Routes to membership

The IFA recognises that there are many ways of acquiring knowledge and proving competence so we provide three flexible routes to Associate Tax Adviser status. 

  • Through achievement of IFA qualifications or the new IFA Diret programme. 
  • Through achievement of other UK tax qualifications. 
  • Through recognition of your membership of other UK accountancy or tax bodies where membership has been achieved through education. 

As part of your application, it is a mandatory requirement to provide evidence of having completed an ethics course or training and having obtained a minimum of three years’ work experience in the accountancy industry or a closely related field.  

If you have not previously undertaken ethics training you will be required to undertake and successfully complete the IFA ethics assessment before taking up membership. 

By IFA qualification

Students who have successfully completed the IFA level 4 SME Tax Adviser qualification and have not yet applied for membership will have a transition period in which to make their membership application before the new membership criteria apply. 

IFA qualifications are no longer available for new students. If you are currently studying towards or have previously achieved IFA qualifications please contact the education team for your eligibility to become a member of the IFA at

By IFA Direct

Further details of the programme can be found under the learning section. 

Through other taxation qualifications 

You can apply for membership based on your existing UK taxation qualifications. 

Before applying for membership, your qualification should be at least up to and including level 6 covering the following key areas: 

  • Principles of taxation 
  • Advanced taxation

If you have taken a qualification which does not cover these areas we may not be able to offer you ATA and/or FTA. 

Through recognition of membership of a professional accountancy organisation 

Where your membership of another UK accountancy or tax body has been achieved through qualifications, this may be a route through to IFA Associate Tax Adviser. 

Any gaps can be filled by accessing IFA Direct.