Insolvency qualifications

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.

The Insolvency Act 1986 introduced provisions which require anyone who wishes to accept insolvency appointments to obtain a licence to do so having passed the appropriate examinations. A Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) was set up to administer the Joint Insolvency Examinations (JIE). The Act excludes certain individuals from acting as insolvency practitioners.

Insolvency licences are issued by Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs), and currently by the Insolvency Service. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is an RPB. Special provisions apply to nationals of other EEC states, and Switzerland, if they hold an insolvency qualification from their country.

Training

ICAS facilitates a range of insolvency training courses leading towards varying qualifications (JIE, CPI, CPPI). Details of these courses are provided in the following sections.

Joint Insolvency Examinations (JIE)

The JIEB examinations are written exams to test the knowledge and practical skills required to be an insolvency practitioner. Candidates may choose whether to sit the Scottish papers or the England & Wales papers. The examinations are held annually.

To take the exams candidates must be registered with one of the Recognised Professional Bodies.

The examination comprises three papers:

  • Liquidations
  • Administrations, Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) and Receiverships
  • Personal Insolvency

All three papers have to be passed, though not necessarily at the same time. Past exam papers can be accessed on the Association of Business Recovery Professional's website.

For more detailed information on the examinations please refer to the JIE notes to candidates and syllabus for the examination 2016 (pdf, 226KB).

Applications, correspondence and queries relating the JIEB exams should be sent to jiebexams@icas.com.

JIEB examinations 2016

The dates for the JIEB examinations for 2016 will take place as follows:

LiquidationMonday 7  November (afternoon)
ACVARTuesday 8 November (morning)
Personal InsolvencyWednesday 9 November (morning)

JIEB exam application form

Download the JIEB application form 2016. (pdf, 556KB).

Become an ICAS Joint Insolvency Exam (JIE) Student

All JIE students are welcome to register with ICAS irrespective of where in the UK you intend to attend courses or to sit the exams.  There is no requirement to have an accountancy qualification.  If you do have an accountancy qualification it does not have to be with ICAS.

As an ICAS JIE student you will have access to insolvency material on our website, including published case law, free membership to your local insolvency discussion group and access to our technical helpline for study related issues.

For more information download the JIE ICAS brochure PDF [455 KB].

How to become an ICAS Insolvency Practitioner

The two ways of becoming an ICAS licensed insolvency practitioner are;

1)     by sitting and passing the JIEB exams or

2)     by transferring your licence from another Body. Licences may be issued to non-members who have met the examination and competence requirements of the Institute. These insolvency practitioners are referred to as Affiliates.

The pre-requisites for obtaining a licence can be found in the Regulation and Monitoring section of our website.

In addition to JIE training ICAS runs several courses during the year for individuals who wish to gain a better understanding of insolvency processes or who wish to refresh/update their knowledge. Attendance at these courses will provide a valuable grounding in insolvency law and procedure.

Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (CPI)

The CPI is an intermediate insolvency qualification which is recognised as a test of competence in insolvency administration. The exam, which covers all the key areas of insolvency, is set by the Insolvency Practitioners' Association and can be sat in both England & Wales and in Scotland. For those working in Scotland there is a Scottish syllabus which takes account of the differences in legislation north and south of the border.

Although passing the CPI exam does not entitle candidates to any exemptions in the Joint Insolvency Exams (JIE) it provides a sound grounding for those considering taking JIE.

The CPI exam is held annually and consists of one 3-hour paper. Approximately two-thirds of the paper relates to corporate insolvency and the remaining one-third relates to personal insolvency. Forty percent of the paper consists of multiple choice questions with the rest of the paper requiring essay style responses. ICAS facilitates training for the CPI exams which consists of 12 modules running annually from January to May. The exam itself usually takes place in June.

Certificate of Proficiency in Personal Insolvency (CPPI)

The CPPI is a qualification introduced by the Insolvency Practitioners' Association in 2009 as a test of Personal Insolvency competence, at an equivalent level to CPI. It is directed at those working in the Personal Insolvency sector who wish to obtain a qualification to demonstrate a thorough understanding of statutory and non-statutory solutions in personal insolvency.

ICAS facilitates training for the CPI exams with training being provided in modules. A Scottish exam was offered for the first time in 2010. The exam format is similar to that provided for the CPI exams. The CPPI exam is held annually.

Certificate of Proficiency in Corporate Insolvency (CPCI)

The CPCI is an intermediate insolvency qualification focusing primarily on corporate insolvency introduced by the Insolvency Practitioners' Association in 2013. It is directed at those working in corporate insolvency. Candidates will be required to demonstrate a solid understanding of insolvency law and practice as it relates to corporate insolvency.

ICAS in partnership with BPP facilitates training for the CPCI exams. Training is provided by way of modules presented in a combination of face-to-face and online tuition. The syllabus covers statutory insolvency procedures in Scotland based on legislation and practice in force as at 1 January of the year in which the exam is sat. It includes regulation, ethics, SIPs and other guidance which account for approximately 20% of the marks. Exams are held twice a year and the format is similar to that provided for the CPI.

Other Insolvency courses

Each year ICAS offers several insolvency courses in both corporate and personal insolvency.

Courses are provided when necessary to address any changes in legislation and to provide clarity for IPs and other interested parties. All training, courses and conferences are open to the public; different course fee levels apply.

Further information on all insolvency training and courses that ICAS offers can be found on our website at Courses and Conferences or can be obtained by emailing: ldicas@bpp.com 

Each year ICAS offers several insolvency courses in both corporate and personal insolvency.

Courses are provided when necessary to address any changes in legislation and to provide clarity for IPs and other interested parties. All training, courses and conferences are open to the public; different course fee levels apply.

Further information on all insolvency training and courses that ICAS offers can be found on our website at Courses and Conferences or can be obtained by emailing: ldicas@bpp.com

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