• 31 March 2020
  • Accountancy

Should I take the JIEB?

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement to limit social contact between no more than 2 people, the country has seen itself settling into working from home.

Though many industries are experiencing a lull as both the UK and global economy adjusts to the various effects of COVID-19, insolvency is one of few which seems set to ramp up.

Paired with the highest rates of insolvency since 2013 for corporate and 2009 for personal, the options for progression within insolvency, for those with experience and those just starting out alike, is set to follow this increase.

With this looming on the horizon, many are taking the opportunity of being out of the office to consider what’s next in their career

As a specialist insolvency recruiter, professional qualifications are an area I personally field numerous enquiries in, regardless of the current political/economic climate. 

Given the recent release of the JIEB November 2015 results and interest in my previous piece on when it’s best to take the CPI, I thought I’d explore what options there are, and what each offers in the later stages of your career.

The JIEB (joint insolvency exam board) is the qualification, made up of two papers - the personal and the corporate - that opens the door to becoming an Insolvency Practitioner. Though there are no professional or academic entry requirements, you’re required to be registered with one of the 4 recognised professional bodies to apply to take the exams. 

  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Institute Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS)
  • Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA)

So, what factors are there to consider when deciding whether the JIEB is right for you?

There are ultimately 2 license options; the full, the corporate partial or the personal partial.

To apply for any license:

  • Pass the appropriate exams (see below)
  • Meet the minimum experience requirements (600 hours of experience over three years)
  • Be approved as a fit and proper person by the Insolvency Licensing Committee
  • Have professional indemnity insurance (PII)
  • Comply with the Insolvency Licensing Regulations and Guidance Notes
  • Apply and be approved, as well as pay the appropriate fee
  • You can also apply for a partial licence if you have passed both JIEB papers

The full license

As mentioned above, this is available to those who’ve passed both papers; the JIEB corporate and personal.

Given the role of an IP in taking appointments, it's common for a firm's IPs to be responsible for business development and bringing in new leads. As this is largely done through networking and being engaged with the local market, it’s not necessarily a role that suits everybody within insolvency.

It equally calls for the right individual to be experienced and interested in both personal and corporate insolvency (at least to sit and pass the exams). However, for those whose interest and expertise are focused in one area, then the partial license is a great alternative. 

The partial license

This is an option that’s becoming increasingly popular, given many people tend to specialise in one area, it allows an individual to gain professional recognition of their expertise in the area they specialise in, without having to qualify in both areas.

Who is it available for?

Partial authorisation - individuals

  • Pass the JIEB personal paper

Partial authorisation - companies

  • Pass both the JIEB liquidation paper and the JIEB administrations, company voluntary arrangements and receiverships paper

It’s important to note that being partially authorised won't enable you to independently accept appointments. 

Since the role of an IP (largely) sees an individual's role within a firm shift, from active case work to lead generation and business development, this route is popular for those who prefer to remain within the case management element of role, whilst still gaining qualification to reflect their advanced knowledge.

It’s however important to note that there are limitations:

  • Partially authorised individuals can’t accept an appointment in relation to a partnership
  • Partially authorised IPs can't accept an appointment in relation to a current or former member of a partnership where the member has outstanding liabilities in relation to the partnership. That’s the same whether the member of the partnership is a company or an individual
  • Someone whose been granted a partial licence will need to make sure they have procedures in place to deal with situations where they’ve inadvertently been appointed in a case where the insolvent turns out to be a member of a partnership and has outstanding liabilities in relation to the partnership

It’s important to note that those working with a partial license are required to disclose their status, however are still able to refer to themselves as an IP.

Can you change your license once you have it?

You’re able to apply for full authorisation if you hold a partial license by passing all of the remaining papers and applying to your authorising body of choice.

Are either for me?

The costs and time commitment of either of the JIEB exams are substantial, and are usually done alongside full time work, so it's important to consider whether appointment handling is the direction you see yourself taking. 

If you aren’t sure that the JIEB is a route best suited to you, but are still keen to look at professional qualification, it’s worth looking at the BPP site for information about other insolvency qualifications, such as the CPI or CII.

For more information about the CPI, read my piece on when to take the CPI.


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