Enforcement Agent Certification – COVID-19 response
The High Court Enforcement Association (HCEOA) has agreed with CICM special measures to ensure that Enforcement Agents who are about to apply to court for their first Certificate, or renew, do not experience an adverse effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HCEOA have agreed that enforcement agents can present CICM Knowledge Hub certificates to judges when applying for Certificates to practice, if they are unable to sit the CICM Level 2 Taking Control of Goods online exam to their evidence knowledge due to a COVID-19 related issue. They should then sit the CICM external exam at Pearson Vue testing centres when conditions allow, and pass their Ofqual regulated qualification certificate to the court.
Andrew Wilson FCICM, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Association, provides the following advice:
The Regulation 3 of the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014 (2014 No 421) says that for a Certificate to be issued, a Judge must be satisfied (amongst other things):
(b)(ii) the applicant possesses sufficient knowledge of the law and procedure relating to the powers of enforcement by taking control of goods and of commercial rent arrears recovery to be competent to exercise those powers.’
This is normally evidenced by production of a Level 2 Pass qualification certificate, but the discretion lies with the Judge.
As the CICM has the facility to produce self-certified certificates of knowledge of the Taking Control of Goods procedure, where it is not possible to sit the external exam, applicants for first Certificates should produce (along with the other requirements) a self-certified certificate, showing a pass mark of more than 75%, as evidence of their knowledge, and assure the Judge that they will sit the Level 2 Taking Control of Goods examination under exam conditions, as soon as the facility is available, and file the appropriate Pass certificate with the court in due course.
Applicants for renewals should produce self-certified certificates in the usual way to show evidence of continuing professional education since they last sat the Level 2 exam.
Civil courts are currently operating, under rather restricted conditions and the Judge has the discretion to adjust arrangements to suit each case before him. The HCEOA hopes that a self-certified certificate will be sufficient for the time being.
Find out more about the CICM Level 2 Award in Taking Control of Goods and the online learning package on CICM Knowledge Hub where you can complete a self-certifying knowledge test here.
HM Courts and Tribunal Service advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here.
Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice states that bailiffs and other enforcement agents must follow the latest government guidance regarding working practices and contact with others, including social distancing measures. In line with the High Courts and Tribunal Service’s approach, the Ministry of Justice recommends that bailiffs suspend in-person visits unless they are able to comply with advice on social distancing and/or be equipped with suitable personal protective equipment
The most up-to-date general government advice is available here.