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UKRIAT Public Practice Scheme

30 January 2018 by Theresa Minnie

UKRIAT Public Practice Scheme - Read more

Information for ICSA members in public practice and those considering starting their own business

If you are you a sole trader; a partner within a partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership; a shareholder or director who has a beneficial interest in a limited company; or if you offer company services to clients for a fee, then you may need to hold a UKRIAT Public Practice Scheme certificate.

The scheme was established to provide recognition and credibility for ICSA members in public practice and to incorporate a system of quality control and regulation that supports and protects members of the scheme, while giving assurance to existing and potential clients.

The scheme is currently only applicable to members in the United Kingdom but it will in future be extended to members in the Republic of Ireland and the Associated Territories.

As part of our recent review you can now apply and renew your certificate online.

The byelaws

Under byelaw 17 you are required to register and join the UKRIAT Public Practice Scheme if you are self-employed, partner or shareholder and providing governance, risk, compliance, company secretarial, legal (including HR) or accountancy services.

If you are an ICSA Associate or Fellow and not employed under a contract of service but offering any of the above services you should hold a practising certificate. However, if you are working in a voluntary role you are exempted from registering with the scheme, but you should check you have sufficient Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Starting your own business?

We are sure you have thought long and hard about starting your own practice and our online self-assessment points are designed to help you highlight any areas you may not have considered.

If you decide you are ready to start your own practice then the next step is to apply for a practising certificate by logging into your secure MyICSA and apply online, or download and send the completed application to Support Team, ICSA, Saffron house, 6–10 Kirby Street, London, EN1 8TS.

If you are starting your own business, you will also need:

  1. Professional indemnity insurance cover. The minimum cover required by the Scheme is £100,000 or two and a half times your annual gross fee income, whichever is higher
  2. Proof you are registered with an anti-money laundering supervisor or evidence that this is not required in your jurisdiction
  3. Proof you have completed the required annual continuing professional development (CPD) hours. 
1 Professional indemnity insurance

Members are required to hold insurance to cover all the activities that the member is undertaking or proposes to undertake. There are a number of insurance brokers offering professional indemnity insurance, such as Arthur J. Gallagher.

Members of the scheme are liable for any excess over and above their own level of cover, in addition to the initial policy excess quoted by the insurer.

2 Anti-money laundering supervisor

Anti-money laundering regulations apply to a number of different business sectors, including trust and company service providers, financial and credit businesses, accountants and estate agents. This includes the offering of various company secretarial services, including, but not limited to, incorporation services.

You are breaking the law if you carry on one of the above business activities without being registered with a supervisory authority.

Members can register with HMRC or a professional body registered as an anti-money laundering supervisor.

3 Continuing professional development

Members in public practice are required to have completed 35 hours CPD for the previous year, both when initially applying to become a member of the scheme and when applying for their annual renewal.

You can either register your CPD hours online by logging into your MyICSA CPD log or you can submit a duly recorded log with supporting evidence to the support team. 


You can take our short questionnaire on the ICSA website to find out if you require a UKRIAT Public Practice Scheme certificate.

If you are still not sure, then contact a member of the support team at membersupport@icsa.org.uk or call +44(0)20 7580 4741.

Theresa Minnie is head of outreach at ICSA: The Governance Institute

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