Oral Boards of Examination—Competencies to be Evaluated

The Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP) Qualification Program (CQP) identifies pervasive qualities and skills, and specific competencies required of individuals working in the insolvency and restructuring field.

The candidates’ skills, knowledge and abilities are challenged in a variety of ways:

  • A formal program of study comprised of an introductory, intermediate and advanced level;
  • The acquisition of knowledge and practical experience in the workplace through interaction, supervision and mentoring;
  • Self-administered examinations and assignments;
  • Sponsor assessment;
  • Formal examinations, including the CIRP National Insolvency Exam (CNIE).

The following table provides a high level overview of the means by which the specific competencies and pervasive qualities and skills are evaluated:

Evaluation Methods
Pervasive Qualities and Skills
Evaluation Method
Professional Skills
Effective judgment and strategic thinking CQP and Oral Board
Business ethics and professional skills CQP and Oral Board
Personal Attributes
Ability to communicate orally CQP sponsor validation and Oral Board
Specific Competencies
Evaluation Method
Insolvency philosophy and practice CQP
Insolvency law and practice CQP
Taxation CQP
General business law CQP
Financing CQP
Managing business operations CQP
Financial analysis and reporting CQP

CAIRP notes in the CIRP Qualification Program Competency Profile that the final CNIE "is intended to be a comprehensive examination that tests candidates’ knowledge, understanding, ability to apply the knowledge to practical situations, and ability to develop solutions to situations that could be encountered in the context of an insolvency and a restructuring practice."

Except in extraordinary circumstances, an application for a trustee licence is conditional upon a candidate’s demonstrated success in CAIRP’s extensive CQP and the CIRP National Insolvency Exam, and the completion of 2,400 hours of insolvency experience. The primary emphasis of the oral board evaluation will be the extent to which the competencies listed below are demonstrated in the answers provided by candidates, as opposed to the extent of knowledge conveyed in the answer. However, candidates will be expected to demonstrate accurate knowledge and apply relevant legislation correctly. The following competencies will be evaluated during the Oral Board of Examination:


Effective Judgment and Strategic Thinking

Implies the ability, in a bankruptcy and an insolvency context, to identify problems and issues, confirm facts, seek specialist advice as required and identify feasible courses of action taking into account the positions of various stakeholders and the appropriate legislative framework. Recommend and support a strategy given the data available and state any assumptions.

A candidate response that demonstrates effective judgment and strategic thinking may include the following proficiency markers:

  • Defining and confirming the nature of a problem, looking at it from different angles and considering alternative solutions and the positions of the relevant stakeholders before moving forward with a plan to resolve it
  • Recognizing and reviewing the relevant factors of a situation or problem, and seeking and validating additional information as needed
  • Applying relevant legislation in an accurate and appropriate fashion
  • Knowing when it is appropriate to seek advice from, consult with or collaborate with others
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a situation to support the merits or validity of the actions to be taken
  • Anticipating the risks or implications inherent in a suggested plan of action and devising appropriate strategies to mitigate their impact
  • Reaching an appropriate conclusion even when faced with incomplete or contradictory data

Business Ethics and Professional Skills

Implies the ability to perform the required functions with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity and impartiality while acting in accordance with established rules and/or standards governing the conduct of the members of the insolvency profession. This would include acting and reacting in a timely manner and cooperating with members of the public and regulatory bodies, as well as balancing transparency and providing sufficient disclosure while recognizing the need to respect the confidentiality of other information.

A candidate response that demonstrates business ethics and professional skills may include the following proficiency markers:

  • Applying specific standards by formulating, analyzing and processing transactions in accordance with established conventions and applicable legislation
  • Applying due care in professional engagements to uphold the integrity of the bankruptcy and insolvency process
  • Identifying the situations that require referral to or consultation with other professionals or experts
  • Planning and exercising due care and diligence so as to withstand scrutiny in decision making with a high degree of responsibility and accountability
  • Acting competently with honesty, integrity, transparency and confidentiality
  • Addressing and resolving disputes and complaints in a proactive manner
  • Anticipating and avoiding exhibiting real or perceived influence, interest or relationships that might impair professional judgment

Ability to Communicate Orally

Implies the ability to transmit and receive information clearly and communicate effectively with others, and respond appropriately using tact, diplomacy and persuasiveness in an insolvency or a restructuring context.

A candidate response that demonstrates the ability to communicate orally may include the following proficiency markers:

  • Listening and responding appropriately by delivering information or facts in a logical, clear and coherent manner
  • Adapting language to various audiences
  • Demonstrating the capacity to understand the sensitivity of a particular situation
  • Communicating effectively to achieve desired results
  • Interpreting and reacting appropriately to complex or contradictory information
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