New insolvency qualification to deliver IVA specialists

A new insolvency qualification is being prepared that will distinguish
professionals undertaking IVAs from those doing other types of insolvency work,
and could see IVA specialists hived off from the insolvency profession.

Sources told Accountancy Age that a so-called ‘insolvency
practitioner-lite’ qualification was being discussed between the DTI and
ICAEW, based on the
institute’s existing IVA exams.

It is intended to fill the gap between fully licensed insolvency
practitioners, who sign off the fast-growing numbers of IVA work, and
unregulated and unqualified debt advisers and brokers.

But it could also mean seperating IVA practitioners from the rest of the
profession, with ‘insolvency practitioners’ (IPs) who only carry out IVAs
potentially losing their full qualifications.

Sources suggested that a more controversial aspect of the plan included
revoking the full licenses of qualified insolvency practitioners focused on IVA
work and giving them the IVA qualification instead.

The ICAEW confirmed discussions with a
number of bodies over a new qualification, but played down the prospect of IPs
losing their licences.

‘As long as practitioners meet the requirements of continuing professional
development then we wouldn’t do that,’ said an ICAEW spokeswoman, who would not
confirm discussions with the DTI.

‘What is important is that people seek advice about IVAs from practitioners
who are qualified to give that advice, as ICAEW insolvency practitioners are,’
the spokeswoman added.

‘If IVA numbers increase you’ll need expertise to handle them,’ said Begbies
Traynor senior partner Nick Hood. ‘We shouldn’t be worried about having a
specialist branch of the profession.’

The ICAEW this week launched a pamphlet aimed at consumers to help them
choose a licensed insolvency practitioner, and what should be expected of their
choice. ‘The role of the insolvency practitioner – picking up the pieces’, will
help the indebted to understand what is expected of a licensed insolvency

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