulatory issues or matters that relate solely to regulation. We invite the views of the ICAEW members and the individuals and firms regulated/supervised by ICAEW, consumers of accountancy services and other stakeholders.

The list of open and closed consultations below is either prepared by the PSD or includes information where PSD has made a significant contribution to the overall ICAEW response to a consultation.

Open consultations

There are currently no open regulatory consultations.

Professional Standards Department responses to consultations

ICAEW submission to HMRC’s consultation on raising standards in the tax advice market

ICAEW welcomes the opportunity to comment on Raising standards in the tax advice market: strengthening the regulatory framework and improving registration, published by HMRC on 6 March 2024. Our response was prepared by the Professional Standards Department and the ICAEW Tax Faculty. 

ICAEW submission to Justice Select Committee's call for evidence: probate

ICAEW welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Justice Select Committee's call for evidence on probate. Our response reflects the views of ICAEW accredited probate practitioners (probate practitioners) and other individuals with experience using the service delivered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Our submission addresses certain questions the Committee has sought evidence on within each section.

ICAEW response to LSB consultation on first-tier complaints

We welcome broadly the Legal Services Board’s proposals. This is a timely update to ensure that all consumers have access to effective and responsive complaints procedures. We strongly support the objectives underpinning the proposed provisions to improve accessibility and trust and to focus on continuous improvement.

Many of the proposals are already established good practice in our regulations.

An area of concern for us is the very low numbers of complaints that we see in this area, means that there is a very high risk of negative data. Our consultation response includes suggestions on ways in which the risk of distortion of data might be reduced.

ICAEW response to consultation on Legal Services Board guidance on promoting technology and innovation to improve access to legal services

As a regulator, our purpose is to ensure high technical and ethical standards in all the work performed by our regulated population.

We welcome the proposed outcomes in the draft guidance; a clear, and consistent regulatory approach across the sector will support business confidence and improve access to a diverse range of legal services. 

FCA regulated fees and levies: Rates proposals 2023/24 (professional body supervisors)

As we set out in previous responses, we find the method of calculating the professional body supervisor (PBSs) fees unfair as it penalises smaller firms and sole practitioners supervised by ICAEW, simply because they share an AML supervisor with the largest accountancy firms. We feel that the disparity between the levy applied to ICAEW and the smaller PBSs that only pay the fixed fee is becoming irrational – an inadvertent consequence of maintaining the fixed fee at a low rate that has not increased with RPI and any increases in OPBAS budgets being picked up by the largest PBSs. We are concerned that, with supervisory reform on the horizon, this disparity will become entrenched and will impact on PBSs ability to recoup costs from their supervised population in future. We call for a proper review of the OPBAS levy, as this was not included in the recent HM Treasury review of the OPBAS Regulations.

Legal Services Board proposed regulatory performance assessment framework

The ICAEW Professional Standards Department welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Legal Services Board’s proposed regulatory performance assessment framework issued 7 April 2022.

The ICAEW Regulatory Board’s response to the Insolvency Service consultation on the future of insolvency regulation

While we support a number of the proposals in the Consultation Document and believe that the Government should introduce legislation to make the current insolvency regulatory framework more effective, we do not believe that Government has come close to making out a convincing evidential case for removing the Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) from their important role in insolvency regulation.

Legal Services Board ongoing competence proposed statement of policy

ICAEW Professional Standards welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Legal Services Board’s draft statement of policy on ongoing competence issued 8 December 2021.

Empowering consumers proposed statement of policy

ICAEW Professional Standards welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Legal Services Board’s draft statement of policy Empowering Consumers issued 15 September 2021 a copy of which is available from this link.

Professional Standards Department response to the LSB Proposed Rules for Applications to Alter Regulatory Arrangements

ICAEW Professional Standards welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Legal Services Board’s discussion paper Proposed Rules For Applications To Alter Regulatory Arrangements issued 15 June 2021 a copy of which is available from this link.

ICAEW is a world-leading professional body established under a Royal Charter to serve the public interest. In pursuit of its vision of a world of strong economies, ICAEW works with governments, regulators and businesses and it leads, connects, supports and regulates more than 154,000 chartered accountant members in over 160 countries.

The ICAEW Regulatory Board’s response to the BEIS consultation: Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance

We welcome many of the proposals in the Consultation Document. Our main concern is that it does not sufficiently recognise the significant level of independent oversight already exercised by the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) over the member conduct and disciplinary functions of ICAEW.

We believe that, working closely together with ARGA, we can continue to provide an extremely effective audit and accountancy oversight regime. This would enable ARGA to concentrate on the other areas of oversight where enhancement is required, particularly where significant public interest concerns have been identified.

Closed consultations

Legal Services Compensation Scheme review and consultation

As an approved legal services regulator, ICAEW is required to have in place appropriate compensation arrangements (the Scheme) for the purposes of consumer protection. The Scheme has been in place since 2014. ICAEW therefore undertook a review and then consulted on its assessment of the Scheme including a proposal to continue with the current format. The consultation is now closed.

Proposed changes to 'professional behaviour' provisions in ICAEW Code of Ethics

ICAEW consulted on proposed changes to the fundamental principle of professional behaviour in sub-section 115 of the ICAEW Code of Ethics. The consultation ran from 1 December 2023 to 9 February 2024 and is now closed.

Proposed changes to ICAEW's Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangements

The ICAEW Regulatory Board consulted on proposed changes to ICAEW's PII arrangements from 18 October to 14 December. A summary of the results will be published early in 2024.

Proposed changes to the UK Audit Regulations and Guidance

This consultation ran from 1 September to 27 October 2023. It is now closed. The purpose of the consultation was to explain proposed changes to the UK Audit Regulations and Guidance. The new regulations are expected to take effect in early 2024. The results will be published along with the final version of the updated regulations in due course.

2024 probate fees consultation

This consultation ran from 16 June to 11 August 2023. This consultation is now closed.

As an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate services, our activities are guided by and support the Legal Services Board's strategic themes: fairer outcomes, stronger confidence and better services, to strengthen trust and protect the public by enabling, evaluating and enforcing the highest standards in the profession.

Recognising inflationary pressures and to continue to deliver our ongoing programme of activity to fulfil these objectives and those of the Legal Services Act, we propose to increase probate registration fees by 5% for 2024.

Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.3 - Trust Deeds

A working group of the Joint Insolvency Committee reviewed Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.3 – Trust Deeds and invited comments on the revised SIP.

This consultation ran from 14 April to 10 July 2023.

Changes to ICAEW CPD Policy

In July 2022, following approval from Council, ICAEW announced changes to its CPD policy which will apply to all ICAEW members, ICAEW member and regulated firms, and non-members who are registered with ICAEW for a regulated activity. We would like your input to help shape the policy.

The consultation ran from 29 September – 27 October 2022.

Consultation: 2023 probate registration fees

As an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate services, our activities are guided by and support the Legal Services Board (LSB) strategic themes; fairer outcomes, stronger confidence and better services, to strengthen trust and protect the public by enabling, evaluating and enforcing the highest standards in the profession.

Recognising inflationary pressures and to continue to deliver our ongoing programme of activity to fulfil these objectives and those of the Legal Services Act, we propose to increase probate registration fees by 7% for 2023.

This consultation ran from 22 July to 16 September 2022. This consultation is now closed, the responses are being reviewed and a summary of the results will be published here shortly.

Medium term (3 year) legal services strategy consultation

Some minor amendments have been made to the IRB’s Legal Services Strategy. The consultation is now closed and a summary of the results will be published here shortly.

Consultation on proposed changes to ICAEW’s CPD Policy

ICAEW wishes to consult on the changes it proposes to make to its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy in 2022. This consultation closed on 18 May 2022. Following the consultation, ICAEW Council has approved the principles of the revised CPD Policy. The new ICAEW CPD Policy will be launched in November 2023.

Consultation: proposed changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework

The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) consulted on proposed changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework. This consultation closed on 29 March 2022.

Consultation: Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.1

The Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC) is consulting on changes to Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.1 - Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

JIC undertook a consultation issued in May 2020 which included revisions to SIP 3.1. At that time these revisions had been identified as being relevant changes as part of a review of SIP 3.2 on Company Voluntary Arrangements. No detailed review of SIP 3.1 was carried out. This consultation builds on the work carried out in 2020 and a draft revised SIP 3.1 is now being consulted on, following a detailed review.

This consultation closed on 5 November, the results will be published here shortly.

Consultation: mandating transparency disclosures through regulation

This consultation has now closed and the results are available below.

To develop and advance ICAEW’s consumer engagement strategy and to address the concerns and recommendations outlined in the CMA’s 2016 report, ICAEW opted for a voluntary approach to improving the provision of price and service information to consumers.

To date, the uptake of the voluntary guidance has been disappointing. At its meeting in June 2021, the IRB considered the final assessment of ICAEW firms’ take up. It noted that whilst the results showed some improvements, they were still some way short of acceptable. Consequently, it recommended mandating transparency measures through the introduction of regulation.

Consultation: ICAEW reserved legal services strategy

The IRB has finished consulting on its proposed RLS strategy. The proposed strategy supports the Legal Services Board’s strategic themes; fairer outcomes, stronger confidence and better services, to strengthen trust and protect the public by enabling, evaluating, and enforcing the highest standards in the profession.

Consultation: 2022 probate registration fees

Subject to Legal Standards Board (LSB) approval, we propose to increase probate registration fees by 5% for 2022. This is to continue to deliver our ongoing programme of activity which aims to:

  • support the Legal Services Board's (LSB) strategic themes (fairer outcomes, stronger confidence and better services);
  • strengthen trust and protect the public by enabling, evaluating and enforcing the highest standards in the profession; and
  • to respond to the requirements of the Legal Services Act and new governance introduced by the LSB.

This consultation ran from Friday 25 June to Friday 6 August 2021.

Consultation: changes to ICAEW's Minimum Approved Policy

The proposed changes address a regulatory requirement for insurers to clarify the extent of cover for cyber-related claims in policies of insurance. The changes are due to take effect on 1 September 2021.

This consultation ran from 12 April until 21 May 2021.

Other ICAEW consultations

ICAEW contribute responses to many consultations issued by government, oversight bodies and other bodies. These carry the views of ICAEW:

Details of consultations on revisions to Statements of Insolvency Practice and insolvency Code of Ethics are also available:

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