Complaints and Disciplinary - Frequently Asked Questions for Members

If you are an AIA member who is the subject of a complaint or is undergoing disciplinary action you can find answers to frequently asked questions relating to the process and timings here.



Why have I been referred to a Committee?

When you apply for AIA Membership or an AIA Practising Certificate you sign a declaration confirming that you will comply with the Association’s Articles, Bye-laws and Regulations as published in the AIA Constitution, including regulations relating to the Practising Certificate and to public practice.

The letter of referral to the Committee explains the areas of breach against AIA's rules and regulations.


Will the Committee consider my extenuating circumstances?

Each Committee gives full unbiased consideration to the information presented to it, including any mitigating circumstances documented and submitted by you.


What will happen if I can’t afford to pay the fine?

When imposing a financial sanction committee members aim to determine a level of fine that is proportionate to the misdemeanour and in line with your ability to make the payment.

Sanctions are determined in line with AIA's Sanctions Handbook.

If you are unable to make payment in full, please contact AIA and request an instalment plan.

Unless already done so you can also appeal the sanctions via the Appeals or Practice Compliance Appeals Committees. Information on how to appeal is provided with the outcome of the Committee's decision-making communicated to you in writing.


Will the Committee findings be published?

The findings of all the committees are published on the AIA website after the window for appeal has expired. Notices are also published in AIA's magazine ‘International Accountant’.


I have received a reprimand. What does this mean?

A reprimand is essentially a warning notice and is applied to your AIA record. Its purpose is to indicate a finding of minor misconduct. Reprimands are published on the AIA website as part of the relevant committee sanctions.


Can I appeal?


The Practice Compliance Appeals Committee hears appeals following the findings of the Practice Compliance Committee and the Appeals Committee hears appeals following the Disciplinary Committee.

In both cases there is a window during which your appeal should be received by AIA.

If an appeal is rejected the member must meet the requirements of the original sanction.


I have received a sanction. Will this impact on my membership of another accountancy body?

The outcomes of the Practice Compliance Committee, Appeals Committee and Disciplinary Committee are published on the AIA website and therefore publicly available. Whether or not this information impacts on your status with another body will depend on that body.

Do the sanctions expire? How long do they remain on my record?

Sanctions remain on your record for a period of seven years.

Can I attend the meeting, and speak?

The Disciplinary Committee is open to the public. When you are notified of your referral this will be brought to your attention and you will be offered an opportunity to address the committee directly and answer any questions they may have regarding your case.

The Practice Compliance Committee and the Practice Compliance Appeal Committee are not open to the public and members are not permitted to attend. However, those referred are invited to submit a written address which will be presented to the committee during the hearing. The option of submitting a written address also applied to the Disciplinary Committee if members do not wish to be present.


Should I seek legal advice?

It is your decision whether to obtain legal advice. AIA will not make a payment towards those costs even if you are cleared of any wrongdoing.

Legal representatives will not be invited to address either the Practice Compliance Committee or the Practice Compliance Appeal Committee. However, written opinion and advice can be submitted to these committees on behalf of the member if requested.
Legal representatives are permitted to address the Disciplinary Committee directly as it is a public meeting.


I want to resign from AIA, will I still have to pay the fine?

Yes, this obligation is ratified as AIA membership regulation 23.2 Position of Parties on Cessation of Membership.

AIA reserves the right to pursue outstanding financial sanctions via appropriate methods.


Will a disciplinary ruling prevent me re-joining AIA in the future?

The decision to reinstate members is made by the AIA Applications and Membership Committee. This decision is based on the information available on your record at the time of application. The committee will be informed of historic disciplinary findings and note the date and conclusion of the matter as part of its consideration of the fit and proper status of the applicant. Any outstanding fees and fines will remain on your record and will become payable upon application to re-join AIA.

Are any other agencies advised of the committee results?

AIA notifies HMRC when a Practising Member which AIA supervises is no longer a member or PC holder.


Do you inform other professional accountancy bodies?

The outcomes of the committees are published on the AIA website and are therefore accessible by other bodies if required.

AIA reserves the right to contact other professional bodies to fulfil its regulatory and legal requirements.

Who are the members of the committee?

Each of the disciplinary committees has a different configuration which reflects the remit of the committee.

All committees are comprised of professional people who may, or may not, be members of AIA.

The Disciplinary Committee must have a mix of professional accountants and non-accountants with the majority being non accountants.

If I send in the required information do I still have to pay the fine?

Yes, the fine is applied because you have failed to meet the regulatory requirement by a specified date. Submitting the information after that date does not change the initial non-compliant issue. To successfully address the matter, documents need to be submitted and the fine settled.


Who has given the disciplinary committees authority to make these fines?

Authority is given to the disciplinary committees by the AIA Council as indicated in the AIA Constitution. Upon obtaining membership of the Association or an AIA Practising Certificate, members sign their agreement to abide by those rules and regulations at all times.

A copy of the AIA Constitution can be found here.