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Updated IVA protocol to strengthen debt solution

The IVA Standing Committee has published a new version of the IVA protocol, providing updated regulatory standards to insolvency practitioners, creditors and debt advice sector.

A significant proportion of individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) in the UK are drafted in accordance with the principles from the IVA protocol.

The IVA standing committee, chaired by the Insolvency Service, is the body responsible for maintaining and strengthening the protocol. It is made up of key stakeholders including the regulatory professional bodies, debt advice sector, creditor representatives and insolvency practitioners.

The IVA protocol was last updated in 2016 and the IVA Standing Committee recognises that the debt landscape has undergone significant changes since then.

To assist the IVA market and provide further guidance to insolvency practitioners, creditors and debt advisers, the IVA Standing Committee has published an updated version of the protocol.

Insolvency practitioners who administer IVAs are being given advance warning of the updated protocol so that they can update their systems and procedures, as well as train their staff, before IVAs drafted compliant with the 2016 protocol will no longer be proposed to creditors after 1 August 2021.

Meg van Rooyen, Policy Lead at the Money Advice Trust, said:

We are pleased to have contributed to the work of the Insolvency Service and partners to improve the IVA protocol – these changes should make it simpler and more straightforward to follow. The inclusion of the FCA vulnerability guidance as a benchmark and changes to the equity rules to make it easier for people to keep their homes are important additions.

At a time when many households are struggling financially as result of the pandemic, ensuring people have access to the right debt options for their circumstances will be more important than ever.

Angela Crossly, Director for Strategy Policy and Analysis for the Insolvency Service, said:

We are aware that a large number of IVAs are drafted using the protocol and many of our stakeholders have asked for updated guidance. The IVA standing committee has improved on the 2016 protocol and we hope the updated version provides improved guidance, advice and standards to strengthen an important debt solution for people in financial difficulty.

If you have further questions about the IVA protocol, email:

Published 11 May 2021
Last updated 24 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. The date from when the old protocol cannot be used has been changed from 21 July to 1 August

  2. First published.