I apologise for any worry that has ensued. ICB's website has not been updated regarding the membership 'redesignation' as yet; all updates will be made only after Associates have been contacted.
So, the great news is that Associates are being 'redesignated' as Members (MICB) between 1st and 8th March. Everyone affected will receive a letter in the post together with a new Member card.
The change to the membership grades has come about because of the 2019 syllabus update. The updated syllabus reflects the increasing pace of technological change and the evolving role of the bookkeeper. That said, no new topics have been added so your knowledge is up to date no matter when you completed your qualifications.
One change that is significant, however, is that progression into Certified Bookkeeper status and full Membership has been streamlined from three stages into two. The two higher level exams called the Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounting have now been brought into the core Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts. This widens the scope of services that a Certified Bookkeeper can complete and reflects how the role has changed, in part, because of the ubiquitous use of commercial accounting software.
Another great thing about the new syllabus is that you can now achieve Fellowship through examination for the first time. For those wanting to become a Fellow of ICB, you can complete a minimum of three Level 4 Diploma modules and upgrade to Fellow once you have been a full Member of good standing for at least two years. The Level 4 Diploma covers advanced stuff like drafting financial statements and doing corporation tax under the FRS 105 and 102 Section 1a standards. These standards are applicable to micro-businesses and some small-businesses, enabling ICB Certified Bookkeepers to provide these services for up to 99.3% of the UK's businesses.
Never has the popular hashtag had such significance: