Complaints and Whistleblowing
The IPA requires high professional and ethical standards of its members. In achieving high standards, the IPA regulates its members fairly and robustly, in the public interest. As part of its regulatory framework, the IPA will investigate a legitimate complaint against an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) over whom it has jurisdiction.
It is a requirement of Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP) 1 that an IP who becomes aware that an IPA member may not be complying (or may not have complied) with ‘the relevant laws and regulations’ (where the suspected noncompliance could discredit the profession) should report the member to the Complaints Gateway operated by the Insolvency Service or to the IPA. The IPA’s Conduct and Disciplinary Rules also require a member to report promptly to the IPA any facts or matters, in relation to themselves or another member, that they reasonably believe to be capable of amounting to misconduct.
Further information about the complaints process, including how to make a complaint against an IPA member, is available here.
We recognise that there will be occasions when an informant would wish to report their concerns in confidence, for example when they suspect a colleague of breaching a provision of the Money Laundering Regulations. In accordance with regulation 46(2), the IPA is required to:
- take effective measures to encourage IPs to report actual or potential breaches of the provisions of the Money Laundering Regulations to it;
- provide one or more secure communication channels for persons to report actual or potential breaches to it; and
- take reasonable measures to ensure that the identity of the reporting person is known only to the IPA.
Where an informant requires their identity to be known only to the IPA, their report to the IPA will be made under the IPA’s whistleblowing policy. Details of how to report in confidence are available here.
Given the obligations of IPs under SIP 1 and the Rules of the IPA, a member is advised to retain evidence that they have reported relevant matters to the IPA (or through the Insolvency Service’s Complaints Gateway). Although reasonable measures will be taken to keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential, we would discourage informants from withholding their contact details from the IPA, as the investigation process usually benefits from the engagement of the informant.