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Companies Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Professional qualifications

1219Appropriate qualifications

(1)A person holds an appropriate qualification for the purposes of this Chapter if and only if—

(a)he holds a recognised professional qualification obtained in the United Kingdom,

(b)immediately before the commencement of this Chapter, he—

(i)held an appropriate qualification for the purposes of Part 2 of the Companies Act 1989 (c. 40) (eligibility for appointment as company auditor) by virtue of section 31(1)(a) or (c) of that Act, or

(ii)was treated as holding an appropriate qualification for those purposes by virtue of section 31(2), (3) or (4) of that Act,

(c)immediately before the commencement of this Chapter, he—

(i)held an appropriate qualification for the purposes of Part III of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 (S.I. 1990/593 (N.I. 5)) by virtue of Article 34(1)(a) or (c) of that Order, or

(ii)was treated as holding an appropriate qualification for those purposes by virtue of Article 34(2), (3) or (4) of that Order,

(d)he is within subsection (2),

(e)he has been authorised to practise the profession of statutory auditor pursuant to the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) (First General System) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/18) and has fulfilled any requirements imposed pursuant to regulation 6 of those Regulations, or

(f)subject to any direction under section 1221(5), he is regarded for the purposes of this Chapter as holding an approved overseas qualification.

(2)A person is within this subsection if—

(a)before 1st January 1990, he began a course of study or practical training leading to a professional qualification in accountancy offered by a body established in the United Kingdom,

(b)he obtained that qualification on or after 1st January 1990 and before 1st January 1996, and

(c)the Secretary of State approves his qualification as an appropriate qualification for the purposes of this Chapter.

(3)The Secretary of State may approve a qualification under subsection (2)(c) only if he is satisfied that, at the time the qualification was awarded, the body concerned had adequate arrangements to ensure that the qualification was awarded only to persons educated and trained to a standard equivalent to that required, at that time, in the case of a recognised professional qualification under Part 2 of the Companies Act 1989 (c. 40) (eligibility for appointment as company auditor).

1220Qualifying bodies and recognised professional qualifications

(1)In this Part a “qualifying body” means a body established in the United Kingdom (whether a body corporate or an unincorporated association) which offers a professional qualification in accountancy.

(2)In this Part references to the rules of a qualifying body are to the rules (whether or not laid down by the body itself) which the body has power to enforce and which are relevant for the purposes of this Part.

This includes, so far as so relevant, rules relating to—

(a)admission to or expulsion from a course of study leading to a qualification,

(b)the award or deprivation of a qualification, or

(c)the approval of a person for the purposes of giving practical training or the withdrawal of such approval.

(3)Schedule 11 has effect with respect to the recognition for the purposes of this Part of a professional qualification offered by a qualifying body.

1221Approval of overseas qualifications

(1)The Secretary of State may declare that the following are to be regarded for the purposes of this Chapter as holding an approved overseas qualification—

(a)persons who are qualified to audit accounts under the law of a specified foreign country, or

(b)persons who hold a specified professional qualification in accountancy obtained in a specified foreign country.

(2)A declaration under subsection (1)(b) may be expressed to be subject to the satisfaction of any specified requirement or requirements.

(3)The Secretary of State may make a declaration under subsection (1) only if he is satisfied that—

(a)in the case of a declaration under subsection (1)(a), the fact that the persons in question are qualified to audit accounts under the law of the specified foreign country, or

(b)in the case of a declaration under subsection (1)(b), the specified professional qualification taken with any requirement or requirements to be specified under subsection (2),

affords an assurance of professional competence equivalent to that afforded by a recognised professional qualification.

(4)The Secretary of State may make a declaration under subsection (1) only if he is satisfied that the treatment that the persons who are the subject of the declaration will receive as a result of it is comparable to the treatment which is, or is likely to be, afforded in the specified foreign country or a part of it to—

(a)in the case of a declaration under subsection (1)(a), some or all persons who are eligible to be appointed as a statutory auditor, and

(b)in the case of a declaration under subsection (1)(b), some or all persons who hold a corresponding recognised professional qualification.

(5)The Secretary of State may direct that persons holding an approved overseas qualification are not to be treated as holding an appropriate qualification for the purposes of this Chapter unless they hold such additional educational qualifications as the Secretary of State may specify for the purpose of ensuring that such persons have an adequate knowledge of the law and practice in the United Kingdom relevant to the audit of accounts.

(6)The Secretary of State may give different directions in relation to different approved overseas qualifications.

(7)The Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, having regard to the considerations mentioned in subsections (3) and (4), withdraw a declaration under subsection (1) in relation to—

(a)persons becoming qualified to audit accounts under the law of the specified foreign country after such date as he may specify, or

(b)persons obtaining the specified professional qualification after such date as he may specify.

(8)The Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, having regard to the considerations mentioned in subsections (3) and (4), vary or revoke a requirement specified under subsection (2) from such date as he may specify.

(9)In this section “foreign country”, in relation to any time, means a country or territory that, at that time, is not a “relevant State” within the meaning of the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) (First General System) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/18) or part of such a State.

1222Eligibility of individuals retaining only 1967 Act authorisation

(1)A person whose only appropriate qualification is based on his retention of an authorisation originally granted by the Board of Trade or the Secretary of State under section 13(1) of the Companies Act 1967 (c. 81) is eligible only for appointment as auditor of an unquoted company.

(2)A company is “unquoted” if, at the time of the person’s appointment, neither the company, nor any parent undertaking of which it is a subsidiary undertaking, is a quoted company within the meaning of section 385(2).

(3)References to a person eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor by virtue of this Part in enactments relating to eligibility for appointment as auditor of a person other than a company do not include a person to whom this section applies.

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