2. Where applicable this policy is to be read in conjunction with the Indicative Sanctions Guidance and Delegated powers policy.

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1 Convictions, civil sanctions and disciplinary findings policy 2012

2 Introduction 1. All members of AAT are expected to act with the highest standards of integrity, both in and outside their professional life. It is important that members of the public can have the utmost trust and confidence in those members of AAT whom they instruct, either directly or indirectly, to handle their financial affairs. It is for this reason that the existence of one or more convictions, a civil sanction or an adverse finding by another professional body may result in disciplinary action against a member or, for an applicant for membership or to become a member in practice, a refusal of that application, and why students and members have a duty to inform AAT of the receipt of any convictions, civil sanctions or adverse disciplinary findings during their membership of AAT. 2. Where applicable this policy is to be read in conjunction with the Indicative Sanctions Guidance and Delegated powers policy. 3. This document sets out AAT's approach to the following: applications for membership in circumstances where an applicant has disclosed a previous conviction for criminal offences, a civil sanction and/or exclusion by another professional body on disciplinary grounds applications for student membership where any of the above circumstances are present applications for readmission where any of the above circumstances above are present disciplinary action. Definitions For the purposes of this policy and associated guidance: 4. Student or affiliate means: a) a person registered with AAT for the purposes of sitting AAT examinations and/or b) a person registered with AAT as an affiliate member c) but not a person registered with AAT for the purposes of undertaking AAT s Access qualification. 5. Member means: a) a person admitted to membership of the Association in accordance with the provisions of the Articles of Association, including a fellow member and an honorary member but not including a student or affiliate members. 6. Conviction for an indictable offence means: a) a conviction for any offence which was tried on Indictment in the Crown Court or the High Court of Justiciary, or in a jurisdiction outside of the United Kingdom a comparable conviction; and b) the conviction is neither spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 nor one for which the sentence was a conditional or unconditional discharge. 7. Summary conviction means: a) a conviction for any offence tried in a Magistrates' Court of a Sheriff's Court, save for any road traffic offence punished only by a fine. 8. Civil sanction means: a) a sanction for an offence created under specific statutes imposed by a competent court, tribunal or any other administrative body in the UK (or equivalent jurisdiction). Examples are sanctions under the Money Laundering Regulations, Companies Act, Health and Safety legislation from time to time in force. Sanctions of this nature may not always result in criminal sentencing and may include fines, disqualification and formal warnings. 9. Misconduct means: b) misconduct is given the same definition as that contained in paragraph 11 of the 2012 Disciplinary Regulations.

3 Student registration Convictions 10. Applicants for student registration who have an unspent conviction for an indictable offence relating to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime shall not be admitted. 11. Applicants who have an unspent conviction for an indictable offence which does not relate to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) a membership assessor being satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence or offences resulting in the conviction or convictions are not incompatible with the objectives of AAT in maintaining public trust and confidence in the membership and profession as a whole; and 12. Those applicants admitted on this basis shall be advised at the point of admission that they shall not be admitted to full membership upon completion of the AAT Accounting Qualification if their conviction remains unspent. 13. Applicants for student registration who have summary convictions relating to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime shall not be admitted. 14. Applicants who have summary convictions not related to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime may be admitted in accordance with the Delegated Powers Policy. Civil Sanctions 15. Applicants who have been made the subject of a civil sanction shall have their application considered by a Membership Assessor. The following factors shall be considered when assessing such an applicant: the nature of the sanction the date when the sanction was imposed whether the sanction is still subsisting, such as in the case of an order for disqualification as a company director, or whether it has expired the fact that the application is for student membership and not full membership. 16. Applicants who have been made subject of a civil sanction may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) judgement by a Membership Assessor that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the Previous disciplinary findings 17. Applicants who have been made the subject of an adverse disciplinary finding by another professional body shall have their application considered by a Membership Assessor. The following factors shall be considered when assessing such an applicant: the nature of the finding of the professional body in question the date when any sanction was imposed and its nature whether the sanction is still subsisting the level of insight shown by the applicant into the failings which led to the finding the fact that the application is for full membership and not student membership.

4 18. Applicants who have previous disciplinary findings may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) a Membership Assessor being satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the Application for membership 19. All references in this part where an applicant is a subsisting student member of AAT to Convictions, Civil Sanctions and previous disciplinary findings refer to Convictions, Civil Sanctions and previous disciplinary findings which have not already been: a) considered by AAT prior to the granting of student membership; or b) the subject of disciplinary action. Convictions 20. Applicants for membership who have an unspent conviction for an indictable offence shall not be admitted. 21. Applicants for membership who have summary convictions relating to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime shall not be admitted. 22. Applicants for membership who disclose summary convictions not related to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) a membership assessor being satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence or offences resulting in the conviction or convictions, are not incompatible with the objectives of AAT in maintaining public trust and confidence in the membership and profession as a whole; and Civil Sanctions 23. Applicants who disclose that they have been made the subject of a civil sanction shall have their application considered by a Membership Assessor. The following factors shall be considered when assessing such an applicant: the nature of the sanction the date when the sanction was imposed whether the sanction is still subsisting, such as in the case of an order for disqualification as a company director, or whether it has expired the fact that the application is for full membership and not student membership. 24. Applicants who have been made subject of a civil sanction may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) a Membership Assessor being satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the

5 Previous disciplinary findings 25. Applicants who disclose that they have been made the subject of an adverse disciplinary finding by another professional body shall have their application considered by a Membership Assessor. The following factors shall be considered when assessing such an applicant: the nature of the finding of the professional body in question the date when any sanction was imposed and its nature whether the sanction is still subsisting the level of insight shown by the applicant into the failings which led to the finding the fact that the application is for full membership and not student membership. 26. Applicants who have disclosed previous disciplinary findings may be admitted solely at AAT s discretion subject to: a) a Membership Assessor being satisfied that the circumstances surrounding the commission of the Grounds for disciplinary action Convictions 27. The 2012 Disciplinary Regulations define misconduct as a ground for disciplinary action. By virtue of paragraph 13(a) of the Regulations a conviction for an indictable offence amounts to misconduct. A conviction for a summary offence does not necessarily amount to misconduct, but may amount to misconduct within the meaning of paragraph 12(a). However, a summary conviction for fraud, dishonesty or financial crime will always amount to misconduct. Whether a summary conviction does amount to misconduct is a matter to be considered in all the circumstances of the particular case. 28. Whether and what sanction should be imposed in respect of a conviction is a matter for an Investigations Team and, if appropriate, a Disciplinary Tribunal. These lists should not be considered conclusive. However, certain categories of offending will always be considered to be particularly serious as they have the potential to significantly undermine public confidence in the profession. Those categories are: a) offences involving dishonesty b) offences involving child pornography or sexual offending against children c) offences for which a custodial sentence in excess of 30 months was imposed. 29. A conviction for any of the above categories of offences should ordinarily result in expulsion or a recommendation for expulsion. Civil Sanctions 30. As with summary convictions, civil sanctions may or may not amount to misconduct. In considering the question of misconduct, the Investigations Team or Disciplinary Tribunal, as applicable, should have in mind those factors identified in paragraph 17 of this policy. Previous disciplinary findings 31. Similarly, previous disciplinary findings of another professional body may or may not amount to misconduct. In considering the question of misconduct the Investigations Team or Disciplinary Tribunal, as applicable, should have in mind those factors identified in paragraph 19 of this policy. Aggravating and Mitigating Features 32. When making decisions in relation to summary offences, decision makers should have regard to the aggravating and mitigating features of certain common types of offending set out in Appendix 1. It should be noted that these lists are not exhaustive and each case will always turn on its own particular facts.

6 Appendix 1 Sexual misconduct - indecent assaults Aggravating features Intimidation Young victim Vulnerable victim Serious assault Violence Lack of remorse Mitigating features Isolated offence Minor assault Minimal impact of victim Remorse/insight Offences of violence Aggravating features Serious violence Domestic violence Racially motivated Homophobically motivated Violence against a vulnerable individual or child Use of a weapon Mitigating features Very minor assault Isolated offence Remorse/insight Public order offences Aggravating features Racially motivated Homophobically motivated Vulnerable individual or child victim/s Presence of a weapon Group action Mitigating features Minimal impact on victim/s Isolated offence Remorse/insight

7 Appendix 2 1. Association of Accounting Technicians 2. Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants 3. Association of International Accountants 4. Association of Taxation Technicians 5. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 6. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy 7. Chartered Institute of Taxation 8. Council for Licensed Conveyancers 9. Faculty of Advocates 10. Faculty of the Archbishop of Canterbury 11. General Council of the Bar 12. General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland 13. Financial Services Authority 14. Insolvency Practitioners Association 15. Institute of Certified Bookkeepers 16. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales 17. Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland 18. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland 19. Institute of Financial Accountants 20. Law Society 21. Law Society of Scotland 22. Law Society of Northern Ireland

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