The IPA Volume Provider Regulation (VPR) Scheme 2020 benchmark report is out now – click here.

Kevin Hellard, President

Hi everyone and a very Happy New Year to you all. I hope that members were able to have a well-deserved break over the Christmas period, whether through time away from laptop screens or returning that makeshift office to the room it once was! Hopefully everyone is still driven by all those fresh New Year resolutions that have been promised and not yet broken, as we start the traditionally dreary month of January!

We begin 2021 with a new national lockdown in an environment that is even more restrictive than before the Christmas break. Although we face uncertainty from week to week, with the promising vaccine rollout, I am hopeful for better circumstances later in the year. I wish you the very best as we navigate through this new and trying development in the pandemic.  

We have been busy planning IPA events for the coming year, and I am pleased to say we should have an output that will rival (or perhaps beat!) an interesting and comprehensive series of events in 2020.

New Ethics Code: Public Interest Code training

First up this year are our brand-new workshops on the new Ethics Code, delivered in partnership with Insolvency Support Services and with a particular focus on working as an Insolvency Practitioner in the public interest – a new feature of the Ethics Code.

The term ‘public interest’ has no overarching definition, involves judgment calls and is liable to change over time. When you consider this and the multi-faceted nature of an Insolvency Practitioner’s role, as well as differing opinions on what constitutes public interest and potential uncertainty on how peers are approaching the matter, these workshops are a must-attend for all those involved in the consumer debt solutions space. The workshops will clarify both how the public interest should be treated as a whole and also in various professional scenarios. The sessions should leave attendees with confidence in how to approach protecting the public interest and, crucially, where it applies. Examples of areas covered in the sessions include Insolvency Practitioners’ dealings with clients and potential clients, advertising requirements and integrating vulnerability awareness into working practices.

I would particularly recommend these workshops to IVA providers, who administer what continues to be the most commonly used debt solution for people in the UK. With the pandemic having its effect on the UK economy and the rise in corporate insolvencies that we have seen, it is highly likely that the number of individuals seeking assistance from an Insolvency Practitioner will also grow.

Click here to read more about these informative sessions and to book your place. Please note that if you are an existing member of our Volume Provider Regulation (VPR) Scheme, you should email [email protected] to book, as the closed session for existing members is priced at a discounted rate.

Annual Conference

After being cancelled last year amid the first national lockdown, I am delighted that the Annual Conference, one of the key events in the IPA calendar, is back for 2021 in an online setting. Topics covered at the conference will include IPA membership & strategic change, cryptocurrency, a parliamentary and Brexit update, and briefings from the Insolvency Service and HMRC. Our exciting bill of speakers is being finalised, but is set to include Professor John Tribe of the University of Liverpool and Angela Crossley, Head of Insolvency Practitioner Regulation at the Insolvency Service.

The conference is set for April. Bookings will soon be open on the IPA website, with additional announcements to come on our social media channels. I hope you will be able to join us.

We have certainly kicked off the new year with plenty of activity, and we are determined to keep the show firmly on the road in these uncertain times. Speaking of shows on the road, we hope it will prove possible to visit members across the country for a series of in-person IPA Roadshows this autumn. We are also planning seasonal workshops in winter, spring, summer and autumn on key topics for our members – more information to come on this and our other events. You can view our provisional events calendar for 2021 here.

That’s all for this month. My best wishes to you and yours.

Kevin