Routes to membership

We recognise that there are many ways of acquiring knowledge and proving competence so we provide three flexible routes to membership. 

  1. Achievement of the IFA Direct education programme. 
  2. Achievement of other accountancy qualifications. 
  3. Recognition of your membership of other accountancy bodies where membership has been achieved through education. 

1. IFA Direct 

Administered in partnership with ATHE, IFA Direct provides a unique, flexible online way to study for those who want:

  • A direct route to IFA membership.
  • A direct route to career progression to obtain a practising certificate.

The online unit approach provides a flexible and modern format. It allows you to study around other commitments regardless of where you are in the world and without having to be away from the workplace.

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

2. Other accountancy qualifications 

You can apply for membership based on your existing accounting, finance and/or taxation qualifications. 

Before applying for membership, your qualification should be equivalent to the content of the IFA Direct education programme.   

If you are unsure please contact the education team at [email protected] who can confirm your eligibility for membership and provide a tailored route for you. 


3. Recognition of membership of a professional accountancy organisation 

Where your membership of another accountancy body has been achieved through qualifications this may be a route through to IFA membership. 

Any gaps can be filled by accessing the IFA Direct education programme.

As part of your application it is a mandatory requirement to: 

  • provide evidence of having completed an ethics course or training; and
  • have completed work experience in the accountancy industry or a closely related field of a minimum of either: one year to become an Intermediate Financial Accountant or three years to become an Associate Financial Accountant or Associate Tax Adviser.