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Do I need a practising certificate?

Helpsheets and support

Published: 03 May 2023 Update History

Find out if you require a practising certificate (PC).

Who needs a PC?

You need an ICAEW PC when you engage in public practice.

What is public practice? 

Typically members engage in public practice when they become a principal in an accountancy firm or when they independently offer accountancy services to the public.

However, it is important to note that there are other situations where a PC is required, for example as an ICAEW insolvency licence holder, and as an employee responsible individual under the audit regulations.

You'll require a PC irrespective of whether you hold a PC with another body, with some exceptions.

If you are setting up a new accountancy practice, you will need to notify ICAEW about the name of your firm.

What if we don't use the description 'chartered accountants'?

If you're a principal and you engage in public practice, you need a practising certificate whatever you call yourself and your firm.

You need a practising certificate whether or not:

  1. You use the ICAEW logo;
  2. You have a PC from another professional body such as the ACCA or CIOT; or
  3. You undertake work in any of the regulated areas.

If you're a member of ICAEW and engage in public practice, you need an ICAEW practising certificate. 

Changes to PC requirements

From January 2024, a new Statement on members engaging in public practice will be introduced, along with new Practising certificate regulations and Corporate practice regulations.

It is very important that you read the statement to check whether you are required to hold a PC as some people who didn't require one previously will now need to hold one. 

For more information on these changes read this overview article or take a look at our scenarios and articles to see how the changes could apply to you. 

Respond to our consultation before 14 December 2023

The ICAEW Regulatory Board is now consulting on proposed changes to ICAEW's Professional Indemnity Assurance arrangements. This consultation will run from 18 October to 14 December. You can learn more about the consultation and who should respond below.

Practising certificate changes

From 1 January 2024, guideline changes mean that even if you didn't need a practising certificate before you may now need one.

Download the new guidance

PDF (173kb)

Read the updated Statement on members engaging in public practice, which comes into effect from 1 January 2024.