ABTA has warned of legal action against members who do not comply with its travel insurance training by the September 30 deadline.

The warning follows news that potentially thousands of agents are yet to take the exam. The industry will have to prove it is undertaking training in time for the cut off. In October, ABTA will identify who is in breach of requirements.

Consequences could include fines or membership termination, determined by ABTA’s code of conduct committee.

To date, 19,500 agents have registered for level one training, with more than 10,000 passing. It is estimated 50,000 people will sit the exam.

Head of finance Mike Monk said: “I’m concerned that quite a lot of members, particularly small agencies, haven’t done anything yet.”

However, ABTA’s training provider TTC Training has admitted problems managing the programme, with members complaining of delays in getting results back.

Director Sharon White said problems had been ‘historical’ because of changes to its database and staffing issues. She said: “Some members are still experiencing problems.”

Results are taking six to eight weeks to be issued, but White is confident TTC can deal with remaining numbers ahead of the deadline.

Monk added members have not helped matters by giving incorrect information on applications. He said: “We’re entering the log jam we’ve been telling people to avoid. It’s akin to people complaining about traffic when travelling in rush hour.”