Routes to membership

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

  • Through achievement of IFA qualifications or the new IFA Admission to Membership Programme. 
  • Through achievement of other accountancy qualifications. 
  • Through recognition of your membership of other accountancy 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 are an embedded student you may be eligible for membership of the IFA depending on meeting the membership criteria. 

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 and level 5 qualifications 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 education@ifa.org.uk.

By IFA Admission to Membership Programme 

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

Through 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 at least a level 4 and level 5 accountancy qualification covering the following key areas: 

  • Financial accounting 
  • Cost accounting 
  • Budgeting 
  • Financial reporting 
  • Financial management 
  • Management accounting 
  • Tax 

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

Through 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 Admission to Membership Programme. 

Changes to criteria for access to membership 

Please note that new criteria for access to membership will be introduced on 1 July 2018.

This means that applications made to IFA after 30 June 2018 will need to provide evidence that you have covered the following subject areas up to and including level 6:

  • Financial accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Credit management and control
  • Principles of taxation
  • Management accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Financial management
  • Assurance
  • Advanced taxation

Any gaps can be filled by accessing the IFA Admission to Membership Programme.