"Fit and proper" requirements

AAT requires all members to maintain the high standards expected of the profession and not act in a way that poses a risk to the public or could undermine public confidence in AAT, its members, or the wider profession.

Our "fit and proper" requirements apply to:

It's important that you understand the requirements asked of you and the professional standards you're expected to meet.

Declarations and disclosure

Criminal convictions, civil sanctions, insolvency and disciplinary sanctions are indicators that an individual may not be a fit and proper person to either enter or remain in the profession. 

If you're a professional member of AAT (MAAT, FMAAT or AATQB), or applying to become one, you will need to answer "yes" or "no" to the following statements: 

  • I have been declared bankrupt
  • I have been subject to a Debt Relief Order
  • I have entered into an arrangement with my creditors
  • I have been convicted of a criminal offence that is not spent under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1978
  • I have been subject to a civil sanction
  • I have been issued with a County Court Judgement (CCJ)
  • I am subject to a disciplinary sanction made by another professional body.

If an applicant answers "yes" to any of these statements, their AAT membership status or membership application will be reviewed in line with the AAT policies below.

  • Criminal Convictions policy (PDF): explains how AAT assesses membership and licence applications where the applicant has disclosed an unspent conviction. It also details how AAT addresses convictions disclosed by current members.
  • Insolvency policy (PDF): explains how insolvency can impact on an application for membership and its implications for current AAT members.
  • Civil Sanctions policy (PDF): sets out the implications of civil findings such as disqualification as a director, or sanctions under the Companies Act.
  • Disciplinary Sanctions policy (PDF): Details the requirement of current and prospective members to disclose disciplinary sanctions from other professional bodies.
  • Suitability for membership guidance (PDF): sets out the information AAT requires to assess a membership application from any applicant who discloses an unspent conviction, bankruptcy, Debt Relief Order (DRO), payment arrangement with creditors, civil sanction, County Court Judgment (CCJ) or disciplinary sanction from another professional body.

AAT membership requirements

AAT requires its membership to uphold high standards of conduct and professionalism. This promotes public confidence in the accountancy profession. AAT must ensure that applicants for membership at any level demonstrate not only technical competence but also that they are fit and proper for membership of AAT.

  • The AAT Regulations (PDF): the framework for all categories of AAT membership.
  • Associate Membership policy (PDF): shows what an applicant must demonstrate in order to be approved as an AAT bookkeeping member (AATQB).
  • CPD policy (PDF): explains AAT's CPD requirements. AAT affiliate and professional members must undertake appropriate CPD to ensure that they remain competent for the work that they do, and to meet their career aspirations, whether their work is of an accounting/financial nature or not.
  • Membership Criteria policy (PDF): sets out the terms upon which AAT determines whether an applicant is suitable for membership of AAT.
  • Reinstatement policy (PDF): former AAT members who have applied to reinstate their membership will be subject to this.
  • Renewal policy (PDF): the criteria required of AAT members to remain a student, affiliate, bookkeeping, full or fellow member.

AAT member annual declaration process

It is a regulatory requirement for all members to make an annual declaration to AAT.

As part of the declaration, members will be required as part of the membership renewal process to confirm each year if they're:

  • subject to insolvency, a criminal conviction, a civil sanction, or a disciplinary finding by another professional body, that AAT is not already aware of
  • providing self-employed accountancy services without holding a valid licence to practise
  • complying with the requirements of AAT’s CPD policy (not applicable to students).

AAT reviews this information along with other information we hold or receive about a member. Where we identify a concern or a learning and development need, we may follow up with the member.

In addition to the above, each member must agree to abide by AAT's standards and requirements and any other policy from time to time in force.