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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Insolvency Practitioner?

We’re often asked what is an insolvency practitioner, and what do they do?

Insolvency is a heavily regulated sector and an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) is a person who is licensed and authorised under Insolvency Act 1986 to act as office holder in relation to an insolvent individual, partnership or company. Acting as an insolvency office holder without being an authorised IP is an offence.

How Do You Become a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner?

 To become an IP you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have passed the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) examinations
  2. Hold a licence from one the five recognised professional bodies (RPBs)

There are currently five RPBs, which in turn are regulated by the Insolvency Service. These are:

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

Bridgewood’s Insolvency Practitioners are licensed by the ICAEW, which licenses the most IPs of the five RBPs.

The specific licensing requirements vary by RPB, but generally they require an IP to:

  • Have gained  a minimum number of hours of insolvency experience
  • Be able to demonstrate that they are a ‘fit and proper person’
  • Comply with the Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs) issued by the Insolvency Service
  • Act in accordance with the RBB’s code of ethics, and take account of the guidance issued by it
  • Undertake continuing professional development

In addition to being licensed, an Insolvency Practitioner taking on appointments must have a bond and hold Professional Indemnity Insurance.

What Does an Insolvency Practitioner Do?

Some IPs can be licensed to take on only personal or corporate insolvency appointments or, as the vast majority are, both.

Corporate Insolvency Appointments

In relation to a company or partnership an Insolvency Practitioner can be appointed as:

  • Liquidator
  • Provisional liquidator
  • Administrator
  • Administrative receiver
  • Nominee or supervisor of a voluntary arrangement
  • Trustee of a partnership

Personal Insolvency Appointments

In relation to an individual an Insolvency Practitioner can be appointed as:

  • Trustee in bankruptcy
  • Interim receiver of his/her property
  • Nominee or supervisor of a voluntary arrangement
  • Trustee under a deed or arrangement
  • Permanent or interim trustee in a sequestration
  • Trustee under a trust deed
  • Administrator of a deceased insolvent estate

In Summary

Insolvency Practitioners are highly qualified, professional individuals working in a heavily regulated industry. They’re licensed to act in a range of roles and capacities relating to individuals and businesses facing financial distress.

Who We Advise

Sole Traders

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Bridgewood is a trading style of Bridgewood Financial Solutions Limited (Company No: 06957765). Registered Office: Cumberland House, 35 Park Row, Nottingham, NG1 6EE. Registered in England and Wales.

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Thomas Grummitt and Andrew Smith are licensed to act as Insolvency Practitioners in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. In carrying out all work related to an insolvency appointment, insolvency practitioners are bound by the insolvency code of ethics and are subject to the regulations and guidance of their authorising body. Details of the code of ethics, statements of insolvency practice and other regulations and guidance issued by the Insolvency Practitioners Association can be found here: