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I have been discussing insolvency with a gentleman that began his career in Insolvency as a chartered accountant, and acted as an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) since 1976!
Following amendments to the Insolvency Act, he qualified with Grandfather Rights. So he did not have to sit the grueling JIEB Insolvency Examinations modern insolvency practitioners have to pass before applying for a licence to be an insolvency practitioner.
He spoke with passion about the changes in Insolvency, both from a commercial and a technical point of view. His wealth of experience across all sectors of the market was evident. Although now semi retired and no longer a licence holder, he does retain an interest in the industry. He keeps up to date with technical developments by his wide range of contacts. To me, a young Insolvency professional, he had clearly had an impressive career. However, I wondered what the general public’s perception of an insolvency practitioner might be.
I think often professionals within our industry are given a bad reputation by non-regulated bodies claiming to be business advisers or turnaround specialists. They often have few, if any, formal qualifications and little technical knowledge of insolvency legislation.
Consumers should be reassured an insolvency practitioner is licensed and authorised by The Secretary of State. Also, they have been stringently tested on their technical knowledge by way of a series of exams. In addition, an insolvency practitioner must have a specified number of hours insolvency experience to apply for a licence. So once a licence has been granted an IP must complete the requisite number of training hours per year to ensure they are up to date with the very latest technical knowledge.
An insolvency practitioner is guided by a code of ethics which include integrity and competence. So you should be confident when dealing with an IP that matters will be handled in a professional manner. Remember, you can approach an Insolvency Practitioner directly for advice, and most will offer a free consultation at the very least.