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Professional Oversight Board

The Professional Oversight Board (POB) is a UK regulatory body specializing in the accounting, auditing and actuarial professions. It is a part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the independent regulator of corporate governance and reporting in the UK.


The Board's stated purpose is to support the FRC's goal of investor and public confidence in the financial governance of business organizations. The Board provides assurance that professional accountancy bodies are properly setting standards and enforcing discipline for their members, in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and other statutory requirements. The POB can carry out inspections on behalf of the FRC, but if any shortcomings are found, sanctions can only be imposed by the professional bodies.[1] However, if a complaint raises concerns that a professional accountancy or actuarial body may have breached significantly its own standard procedures in the handling of a complaint about their member, the POB will normally seek the comments of the relevant body and look at papers relating to the case as appropriate. The Board will then normally write to the complainant to tell them the outcome of their consideration of the matter and whether the body proposes to take any action based on their comments. The POB does not have the power either to overturn any decision which the body has made in a case or to direct how the body should handle a case.[2]

The Board also operates an Audit Inspection Unit (AIU) that oversees auditing organizations and makes recommendations for appropriate regulatory actions by governmental and professional authorities. As part of its oversight of the actuarial profession, the Board monitors the activities of actuarial organizations with regard to the education, discipline, ethical standards and continuing professional development of their members. The Board also seeks to provide a framework for the evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of actuarial work.


Before 5 May 2006, the Board was known as the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy. The name change reflected the Board's additional responsibility for oversight of the actuarial profession from that date.

In 2011, the Board published information for the first time about shortcomings in self-regulation by particular institutes. Press reports highlighted comments about ACCA, which had implemented recommendations to improve its examination syllabus, but needed to pay greater attention to continuing monitoring of members who had registered as auditors some years ago.[3]


The Board contains members from a wide range of backgrounds. As of 2011 Paul George is its Director,[1] and John Kellas is interim chair following the death of Dame Barbara Mills.[3]


External links

  • Official POB web site
  • Official FRC web site
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