BusinessBusiness RecoveryIPA overhauls member monitoring

IPA overhauls member monitoring

The Insolvency Practitioner's Association last week met to debate outsourcing the monitoring of its members at a conference that some described as its most important event ever.

The conference – attended by leading representatives from across the profession – discussed the future of its inspection and regulation regime once the Joint Insolvency Monitoring Unit closes in December.

Much of the discussion focused on the creation of a dedicated IPA monitoring unit, but institute or ACCA monitoring for IPA members was also on the agenda.

Richard Long, president of the IPA, said: ‘I think this is probably the most important conference that the IPA has ever held, which will shape the way forward for the IPA and the profession as a whole.’

JIMU’s role as the ‘police force’ of both ICAEW and IPA members will cease at the end of the year following the institute’s decision to take inspection in-house. Any move to subject IPA members to inspection by other bodies is likely to prove controversial.

The institute said it had offered ‘tailored’ monitoring services to the IPA which it was currently considering, while ACCA said it would ‘consider any proposal that improves regulation’.

The IPA president denied reports of tension between the IPA and the institute over JIMU’s demise. ‘The IPA and the institute have not fallen out, but are both reviewing the whole system of monitoring,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Insolvency Practices Council, which scrutinises ethical and professional standards in the profession, warned against further fragmentation and raised concerns about bodies’ ability to pay.

Its recent annual report said: ‘The move towards greater harmonisation appears to be breaking down, which cannot be good for the public interest and its perception of the insolvency profession.’

The meeting follows an extensive IPA consultation exercise, launched in September, intended as the first step in a ‘radical’ overhaul of existing insolvency regulation.

Email Brian_Moher@vnu.co.uk WHAT’S AT STAKE? The conference followed an extensive consultation with 56 meetings held around the country. The IPA council will meet in May to identify its preferred option and the final decision will be taken on 23 July. – IPs want inspectors to present a more balanced view and produce positive as well as negative feedback; – creditors demanded practitioners communicate better and accused licensing bodies off being ‘too sympathetic’ to IPs; and – ‘service contract’ with ICAEW or ACCA was considered.

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