Resigned: NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert has announced he will step down from the role.

Resigned: NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert has announced he will step down from the role. Photo: Simon Alekna

The end of an era ushers in the dawn of a new one. After long-time salary-cap auditor Ian Schubert steps down, the NRL's integrity unit will oversee the policing of the cap next year and into the future.

An appeals panel is also in place for next season.

The ongoing salary-cap review, likely to be finalised by the ARL Commission in March, is also set to recommend the controversial second-tier cap, a thorn in Schubert's side in the last of his 15 years in the role, be increased for next season.

Schubert's departure marks a significant step in the evolution of the salary cap, as well as the review. One man will no longer be judge, jury and executioner when it comes to the salary cap.

While Jamie L'Oste Brown will be the new cap auditor, the department will come under the umbrella of the integrity unit, through its general manager of integrity and general counsel, Nick Weeks, as well as chief operating officer Jim Doyle.

NRL clubs are likely to welcome the implementation of an appeals process, which they have never before enjoyed.

''There will be day-to-day decisions that will need to be made by Jamie and his team,'' Doyle said. ''But there will be a proper process in regards to appeals.''

The review followed controversy over the NRL's perceived outdated second-tier salary-cap system last season. Schubert had also come under fire when former NRL star Israel Folau opted to sign with rugby union instead of Parramatta.

Clubs have long been critical of the fact that one individual, Schubert, has had control over the salary cap. That will change from next season; L'Oste Brown will make the day-to-day decisions but the integrity unit will oversee cap management.

''As you can imagine, the integrity of the game is a big part of the salary cap,'' Doyle said. ''We got it [the unit] up and running first and foremost from a drugs and ASADA perspective, but then it's evolved to look after player behaviour. But part of the thinking was always to put the salary cap under there as well.

''It makes sense. Apart from the issue we've had recently with ASADA, the biggest issues we have had, that tarnish the brand, apart from player behaviour, is salary-cap rorts. We've been talking about it for a little while, that, at the right time, it would make sense for it to be part of the integrity unit.''

Schubert, who played 272 first-grade games for Eastern Suburbs, Wests and Manly, has been the salary-cap auditor during the entire course of the NRL competition.

While NRL officials lauded the fact that nine different premiers have been crowned since 1998, club officials have been regularly frustrated by his power.

While more significant changes to the salary cap will come into effect in 2015, officials are still considering raising the second-tier ceiling in time for next year.

Schubert faced significant scrutiny last season over the second-tier salary cap after the Penrith Panthers were forced to drop fullback Matt Moylan.

''That's the one we're thinking more around in regards to an earlier introduction,'' Doyle said.

Following several focus- group discussions involving stakeholders in the game, including players, supporters, player managers and the media, officials will now schedule separate sessions on various parts of the review that still have merit for the new year. Officials will discuss the prospective changes with the chief executives of the clubs in February before they are officially approved by the ARL Commission in March.