IPA considers insolvency-lite licence

The Insolvency Practitioners’ Association is seeking to introduce a lower
tier qualification allowing members to manage IVAs, rebuffing concerns that a
tiered system would devalue fully licensed IPs.

The IPA has become the second insolvency practitioners licensing body to move
towards creating a so-called ‘lite’ qualification for people focused only on the
UK’s rapidly expanding debt management industry.

IPA chief executive Nick Sabin said the move is another step towards better
policing of the much-maligned debt management industry, following the IPA’s
recent appointment as the body charged with regulating the newly formed Debt
Resolution Forum.

Sabin said the proposal, which was made to the
Department of Trade and
, is crucial in managing the huge number of IVA proposals
effectively. ‘Upcoming changes to the IVA process will make them quicker, easier
and simpler to undertake.

‘Limited licensing is in that same spirit. A number of practitioners could
think it would devalue the brand, but the growth in personal indebtedness means
it has become an industrial process, and I can’t see this reducing in the near
future. In the interests of all, we need some specialism,’ said Sabin.

He believes that managers within accounting firms handling vast numbers of
IVAs on behalf of an IP would be ideally placed to take the qualification. ‘An
IP acts as nominee and supervisor for several hundred debtors, but the tier
below them is manager level – some of whom have 20 years of experience as
managers. They’re interested in a limited license as they can’t get a full
license without corporate work.’

Sabin hopes a qualification will be in place by April 2008 or earlier.

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