No deal yet on compulsory review of firms

The institute announced last December that it would introduce a practice review scheme for all 15,000 member firms from 2003.

But it has now admitted the decision was only made ‘in principle’ and that the review programme would be discussed in detail at a further council meeting in October.

Smaller firms have already raised fears that the new scheme, which will replace the work of the joint monitoring unit, could lead to increased regulation.

A spokesman for the institute said it had always been the intention that the review scheme would be discussed in more detail following a period of consultation.

‘The agreement reached in December was only an in principle one,’ he said.

But the introduction of the scheme, provisionally known as ‘practice assurance’, could be further delayed, as members will only be able to vote for its introduction at a special general meeting in June 2003 – the institute had already announced the reviews would begin in 2003.

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