Insolvency – Dispute over IPA standard

The Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency exam, set up by the IPA in 1996, covers a basic understanding UK insolvency law and practice. But would-be licensed insolvency practitioners must first pass the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) examination.

In the UK, the DTI can grant an insolvency licence to someone who has not passed the JIEB exam, but only under exceptional circumstances.

Due to a European directive, it is not possible to impose a uniform, insolvency test on all EC applicants.

The Society of Practitioners of Insolvency opposes the granting of an insolvency licence to UK citizens who have not passed the JIEB exam. It does support, however, the use of the CPI exam for qualified EC applicants who wish to practice in the UK.

Kenneth Ross, president of the IPA, said: ‘Nothing is set up for Europeans wishing to practice insolvency in the UK. It should be a trade body judging their competence, and not the DTI.

‘Our certificate recognises the experience gained by qualified accountants in practice and it can be used as a stepping stone towards the JIEB qualification.’

Ross added that he was confident of a majority backing form his members as well as the accountancy bodies.

A spokesman for ACCA remained unpersuaded, however, and attacked the IPA proposal: ‘We’ve got many questions and doubts about mutual recognition for foreign insolvency practitioners based on a qualification which is worth less than the JIEB qualification. There should be a level playing field,’ he said.

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