Existing firm applications

Updated 17 August 2016

Apply for temporary emergency approval of a compliance officer

Who 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 your firm is eligible for temporary approval by looking at Rule 18 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011.

Information you need

  • You need to tell us about the unexpected situation and the date the event occurred.
  • 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
  • the new compliance officer is suitable to carry out the role.

Help with your application

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

How to apply

There is no application form.

You need to email us and tell us the following:

  • reason why you are applying
  • details of unexpected circumstance
  • date the existing compliance officer left or ended the role
  • name and role of the proposed individual
  • the new individual consents to hold the role
  • that the individual is not disqualified from acting as HOLP/HOFA.

COFA only: All individuals who are not SRA authorised need to register on mySRA before you send in your application.

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.


There is no form for this application. You must email us and use the subject line "Temporary Emergency Approval COLP/COFA".


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.