Notes for completing public practice scheme application

Before completing the public practice scheme application form, please read these notes to ensure you fill in all of the relevant information in your application.

Business details

The business name, address, phone and fax number you give on the application form will be used to compile the Register of chartered secretaries in public practice, which is available in an electronic format on the website.

If the business address of your practice is different from the address the Institute currently uses for correspondence, the business address which you provide will be entered on the Institute’s membership register and used for all future correspondence.

Services offered to the public

The information that you provide in this section will be recorded on the Institute’s membership database and will help us to monitor the range of services that chartered secretaries provide. The information will also be used to answer requests from members of the public for a specific provider of a particular service.

  • Audit
  • Investment advice
  • Insolvency

Membership of ICSA does not confer automatic authorisation to provide any of the above services. You must therefore be individually qualified/authorised or be covered by a group authorisation to provide these services to the public. For example, to provide investment advice to members of the public, you must have the authorisation of one of the self-regulatory bodies established under the Financial Services Act 1986. 

Please note that ICSA is not a supervisory authority for the purposes of the money laundering regulations.  If the services you provide are caught by the regulations, you will need to register with HMRC.

Professional indemnity insurance

Members of the scheme are required to hold insurance to cover all the activities, which the member is undertaking or proposes to undertake, except where provisional membership applies, either:

  • under the Institute scheme
  • under a policy which the Public Practice Committee considers to be equal to or better than the cover provided by the Institute scheme
  • where members are employed by other organisations providing services within the activity areas to clients of the organisation under a scheme by the employer.

Members of the scheme are reminded that they are liable for any excess over and above their own level of cover, in addition to the policy excess.

Continuing professional development

In support of your application, you must submit a continuing professional development (CPD) personal record card for the previous calendar year.

Provisional membership

Any member entering into public practice for the first time can apply to be a provisional member of the scheme for a period of up to 12 months.

Provisional membership exempts a member from the PII requirement, provided that clients and potential clients are made aware of the fact that PII cover is not in place; any failure to inform the client(s) of the lack of PII cover is cause for action under the Institute’s disciplinary procedures. (The 12 month period will allow time for members to gain the relevant experience and knowledge for running a practice.)

When you submit the form, please check that:

  • it has been signed and dated
  • your CPD personal record is attached
  • the application fee is attached.

You are advised to keep a copy of the information provided on the application form, so that you can check that the data that the Institute holds is correct.

Even though you will probably be reminded to notify the Institute of any changes in your business details before the Register is compiled, you are advised to notify the Institute immediately of any changes.

Please note that ICSA is not a supervisory authority for the purposes of the money laundering regulations.  If the services you provide are caught by the regulations, you will need to register with HMRC.

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