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The Code is split into two levels of compliance:

A.    Minimum compliance

All members are required to meet the minimum compliance standards.

However, as the Code continues to evolve and raise standards, some funds may find that they are temporarily unable to meet minimum compliance in some areas. In such cases the Manager should openly disclose the position so that a strategy and timetable for future compliance can be agreed with AREF.

B.    Best practice 

The Code also sets out recommended best practice, which members are expected to adopt wherever possible.

Compliance monitoring
  1. At least once per calendar year the manager of each fund participating as a member of AREF is required to sign-off the AREF Code of Practice Self-Certification Form (Annex 3), confirming whether or not they are compliant with the Code.
  2. In addition, the Self-Certification Template (Annex 4) must be completed to aid completion of the Self-Certification Form and assist AREF in its audit of responses.
  3. The Self-Certification Matrix, summarising responses received, can be found in Annex 5. This is also available on the AREF website.
  4. The Corporate Governance Committee will monitor the process to identify funds who have failed to complete the annual sign-off or meet minimum compliance.
  5. Funds are required to include in their annual statements a comment that they comply with the minimum requirements of the Code.
  6. The Corporate Governance Committee will report the findings from their monitoring to the Management Committee on a regular basis. Persistent non-compliance with minimum standards may lead to suspension from membership.
Non-compliance with the AREF Code of Practice

It is a requirement of AREF membership that each Full Member of AREF must comply, where applicable, with the minimum requirements, of the Code of Practice, and should notify the Board as soon as possible in the event it is unable to do so.

1. If the Board reasonably determines a Full Member is not complying with the Code it may:

  • Request further information as necessary to determine whether or not there has been a breach of the Code of Practice by the Full Member.
  • Determine in its sole discretion whether there has been a breach of the Code by that Full Member.

2. If a breach of the Code is established, the full member should make proposals to remedy the situation in a reasonable period of time. 

3. If a Full Member does not comply with the Code of Practice, further to either notification by the Full Member or a Board determination, then a “Warning Notice” may be issued by the Board. 

  • If following receipt of a “Warning Notice” the Full Member has not rectified the Breach within the time specified the Full Member should be a “Defaulting Member” and the Board as its sole discretion can impose any of the following sanctions (or combination thereof). 

Sanctions in respect of a Defaulting Member: 

  1. Private Censure – The Board may issue a “Defaulting Member” with a letter of Private Censure.  The terms of which (including the identity of the defaulting Member) shall be confidential, but the existence of which AREF shall be permitted to disclose.
  2. Public Censure – The Board may issue a “Defaulting Member” with a letter of Public Censure, the terms of which AREF at its discretion shall be entitled to publicise in full.
  3. Suspend membership rights of the “Defaulting Member”, which the Board in its sole discretion consider necessary or appropriate.
  4. Remove the “Defaulting Member” from Membership, in this circumstance the Board must give the “Defaulting Member” not less than 14 days’ notice of the decision and invite written representation before a decision is made or
  5. Issue an Exception Notice to the “Defaulting Member”, where upon the Full member will not be deemed to be in breach of the Code of Practice (in respect of the area of the Code to which the Exception Notice relates only). 


Investors contacting AREF 

AREF can be contacted on This e-mail address is available for all forms of investor communication, including complaint and feedback.

Before raising issues with AREF, investors should initially make representation to the trustees/manager of the specific fund. If further to these representations the investor is dissatisfied with the responses provided, then investors are encouraged to contact AREF via the above e-mail link.


This section was last updated/reviewed: 27/03/2018