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Gaining audit rights in the UK

Published: 12 Apr 2011 Updated: 28 Oct 2022 Update History

This section outlines important information for individuals looking to gain audit rights in the UK,

Audit is a regulated area in the UK. This means that audit work undertaken is ultimately signed off by an individual holding UK statutory audit rights who:

  • is a member of a recognised qualifying body (RQB);
  • holds an appropriate qualification (the Audit Qualification);
  • holds a licence to practise (known as a practising certificate);
  • and has been granted the title 'responsible individual' (RI) by a recognised supervisory body (RSB) after being nominated for the role by a firm of registered auditors.

Recognised Qualifying Body (RQB)

ICAEW is an RQB. An RQB is a professional body that has been granted powers by the government to award the Audit Qualification. RQBs ensure that individuals have met both the examination and practical training requirements specified for the Audit Qualification in the Companies Act.

Recognised Supervisory Bodies (RSB)

ICAEW is an RSB. An RSB is a professional body that has been granted powers by the government to supervise audit work. They monitor firms to ensure that work is completed competently, ethically, and appropriately.

Responsible Individual (RI)

If you work on an audit you will ultimately report to an individual within your firm who is known as a 'responsible individual' (RI). This is the person who is qualified to sign off the audit report at the end of an audit. You must never sign an audit report unless you have been granted RI status by your professional body. Doing so will result in disciplinary action.

Applying for audit rights

In order to gain audit rights in the UK, you will need to hold: