Becoming a Qualified Insolvency Practitioner

A career as an insolvency practitioner (IP) involves working with companies and individuals facing financial difficulties to help them find solutions. They are required to be able to deal with the emotional and legal aspects of insolvency and have good communication skills to help their clients through difficult times. ICAEW’s flexible programmes are designed to give you the knowledge and skills needed for this career, including the Joint Insolvency Examinations (JIEB) to become fully licensed as an IP.

As an IP you will advise directors and stakeholders of insolvent insolvency practitioner qualification or financially distressed companies on how to maximise the chances of business recovery. This can include restructuring the company, arranging for assets to be valued and sold, and ensuring that any company matters are settled in accordance with the Insolvency Act 1986. You will also be involved with liquidation cases where you will work to close the company and ensure that a maximum amount of cash is returned to creditors. You will also be involved in administration cases such as trading and pre-pack administrations.

An IP can also offer advice and assistance to individuals, helping them avoid bankruptcy through alternative non-statutory arrangements such as individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs). You will need to have an understanding of all types of insolvency procedures and be able to communicate clearly with the individual or business facing insolvency.

To become a qualified insolvency practitioner, you must pass the JIEB exam set by the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA). Training courses are available to prepare you for these exams. Once you have passed the JIEB, you can apply to one of the UK’s insolvency registration boards to be licensed as an IP. We recommend registering with the largest RPB, ICAEW, as it provides you with a wide range of benefits and support to get your career started.

As well as a licence, an IP will need to have insurance cover and a bond in place. In addition, they will need to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) activities each year. This is a requirement set out in the IPA CPD Guidance. It requires an IP to complete at least 25 hours of relevant structured CPD each year. This can include attending or speaking at courses and conferences organised by the IPA, R3, other commercial course and conference providers or by other professionals and their firms.

When choosing an insolvency practitioner, it’s important to consider their reputation and price. Make sure you read online reviews and check for any complaints or disciplinary action against them. It is also a good idea to have a mentor who can guide you through your early career, as they will be able to share their experiences with you and point out any areas where further training or development would be beneficial. They can also help you build your client network and assist in your job applications, by providing references for potential clients.