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Professional Standards Schemes

What are Professional Standards Schemes?

Professional Standards Schemes (formerly known as Cover of Excellence® schemes) are legal instruments that bind associations to monitor, enforce and improve the professional standards of their members, and protect consumers of professional services.

These associations have been approved by the Professional Standards Councils to represent professionals in a particular occupation who are members of the association for the purpose of professional standards legislation.

In return for these commitments, Professional Standards Schemes cap the civil liability or damages that professionals who take part in an association’s scheme may be required to pay if a court upholds a claim against them.

How we assess civil liability caps

Assessing liability caps requires a combination of actuarial, legal and professional expertise. As part of this, we require all associations applying for a Professional Standards Scheme to provide us with:

  • Substantial insurance claims data
  • Their existing professional standards systems and risk management practices
  • Other relevant information.

Proposed liability caps are assessed by the Councils and are subject to review. They are designed to be high enough to cover all non-corporate and most corporate claims, and to provide confidence that insurance or assets will be available if damages need to be paid.