CIVEA is the principal trade association representing civil enforcement agencies employing around 2000 certificated enforcement agents that operate in England and Wales.

CIVEA’s members work to enforce civil debt on behalf of local authorities and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) including council tax, business rates, parking fines, magistrates’ court fines, employment tribunal awards, child support payments, B2B and commercial rent arrears.

This amounts to over £400 million of unpaid taxes and fines recovered each year at no cost to the public bodies themselves.

As local government finances come under continued pressure, the work that our members undertake is becoming increasingly important. For instance, £3 billion of council tax remains outstanding in England and Wales that could pay for essential local services, such as schools, children’s services, road repairs and refuse collection and recycling.

However, the public value of effective enforcement goes well beyond generating revenue. 

Enforcement action can be an important trigger for people to seek much needed debt advice and support, and the profession has strict safeguards in place to ensure that the vulnerable are provided with the right protection. 

CIVEA’s members are instructed by the courts to recover unpaid debts as a last resort, after all other attempts to make payment arrangements have failed. 

CIVEA members

CIVEA offer Corporate or Private membership to all enforcement agents and companies working throughout England and Wales.

Membership enables enforcement agents to: 

  • Help shape national policy 
  • Maintain exceptional standards
  • Be part of the reform of the enforcement sector

Help shape national policy 

By working with the Ministry of Justice alongside other government departments and agencies we ensure a fair deal for enforcement agents – whether an individual or a company.

Our members help shape new policies and share best practice for the benefit of the industry as a whole. 

We are leading reforms to our industry that will ensure we can continue to deliver a professional service that is fit for modern society.

For instance, CIVEA was central in developing a clear and straightforward framework for our industry as part of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement (TCE) Act 2007 and amended through the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Its key features include: 

  • A clear, three-stage enforcement process that sets minimum time periods and clear, fixed fees
  • An extended compliance stage to reduce the number of enforcement visits 
  • An enhanced and compulsory certification process for enforcement agents 
  • A simplified process for taking control of goods

Maintain exceptional standards 

We issue a mandatory ‘Code of Conduct and Good Practice Guide’ to all our members.

Be part of the reform of the enforcement sector

We provided a detailed, evidence-based response to the Ministry of Justice, which included the most comprehensive analysis of industry data ever undertaken.