Surge in IVAs sees government reduce students’ experience time to 400 hours
New insolvency practitioners with a fraction of the experience of those conventionally trained could soon be handling a surge in IVAs, after changes to government guidelines.
New guidelines mean that IVA-focused students need only have 400 hours’ experience. Industry experts had urged nearer 2,000.
The Insolvency Practitioners Association will keep a close eye on an influx of students from debt management companies, who are looking to beef up their operations in anticipation of a surge in IVAs due to the introduction of streamlined or ‘simple’ procedures at the end of the year.
IPA director general Peter Joyce said that it would undertake a ‘close examination’ of student practitioners’ experience under the shorter requirements. ‘I certainly expect that IVAs/SIVAs will be properly administered by our authorisation holders,’ he said.
But although Joyce noted that new students would qualify around the time of the introduction of SIVAs, he suggested the influx was caused by the debt management firms, which the IPA will also regulate, seeking to improve standards among its workforce.
‘It’s a welcome development that these companies want their staff to go through formal study and independent examination,’ Joyce added.
Students will be taught about the formal and informal debt restructuring options open to indebted individuals, said Debt Resolution Forum chairman Chris Holmes.
Source Kevin reed, Accountancy Age, 24 Jan 2008
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