Registration of Personal Insolvency Practitioners: FAQs

Over the course of the current financial year, AFSA Regulation will be providing information to help guide prospective applicants through the process of applying for registration.

Information about the registration process can be found at Inspector-General Practice Statement 13 for registered trustee applicants, and Inspector-General Practice Statement 4 for registered debt agreement administrator applicants.

Most of the information included in this and future articles is based on feedback we have received from past applicants. We’d like to thank those persons who took the time to share with us their thoughts and tips based on their own experiences.

Do you have any other questions you would like answered about the registration process for personal insolvency practitioners? If so, email regulation [at] afsa.gov.au.

Registration FAQs

With the current COVID-19 situation, are registration interviews still going ahead?

Yes, registration interviews are still being held. We are mindful of the changing situation with lockdowns or recommendations to stay home, and will make accommodations for virtual interviews where required.

What is the best way to evidence the number of hours of relevant employment for the past 5 years in my application?

Preferably, the information should be a breakdown of:

  • Administrations you have worked on – either bankruptcy, corporate or both

  • The time spent on administrations

  • The level of complexity of work required for the administration to show it was work performed at a senior level

If you have any questions about evidencing your hours while completing your application, contact AFSA Regulation.

What kind of questions will be asked at my interview?

Questions will be mostly of a technical nature, with some ethical questions included as well.

In October, we will be publishing mock registration interview questions for registered trustee and registered debt agreement administrator interviews on the AFSA website, to help future applicants understand the level of complexity involved.

In the meantime, we have updated both Inspector-General Practice Statement 13 and Inspector-General Practice Statement 4 with annexures which broadly list the expected knowledge areas applicants should be familiar with prior to registration. They are not intended to be exhaustive, and will not limit what a committee member can ask on the day of the interview.

For trustee applicants, an independent committee will be convened by the Inspector-General that will determine whether or not you will be registered. Although you will have a set of questions asked on the day, individual committee members may ask further questions to satisfy themselves that you can demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills to perform the duties of a trustee.

For debt agreement administrator applicants, delegates of the Inspector-General will determine whether or not you will be registered. Although you will have a set of questions asked on the day, you may be asked further questions to satisfy the Inspector-General that you can demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills to perform the duties of a debt agreement administrator.

How long is the interview?

On the day of your interview, you will have a 30 minute reading time before an interview with the committee. Overall, be prepared to set aside anywhere from 2 to 3 hours for the whole process, although this can vary.

How does a committee reach their decision to register a trustee applicant?

The decision to register an applicant will be made based on findings of the majority of the committee.

As a debt agreement administrator applicant, what is the process following a successful interview?

Should you demonstrate sufficient knowledge and ability at the interview, and meet the fit and proper test, be prepared to set aside further time for an on-site inspection by AFSA Regulation on another day to ascertain whether your business systems, controls and practices are sufficient.

Are there any tips for preparing for an interview?

The following are tips provided by past applicants from their experiences with the registration process:

  • Prepare! Read short case studies and practice writing answers in brief bullet point form to help with your reading time. If you get stuck writing detailed answers you won’t get through the whole paper before your reading time is finished

  • During your preparation, summarise relevant time periods under the legislation as doing so will force you to learn the legislated time periods

  • Practice having someone question you, and having you answer out loud. The feeling of an interview is similar to a panel job interview, so knowing the answers in your head is one thing, but being able to articulate technical complex responses to a panel is another

  • Be across current issues and case law – Personal Insolvency Regulator newsletters from the past 12 months should help guide you. These are available on the AFSA website.

  • Study and understand broad sections and parts of the Act, Regulations, IPS, IPR, Bankruptcy (Estate Charges) Act, to avoid fumbling through indexes to look for answers at the interview

  • Study and understand Inspector-General Practice Statements and Directions

We’ll publish further tips from past applicants in the December 2020 PIR newsletter.

Jody Leong
Assistant Director Technical

Recent prosecutions:

Stanley Kaftel guilty of bankruptcy offences for second time in two years

Stanley Kaftel sentenced following guilty verdict in bankruptcy trial

West Australian man convicted of bankruptcy charges

NSW man convicted after disposing of property

West Australian man convicted of 43 bankruptcy charges