Terms of Reference

  • Terms of Reference

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    The mission of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as set out in its constitution, is “to serve the public interest by contributing to the development, adoption and implementation of high-quality international standards and guidance; contributing to the development of strong professional accountancy organizations and accounting firms, and to high quality practices by professional accountants; promoting the value of professional accountants worldwide; and speaking out on public interest issues where the accountancy profession’s expertise is most relevant.” In pursuing this mission, the IFAC Board has established the Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP) to oversee the implementation and operation of the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program (Program) which is the responsibility of the IFAC Compliance staff reporting to the Chief Executive. The Compliance Advisory Panel is subject to the oversight of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).


    The objective of the Program and the CAP is to serve the public interest by promoting the adoption and support of implementation of international standards on private and public sector accounting, auditing, ethics, education as well as the establishment of related quality assurance and enforcement mechanisms through the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs). The Program influences actions and drives behaviors of IFAC members and associates around the world by focusing attention and resource on improving the quality of the accountancy profession, thereby supporting the IFAC mission and strengthening public confidence in the global accountancy profession.


    In fulfilling the above objective the CAP and IFAC Compliance staff review the relevance, sufficiency and efficacy of the SMOs) and make related recommendations to the IFAC Board.

    The IFAC Board has the authority to issue the SMOs. The CAP and Compliance staff may recommend to the IFAC Board the issuance of or changes to the SMOs with an affirmative vote of a simple majority of

    the CAP.


    In addition, the role of the CAP is to oversee and advise the IFAC Compliance staff with regards to:

    Membership activities: 

    o    Assessing applications for membership to IFAC and the related recommendations to the IFAC Board. All membership and application matters which may result in a staff recommendation to the IFAC Board will be considered by the CAP before such recommendation is made to the IFAC Board;

    o    Undertaking periodic reviews of the criteria for admission to IFAC membership and related recommendations to the IFAC Board;

    Compliance activities:

    o    Implementing a self-assessment process to determine whether IFAC members and associates comply with applicable SMOs;

    o    Approving  action  plans  prepared  by  IFAC  members  and  associates  to  address  required improvements in their compliance with the SMOs;

    o    Disclosing compliance self  assessments  and action  plans,  as  appropriate,  for  each IFAC member and associate via publication on the IFAC web site;

    o    Preparing  recommendations  to  the  IFAC  Board  for  suspension  or  expulsion  of  an  IFAC member or associate for failure to adequately participate in the Compliance Program;

    o    Reporting to the IFAC Board and IFAC Council on the compliance program and the results thereof; 

    Activities related to regional organizations and accountancy groupings:

    o    Assessing applications for the recognition of Regional Organizations and the acknowledgement of Accountancy Groupings and related recommendations to the IFAC Board;

    o    Preparing  recommendations  to   the   IFAC   Board   for   withdrawal  of   recognition  or acknowledgement for Regional Organizations and Accountancy Groupings for failure to meet their obligations to IFAC; and

    o    Involving   IFAC   Recognized   Regional   Organizations   and   Acknowledged   Accountancy Groupings in the implementation of the compliance program, as appropriate.


    The CAP, including the Chair and Deputy Chair, shall be composed of not less than five members from IFAC member bodies appointed by the IFAC Board on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and with the approval of the PIOB.  Selection is based on the principle of “the best person for the job”. Additionally, the Nominating Committee shall properly consider that members of the CAP are experts in compliance matters and provide a broad geographic representation of member bodies.

    CAP members are required to sign an annual statement at the first meeting of the panel in each calendar year declaring that they will act in the public interest and with integrity in discharging their roles within IFAC. Nominating organizations of members of the CAP and the employing organization (as applicable) of the chair of the CAP are asked to sign similar independence declarations.


    The Chair  is  selected  by the  Nominating Committee and recommended  to  the IFAC  Board for  its agreement and to the PIOB for subsequent approval.


    The standard term for CAP members is three years, with approximately one-third of the membership rotating each year. A member may serve up to two consecutive terms, for an aggregate term of six years.

    The Chair ordinarily may serve three consecutive terms (as Chair or as a member for one or two terms preceding the appointment as Chair), for an aggregate of nine years. In exceptional circumstances, to be specified by the Nominating Committee, the Chair may serve for one additional consecutive term, for an aggregate term of twelve years.


    Each CAP meeting requires the presence, in person or by simultaneous telecommunications link, of at least two-thirds of the appointed members.

    CAP meetings shall be chaired by the Chair or, in his or her absence, by the Deputy Chair. In the event of the absence of both, the members present shall select one of their number to take the chair for the duration of the meeting, or of the absence of the Chair and Deputy Chair. 

    Each member of the CAP has one vote which can be exercised only by the appointed member. The affirmative vote of a simple majority of the members present at the meeting or by simultaneous telecommunications link is required to approve any decision. The meetings and agenda papers are in English which is the official working language of IFAC.

    The PIOB has the right to attend, or be represented at, all meetings of the CAP.


    In developing its strategy and work program, as well as recommendations to the IFAC Board for revisions to and issuance of SMOs, the CAP is required to be transparent in its activities, and to adhere to due process as approved by the PIOB.

    In setting its strategy and work program, the CAP consults with the PIOB as to whether CAP’s strategy and work program has been developed with proper regard for the public interest.


    The CAP will annually report on its work program, activities and progress made in achieving its objectives during the year. This report should normally be included as part of the IFAC annual report.

    IFAC will review the terms of reference and processes followed by the CAP at least every three years.




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