How we ensure quality training and qualification provisions.
As the primary trade association for civil enforcement agencies, representing more than 95% of the industry, CIVEA encourages all of its members to ensure that Enforcement Agents (EAs) are qualified to perform their duties in accordance with the authority given in Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Enforcement Agents are sometimes confused with debt collectors that work for private companies, but the role of enforcement is to implement the orders of a court to recover overdue debt owed to public bodies. All EAs (formerly known as Bailiffs) are required to pass an exam to qualify for certification and the final decision is made by a judge. The exam tests an agent’s knowledge of the law as well as the industry standards they must meet. Certificates must be renewed every two years. This is a legal requirement that helps to ensure standards and adherence to the important rules around conducting enforcement. CIVEA firmly believes it is right and fair that EAs are assessed for their suitability in this way and that the importance placed on this process should instil confidence in the public that certified agents are professional who are safe to engage with.
The qualification requirements set out in Civil Procedure Rule state that an application for an Enforcement Agent Certificate must be accompanied by proof that the applicant has achieved at least a qualification on Taking Control of Goods at (or above) Level 2 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) or equivalent as determined by a nationally accredited awarding body; or has been authorised to act as an enforcement officer in accordance with the High Court Enforcement Officers Regulations 2004. The QCF was removed from all existing qualifications and replaced by the RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework) in December 2017. Accordingly, the current requirement is for EAs to possess a minimum of a Level 2 RQF qualification on Taking Control of Goods or an equivalent as determined by a nationally accredited awarding body.
CIVEA has recently negotiated training and examination packages with three eminent providers with whom we are pleased to have formed partnerships. They are:
All three of these providers offer RQF qualifications and CIVEA recommends each one without prejudice. These providers were selected after passing substantial assessment criteria, including provisions related to virtual learning (to reflect national developments over the past year). CIVEA was impressed with the high standards of each provider and their individual abilities they showcased to adapt to the current needs of our members.
As a result of our partnership agreements, CIVEA members will benefit from preferential offers and opportunities. These vary depending on supplier but range from waived registration fees, exclusive membership packages, reduced course fees, access to exclusive portals and a plethora of free additional resources. All three providers offer Level 3 qualifications for those who wish to advance beyond the standard certification requirements.
CIVEA also continues to supplement the required qualifications and certifications with ongoing training for its members and their staff. This has been especially important over the past year with the implementation of mandatory training on safely conducting socially distanced visits during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with updated guidance in our COVID-19 Support Plan, we recently launched a new training module to reinforce the latest government guidance for enforcement agents on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic. This training, which has been devised in conjunction with CDER Group, is available to agents through an online portal and provides refresher information on COVID-19 safety as well as the identification and support of vulnerable people. Our previously published instructional videos ‘COVID-19 Safe Working Practices’ and ‘CIVEA Guide To Enforcement’ also remain available to view on the CIVEA website.
Beyond certification and training, CIVEA continues to ensure that standards of conduct are without reproach through close supervision and constant monitoring. EAs usually wear body-worn video cameras to record their visits on film which protects both agents and the public. Film footage is constantly reviewed to assess conduct and performance, vehicles are often tracked by satellite and phone use is also monitored and recorded. Every EA is currently instructed to follow social distancing guidelines and we remain committed to identifying vulnerable members of society so they may be referred to dedicated welfare teams and support services.
For more information on enforcement-related processes, please see our FAQsection.
PO Box 745
If you wish to make a complaint against a member of CIVEA, please go to our complaints page and follow the procedure detailed there. Your email will be acknowledged within 5 working days.
CIVEA is unable to discuss complaint matters over the telephone and complaints should be sent in writing. This is to ensure that the details of your complaint are accurately recorded and understood which makes it easier in addressing your complaint thoroughly. Please advise if you have a disability, so that we can make reasonable adjustments.
You can contact us by email, letter or telephone.