Membership Number or E-mail Address

  • Most Members will not be faced with the prospect of having a complaint lodged against them but when it does happen ICAS recognises that it can be a daunting experience. Many complaints could, however, be avoided if the Member had addressed matters at an early stage and adopted a co-operative approach when dealing with the complainer and with ICAS. You may wish to contact the Investigations Department for a discussion if you consider it likely that a complaint may be lodged against you.

    Dealing with a complaint

    In terms of the Investigation Regulations, if a Member Firm receives a complaint from a client or former client concerning any services it has provided or failed to provide then it is the responsibility of the firm to ensure that the matter is investigated by a principal. If the complainer remains dissatisfied at the conclusion of the investigation then the complainer should be informed in writing of his right to bring his complaint to the attention of ICAS.


    There will be circumstances where it is possible for a Member and a Complainer to resolve a disagreement without the need for ICAS to carry out a formal investigation of a complaint.

    ICAS refers to complaints resolved in this manner as having been ‘conciliated’, with the formal procedure for reaching a resolution referred to as the ‘Conciliation Protocols’.

    Visit the conciliation guidance section for further information.

    Complaints Process

    Full information for members on the ICAS complaints process may be found in the following helpsheets: 

    In addition Members may find further information in the Complaints Information for Members of the Public section. 

    Failure to Respond

    The Investigation Committee is increasingly encountering situations where Members have failed to respond to ICAS correspondence, either in relation to a complaint or prior to a referral being made by another regulatory committee. The ICAS Rules and Investigation Regulations require Members, CA Student Members, Affiliates and Firms to co-operate with the Committee and its Case Officers in relation to any investigation and to respond to all professional correspondence in a prompt and adequate manner. In particular, Members are under an obligation to comply with requests for information made by ICAS which relate to regulatory functions and responsibilities. The information is requested so that ICAS can fulfill its obligations as a regulatory body.

    The Investigation Committee views seriously any failure to respond which affects ICAS’ ability to comply with its obligations as a regulatory body, particularly as this failure undermines the system of self-regulation that exists within the accountancy profession. The Investigation Committee has now adopted a robust approach to dealing with such cases. 


    Common Sanctions Guidance for Insolvency Complaints

    The professional bodies which authorise Insolvency Practitioners in Great Britain have agreed on common sanctions guidance for insolvency-related complaints.  This guidance - which was introduced on 5 June 2013 - will have to be considered by the ICAS Investigation Committee and Discipline Appeal Tribunals when determining an appropriate sanction against an Insolvency Practitioner.

    The guidance is available at:

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