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How to apply to become a Personal Insolvency Practitioner

The  Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (Authorisation and Supervision of Personal Insolvency Practitioners) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 209 of 2013) set out the qualification criteria, authorisation requirements and regulatory standards that must be met for an individual to be authorised to carry on the practice of a personal insolvency practitioner.

Criteria

An individual may make an application to carry on practice as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner if that individual:

  • is a Solicitor in respect of whom a practising certificate (within the meaning of the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011) is in force; or

  • is a Barrister at law called to the Bar of Ireland;

  • is a qualified Accountant and a member of a prescribed accountancy body (within the meaning of section 4 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003; or

  • is a Qualified Financial Advisor who holds a current qualification from the Life Insurance Association of Ireland (LIA), the Insurance Institute or the Institute of Bankers School of Professional Finance; or

  • holds a qualification in law, business, finance or other appropriate similar qualification to the satisfaction of the Insolvency Service recognised to at least level 7 of the National Qualifications Framework by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (or equivalent)

and

  • can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Insolvency Service that he or she has relevant knowledge and experience of and has completed a course of study and passed an examination on the law and practice generally as it applies in the State relating to the insolvency of individuals; and the Act.

Before an individual will be allowed to carry on the practice of a Personal Insolvency Practitioner, the individual must satisfy the Insolvency Service that he or she:

  • has adequate organisational capability and resources to carry on the practise of a Personal Insolvency Practitioner under the Act;

  • holds, or will hold before commencing to carry on practise as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner, a policy of professional indemnity insurance.

  • has submitted a completed application, together with supporting information, documentation and mandates as the Insolvency Service has requested; and

  • is tax compliant.

Practitioners will be expected to meet a number of other standards, including fitness and probity.

A practitioner will be dealing with people in vulnerable situations.  They will also be expected to engage and negotiate with creditors effectively, make reasonable proposals on behalf of debtors, and manage creditors meetings.  As such, they will be expected to have the necessary people, communication, judgement and negotiation skills, in addition to their qualifications.

It will be an integral part of the process that practitioners are both honest and independent in their approach in reaching debt solutions.
 

Where can I find a course

As part of the implementation process, the Insolvency Service has been working with a number of colleges and professional bodies to ensure that courses are in place to accommodate applicants wishing to become practitioners. The aim of these courses is to ensure that future practitioners have a detailed knowledge of the law and its requirements but also an understanding of how to assist people who are insolvent.

A number of courses are available from different colleges and professional bodies.  It should be noted that each membership body has designed their course with their own professional member in mind. The Insolvency Service is taking the view that applicants, where they belong to a professional body, should attend the course designed for them in order to build on their existing qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience.  If you are considering attending a course you should confirm the suitability of the course in relation to your qualifications or professional status.

The following are the courses available which, in the opinion of the Insolvency Service, if an individual had completed the course of study and passed the exam, that individual would have met the relevant knowledge criterion for submitting an application for authorisation as a personal insolvency practitioner.

  • The Law Society

  • Chartered Accountants of Ireland

  • Institute for Certified Public Accountants, Association of Certified Chartered Accountants & Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

  • Institute of Bankers & LIA

  • Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants

  • City Colleges

  • National College of Ireland

You should be aware that if a course provider does not appear on this list, it does not meet the relevant knowledge criterion for submitting an application for authorisation as a personal insolvency practitioner.

If you intend to make an application to become a Practitioner

You should first make yourself familiar with the requirements set out in the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (Authorisation and Supervision of Personal Insolvency Practitioners ) Regulations 2013 and Personal Insolvency Practitioner Application Form 295KB (Word Doc)  before making your application.

You will need to log onto the Insolvency Service's portal system to be given access to our systems to allow you to make your application. The Portal is designed to deliver a secure communication channel between the Insolvency Service and personal insolvency practitioners.

How to make an application

The Personal Insolvency Practitioner Application Form is a word document, which you must type your details into. All applications submitted must be typed. If a question does not apply to you, you should state ‘not applicable’ or ‘N/A’. Do not leave any blank spaces.

The completed application must be printed, signed and dated at the relevant sections. The various items of documentation, which are listed on the checklist on the application form together with the completed application form, will need to be scanned on to our portal system.

You shall inform the Insolvency Service of any changes to the information provided in the application form during the application process.

The Insolvency Service will NOT commence the processing of any application is it is not complete in all respects.  Applications will be treated as incomplete unless all questions raised in the application form are fully answered and all applicable supporting documentation has been received by the Insolvency Service of Ireland.  Incomplete applications may be returned to you as invalid.
 

Supporting Documentation

The following documentation must accompany your application when it is submitted:

  • Qualification Certificates

  • Registration of Business Name Certificate

  • Current Tax Clearance Certificate

  • Signed Declaration (Part F)

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance (Letter of Intent from an Insurance Company/ Broker will suffice at application stage, however, written evidence of PII cover (such as copy of policy) will be required before authorisation.   The requirements of PII cover are detailed at Part C of the application form.   These should be written confirmation from the insurance company or broker containing the following details:

    • Name of applicant

    • Confirmation that the applicant will be covered to practise as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner in their own right

    • The amount insured for each claim shall not be less than 1 million euro and the aggregate amount shall not be less than 1.5 million euro.

  • Completed Accountant’s Report (both Applicant’s Declaration, and Accountant’s Declaration, Part G I and II) must be submitted with your application.   These declarations must be struck through, where appropriate.  The accountant is to examine the declaration and supporting evidence, and to express an opinion as to whether the applicant has or intends to have in place appropriate financial systems and controls as set out in the declaration.  Therefore, the Accountant’s Declaration is to be signed after the Applicant’s Declaration.

Prior to receiving final authorisation, all of the documents above must be submitted to the Insolvency Service.

Fees

The application fee for authorisation as a Practitioner is €1,500.  The renewal fee is €1,000.  Currently the Insolvency Service is authorising Practitioners for a period of three years.

There is no ongoing fee for supervision.

Apply

To apply to be a Practitioner click here

Please note that it will take a minimum of thirty minutes to receive your account activation notice, once you have registered.

How to contact us

If you have any queries in relation to the application form, or other Regulation queries, please contact:

Email:  pipapplications@isi.gov.ie
Telephone: 076 106 4234

What do you need to know to carry out your role as a practitioner?

The Insolvency Service would expect that on completion of a course which meets the requirements of the Insolvency Service, a prospective practitioner should be in a position to:

  • Understand the role of, authorisation process and regulations applicable to the practitioner;

  • Analyse an individuals' financial position to assess income and expenditure and calculate disposable income, value assets and liabilities and consider the implications of contingent liabilities such as third party guarantees for loans;

  • Assess reasonable living expenses;

  • Comprehend and be in a position to compare and contrast the different debt relief processes, including bankruptcy and any other options that may be available to debtors;

  • Advise the debtor as to his or her eligibility for debt relief and recommend the appropriate debt relief arrangement, if any, for his or her circumstances and explain clearly the reasons for the recommendations;

  • Effectively explain to debtors the procedures and terminology used in the debt relief process;

  • Correctly interpret and complete the documentation and procedures to be used in the insolvency process;

  • Engage and negotiate with creditors effectively, make reasonable proposals on behalf of debtors and manage creditors meetings;

  • Manage a debt relief arrangement once approved;

  • Comprehend the structure and functions of the Insolvency Service;

  • Engage appropriately with the Insolvency Service;

  • Understand the role of the Courts in the personal insolvency process.