Existing firm applications

Updated 25 November 2019

Apply for temporary emergency approval of a compliance officer

What is this application for?

You need to tell us immediately within seven calendar days if your authorised body:

  • unexpectedly ceases to have a COLP or COFA; or
  • if the existing COLP or COFA is unable to fulfil the role.

First, check whether the individual who will replace the COLP or COFA meets the criteria to be deemed to be fit and proper to be a Compliance Officer under rule 13.5 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules . If they are you can submit an FA6. If not, then check Rule 15.2 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules to see if you are eligible for emergency approval.

Information you need

  • You need to tell us within 7 days of your firm ceasing to have a COLP or COFA.
  • You must nominate an individual to take on the temporary role. You should confirm they consent to the nomination.


We will only approve a request if:

  • you could not reasonably have commenced a substantive application in advance of the non-compliance;
  • you tell us within seven days of the event; and
  • we have no reason to believe that the individual is not fit and proper to be a compliance officer.

Help with your application

Contact us if you have any queries before you submit your application.

How to apply

You need to complete a FA5b - Application for temporary approval of a Compliance Officer.

When to apply

You must tell us immediately and within seven days of the event. We cannot accept applications which fall outside of this timeframe.


The form is an editable PDF and must be completed electronically. You must save a copy of the form to your computer before you start to fill it in. These forms are not compatible with Mac computers.


Email your application form to the address on the form.


There is no fee for this application.

What you can expect from us

We will acknowledge your application within one working day. We will let you know if your application is incomplete or ineligible.


We usually make decisions within 30 days.

The nominated Compliance Officer must not take up the role until they have been approved.