CIVEA announces partnerships with three EA examination providers
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) meet high professional standards. All EAs (formerly known as Bailiffs) are required to pass an examination to qualify for certification and the final decision on their suitability 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 on enforcement conduct are met.
CIVEA has recently negotiated new training and examination packages with three eminent providers, The Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), IES Training Limited and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)/High Court Enforcement Group (HCEG). All three of these providers offer RQF qualifications and were selected after meeting CIVEA’s requirements for virtual learning with online resources and controlled examinations.
CIVEA Chief Executive Officer, Russell Hamblin-Boone, says, “CIVEA firmly believes that enforcement agents should have a good knowledge of the law as well as understanding their responsibilities to the public, which is independently assessed and certified. Enforcement is a firm but fair process that is instrumental to the success of civil debt recovery. The rigorous examination process should give confidence to the public that certified agents are professional, responsible and accountable for their action. We were very impressed with the high standards of the three chosen examination providers, which match the needs of our members. CIVEA recommends each provider without prejudice.”
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 authorized 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.
As a result of these new 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. CIVEA promotes continuous development, and all three providers offer Level 3 qualifications for those who wish to advance beyond the standard certification requirements.
Sue Chapple, the CEO of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) said she is delighted to be working more closely with CIVEA, “Through our long-term relationship with the HCEOA we have always been closely associated with driving up professional standards in enforcement. Having this endorsement from CIVEA, and all that it is trying to achieve, is a signal of the importance of enforcement as part of the credit lifecycle, and the support we can provide to individuals as CICM members to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.”
IES Training Limited said, “IES are very pleased to be recommended by CIVEA to provide Enforcement training and qualifications to the industry and its members, working in partnership to improve the quality of knowledge to those working in the industry.”
Finally, on behalf of the CILEx and HCEG, David Grimes, Head of Training & Development, High Court Enforcement Group Ltd (HCEG) said, “High Court Enforcement Group (HCEG) is delighted to have become a preferred partner for exam provision through CIVEA. This recognition is a measure of excellence for our learning programmes and also another external validation that our civil enforcement educational courses and exam provisions have met the highest standards.”
Beyond certification and training, CIVEA continues to ensure that standards of conduct are without reproach through close supervision and constant monitoring. Every EA working on behalf of a CIVEA member is instructed to follow social distancing guidelines at present and continue to refer vulnerable members of society to dedicated welfare teams and support services as soon as these needs are identified.
NOTES TO EDITORS
CIVEA is the principal trade association representing civil enforcement agencies employing around 2000 certificated enforcement agents that operate in England and Wales. CIVEA represents 37 companies that make up over 90% of the entire enforcement industry.
CIVEA’s members work to enforce civil debt on behalf of local authorities and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) including council tax, business rates, parking fines, magistrates’ court fines, employment tribunal awards, child support payments, B2B and commercial rent arrears. This amounts to over £500 million (half a billion) of unpaid taxes and fines recovered each year at no cost to the public bodies themselves. Each year CIVEA members receive over 3.5 million warrants and court orders.
Joe Cuffaro, WSA Communications
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