PCF Review

Review of Practising Certificate Fee (PCF) approval process, including targeted review of non-regulatory permitted purposes

It is some time since the LSB reviewed its approach, rules and guidance on its PCF approval process. From an analysis of applications assessed over the last two years, we believe there is scope to improve the transparency of applications that we receive and to clarify the LSB’s purpose and expectations when assessing applications.

More specifically, we are concerned about the impact of non-regulatory permitted purposes on the level of the PCF. Section 51 of the Act sets out how the approved regulator may spend income derived from the PCF all authorised persons must pay to their regulator. The activities on which the approved regulator is allowed to spend income from the PCF are referred to in section 51 as permitted purposes. Where the approved regulator has both regulatory and representative functions, some of these activities may be carried out by the regulatory body to which the approved regulator has delegated its regulatory functions (‘regulatory permitted purposes’) and some of these activities may remain with the approved regulator (‘non-regulatory permitted purposes’). Section 51(3) gives the LSB the power to make rules specifying the permitted purposes.

During 2019 we intend to review our rules, guidance and approach to assessing PCF applications. As part of this review, we plan to conduct a targeted review of expenditure on permitted purposes.