How to become an ICAS insolvency practitioner

Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) deal with individuals and businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties. They administer the assets and funds of the insolvent estates, which can amount to significant sums, and frequently require to effect redundancies. Insolvency is therefore a highly regulated area of practice and IPs must complete rigorous training in many aspects of law and practice. They must also keep up to date with developments in insolvency.

Any person who engages in insolvency practice under the Insolvency Act 1986 or Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 is required to be authorised for such work by a Recognised Professional Body (RPB).

ICAS is an RPB under the Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 with specialist expertise in insolvency regulation and practice.  We are renowned for rigorous but fair regulation, thought leadership, excellence in education, and a powerful sense of professional community amongst our members.

Why choose ICAS?

As an ICAS authorised insolvency practitioner we offer you access to:

  • A UK-wide insolvency community with local networking opportunities and LinkedIn member groups
  • The latest insolvency news – delivered via, regular email updates and social media
  • Online technical resources including research and publications
  • Courses and training
  • Events and conferences
  • The CA - monthly member magazine focused on management and finance
  • CA Today - the latest business and accountancy news
  • Monthly ICAS Update - a roundup of technical news and business insights
  • Exclusive member offers and discounts for a range of third party services and products

ICAS also works on behalf of its members and in the public interest by seeking to influence new legislation and best practice by being involved at the outset of their development and by lobbying the Government and devolved administrations.

Who can become an Insolvency Practitioner (IP)?

Under UK law anyone who wants to act as an IP must hold a licence issued by an RPB.  There are strict rules for becoming an IP.

Can I be fully authorised, partially authorised or licensed as a non-appointment taking IP?

Yes. ICAS is able to offer the following insolvency licences:

Partial authorisation

For those who wish to specialise in particular areas of personal or corporate insolvency, authorisation can be granted in relation to individuals only or companies only as defined in the Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.  For partial authorisation, passes in the JIEB exam must have been achieved as follows:

Partial authorisation – individuals

Pass in JIEB personal paper

Partial authorisation – companies

Pass in JIEB Liquidation and ACVAR papers

Full authorisation

Full authorisation will allow the ability to act as an insolvency practitioner in relation to all appointment types (both personal and corporate) under the Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.

For full authorisation, a pass in all 3 papers of the JIEB must be achieved.

Non-appointment taking

For those who have passed the exam of the Joint Insolvency Examination Board but who do not at this stage wish to take appointments themselves, the option of a non-appointment taking licence provides the ability to be recognised as an insolvency expert with demonstrable expertise and knowledge.  A non-appointment taking licence is available for a nominal annual fee.

How to become an ICAS IP?

  1. Register your details and we will send you an application form.
  2. Complete and return your application form.
  3. Provide us with names of two referees – one technical and one character reference – who we will contact.
  4. Your application will be considered by the Authorisation Committee.  If transferring your authorisation from another RPB we will contact them to obtain any further relevant information.  We will do everything we can to facilitate a smooth transition from your current RPB to ICAS.

ICAS is able to authorise not only ICAS CA members but also others who are not members.  Non-members are called Affiliates.  Therefore, if you work in the insolvency sector, but are not a CA you can still apply to ICAS and become authorised by ICAS as an Insolvency Practitioner.

Further details on eligibility for authorisation is available here.

What happens once I have my insolvency licence?

Congratulations on becoming an ICAS IP.  As an authorised insolvency practitioner with ICAS, you will be required to comply with the ICAS Rules and Regulations.  An important obligation is the requirement to notify us of any changes in respect of the information provided by you. The other main obligations which will affect you are:


If an appointment taking IP, ensure compliance with the bonding requirements of the Act or Order by having an Enabling Bond in place;


We apply a risk based approach to regulation as part of the Insolvency Monitoring regime. Non-appointment takers are not subject to full monitoring visits whilst still benefiting from the full range of services and benefits provided to appointment takers.

CPD requirements

Under the ICAS CPD scheme, you are not required to accumulate a set number of hours or points. However, you must demonstrate that you have given consideration to the requirements of your role and the nature of the services you provide.Further information can be found at .  Your CPD will be considering during the insolvency monitoring process (and for non appointment takers we will review  the CPD Record on a sample basis ).

Professional indemnity

You must have suitable Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) in place. Further information on PII requirements is available.

Register now to receive further information

Who to contact if you need further information?

If you wish to discuss further obtaining your insolvency licence with ICAS then please contact David Menzies, Director of Practice ( or 0131 347 0242) or Susan Findlay, Assistant Director, Regulatory Authorisations ( or 0131 347 0283)


  • Practice hub
  • Regulatory authorisations
  • Practice regulation
  • Insolvency Monitoring

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