Prof Bus Serv Ireland

A service provider which is established in Ireland will retain the key EU freedoms to provide services throughout the European Union and to open branches and subsidiaries in other EU states. Accordingly, a professional services firm of business which establishes itself in another EU state such as Ireland will retain access to the EU market in services.

Article 54 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that companies or firms formed in accordance with law of a member state and having their registered office central administration or principal place of business within the European Union are to be treated for the purpose of freedom of establishment rights (A49-A55),  in the same way as natural persons who are nationals of member states.

Article 55 provides that Member states must accord nationals of other member states the same treatment as their own nationals as regards participation in the capital of companies and firms.

Article 56 provides that restrictions on freedom to provide services within the EU shall be prohibited in respect of nationals of member states who are established in a member state other than that of the person for whom the services are intended. The rights may be extended by EU legislation to nationals of third countries who provide services and are established within the EU.

The Services Directive which provides for the general right provide services throughout the EU applies to service providers (including a company) established in a member state in accordance with Article 54 above. The Services Directive gives detailed expression to the right provide services and limits the extent to which EU states other than the state of establishment can place limits and conditions on the provision of those services. See generally the sections on the Services Directive in Brexit Issues.

Firms and corporates established and Ireland will retain rights under the EU Audit Directive. The accounting and audit professions in the UK and Ireland are very closely linked. They operate to a significant extent, under the same accountancy framework. The prescribed and recognised accountancy bodies are set out in the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority’s website. The principal UK bodies are directly recognised on the same terms as the Irish bodies, some of which are essentially sister organisations

UK citizens will retain unconditional rights to travel to work and establish themselves in Ireland under the Common Travel Area arrangements. For many years, dating back long before each state acceded to the European communities in 1973, the Irish and UK labour markets have been effectively a single market. There is a high level of mutual recognition of qualifications both in statutorily based professions where applicable or deriving from the long-standing practice of non-statutory  bodies, reflecting very similar curricula and a common heritage

The  Prescribed Accountancy Body is any accountancy body that comes within the supervisory remit of the Authority. There are currently eight prescribed bodies:

ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;

AIA – Association of International Accountants;

CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants;

CIPFA – Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy;

ICAEW – Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales;

ICAI – Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland;

ICAS – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland; and

ICPAI – Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.

Links to the prescribed accountancy bodies’ websites can be found here.


Recognised Accountancy Body

A Recognised Accountancy Body is an accountancy body that has been granted recognition under section 930 of the Companies Act 2014. A recognised accountancy body is permitted to authorise its members and/or member firms to perform statutory audits and to register firms from the other EU Member States to perform audits under the Companies Act, provided that they satisfy certain additional conditions.

There are currently five recognised bodies:

ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;

ICAEW – Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales;

ICAI – Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland;

ICAS – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland; and

ICPAI – Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.

The legal profession in  Ireland is very similar to that in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society. Barristers are regulated, principally by the Bar Council. Both professions will be regulated by the newly established Legal Services Regulatory Authority in the near future.

Unless the Law Society otherwise determines, a solicitor whose first-place of qualification is England and Wales or Northern Ireland may join the roll of solicitors in Ireland without passing the qualified lawyers transfer test

Entering the roll of solicitors allow a solicitor to take up a practising certificate in the Republic of Ireland. The requirements including those for accounts, code of conduct,  audit and professional indemnity insurance are very similar to those applied by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales.

The Honourable Society of Kings Inns is the law school for barristers in Ireland and is designated the competent authority for the profession of barrister in Ireland under the Qualifications Directive. Members of the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Bar of England and Wales who have been in practice for at least three years may be admitted to the Society without examination and without keeping terms subject to production of evidence that they are in good standing with their home bar.

The Irish health and medical professions have a very similar structure to those in the United Kingdom. In most instances, there was a single regulatory body prior to Irish independence. In the areas in which there was specific statutory regulation prior to each of the UK and Ireland acceding to the European Communities in 1973 such as in medicine and dentistry, the older Irish and UK legislation specifically recognised qualifications in the other jurisdiction.

The mutual recognition of qualifications was formalised in the context of EU membership and specific EU legislation in respect of qualifications in the medical and health sector. Given the very close ties and long-standing free movement between health professionals in the UK and Ireland and, the continued existence of the Common Travel Area then even in the event of no continuing mutual recognition arrangements under an EU UK agreement, it is virtually certain that Ireland and the UK would recognise each other’s health and medical sector qualifications on a bilateral basis on the same basis as at present.

Doctors are regulated in Ireland by the Medical Council a statutory body. Education is provided in universities and teaching hospitals. Dentists are regulated by a statutory body the Dental Council, with a similar structure. Nurses are regulated by the Nursing Board which is a statutory body. Pharmacists are regulated in Ireland by a statutory body the reconstituted Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

The statutory Health and Social Care Professional Council regulates clinical biologists, dieticians, medical scientists, occupational therapists, orthopaedists, physiotherapists, psychologists radiographers, social care workers, social workers and speech and language therapists.

In each case, the nature of the roles and the underlying professional education and training requirements are very similar to those in the UK so that qualifications should generally be readily recognised.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is the Irish equivalent of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The HPRA is the Irish competent body under EU medicines and medical devices legislation. The Irish Medicines Board (IMB), became the HPRA in July 2014. The new name better reflects its broader remit and regulatory functions which expanded over a number of years to include:

  • Human Medicines
  • Veterinary medicines
  • Clinical trials
  • Medical devices
  • Controlled drugs
  • Blood and blood components
  • Tissues and cells
  • Cosmetic products
  • The protection of animals used for scientific purposes
  • Organs intended for transplantation

The Authority authorises and regulates

  • clinical trials
  • medicinal products
  • manufacturers of medicines and investigational medicines
  • wholesalers of medicines
  • manufacturers importers and distributors of active substances
  • exempt medicines and
  • certain laboratories.
  • medical devices,
  • Clinical investigations
  • certificates of free sale for export purposes
  • blood, tissue and cells and organ establishments

In the field of veterinary medicine, it authorises

  • clinical field trials
  • medicinal products
  • manufacturers of veterinary medicines
  • export certification of active substances and medicinal products
  • contract laboratories

It also authorises certain establishments supply or use animals in scientific studies, the import, export and manufacture of controlled drugs and precursor chemicals. The Authority also certifies and regulates certain cosmetics.