Experience quota slashed for IVA practitioners

New insolvency practitioners with a fraction of the experience of those
conventionally trained could soon be handling a surge in IVAs, after changes to
government guidelines.

New guidelines mean that IVA-focused students need only have 400 hours’
experience. Industry experts had urged nearer 2,000.

The Insolvency Practitioners Association will keep a close eye on an influx
of students from debt management companies, who are looking to beef up their
operations in anticipation of a surge in IVAs due to the introduction of
streamlined or ‘simple’ procedures at the end of the year.

IPA director general Peter Joyce said that it would undertake a ‘close
examination’ of student practitioners’ experience under the shorter
requirements. ‘I certainly expect that IVAs/SIVAs will be properly administered
by our authorisation holders,’ he said.

But although Joyce noted that new students would qualify around the time of
the introduction of SIVAs, he suggested the influx was caused by the debt
management firms, which the IPA will also regulate, seeking to improve standards
among its workforce.

‘It’s a welcome development that these companies want their staff to go
through formal study and independent examination,’ Joyce added.

Students will be taught about the formal and informal debt restructuring
options open to indebted individuals, said Debt Resolution Forum chairman Chris

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