Routes to membership

We recognise that there are many ways of acquiring knowledge and proving competence so we provide four 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. 
  4. Through becoming a Provisional Associate member.

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.
  • A direct route to professional development through CPD.

The online module 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 at least up to and including level 6 covering the following key areas: 

  • Financial accounting
  • Financial reporting 
  • Cost accounting 
  • Financial management 
  • Budgeting
  • Law
  • Business environment 
  • Assurance
  • Personal taxation
  • Advanced financial reporting 
  • Business taxation 
  • Advanced taxation
  • Management accounting
  • Ethics

If you have taken a qualification programme which does not cover these areas we may not be able to offer you AFA or FFA.  

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
  • having completed a minimum of three years’ work experience in the accountancy industry or a closely related field.  

4. Provisional Associate membership

As an embedded student you will be eligible for provisional associate membership dependent on your qualifications meeting the membership criteria. To become an Associate member you will need to provide evidence of having completed a minimum of three years' work experience in accountancy or a closely related field.  

While you are gaining work experience you can become a Provisional Associate member. Upon completion you can apply to use the IFA designations as well as a practising certificate. 


IFA18 Websitegraphs Whypeoplejoinus 1 IFA18 Websitegraphs Whatourmembersvalue 1