"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

If you're a professional member of AAT (MAAT, FMAAT or AATQB), or applying for professional membership or an AAT licence, you will need to disclose the following:

  • bankruptcy
  • debt relief orders
  • arrangements with creditors
  • criminal convictions not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • civil sanctions
  • county court judgments
  • disciplinary sanctions made by another professional body or regulator.

You do not need to declare:

  • spent criminal convictions
  • any road traffic offence which was dealt with by way of fixed penalty notice
  • credit agreements you have entered into (for example, student loans, mortgages, car finance agreements).

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.

What happens next?

We will carry out an assessment on your suitability for membership. This assessment may involve making further enquiries directly with you or any third parties where applicable. Once the assessment is concluded, we will either:

  • admit you to membership
  • refuse membership
  • refuse membership and debar from you reapplying for a period of five years.

We will notify you of the outcome in writing as soon as a decision has been made.

Failure to disclose

If you fail to disclose relevant information on your application, renewal or annual declaration and the matter subsequently becomes known, AAT may investigate in accordance with the Disciplinary Regulations.

What information do I need to provide?

Bankruptcy

  • Details of the circumstances leading to your bankruptcy.
  • The date you were declared bankrupt.
  • The amount of debt you owed when adjudged bankrupt.
  • The date your bankruptcy was or is due to be discharged.
  • A copy of your Bankruptcy Order and/or Certificate of Discharge.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

Debt relief order (DRO)

  • Details of the circumstances leading to your DRO.
  • The date you entered into your DRO.
  • The amount of debt you owed on entry into your DRO.
  • When the moratorium period of the DRO will expire.
  • A copy of your Order and/or Certificate of Discharge.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

Arrangement with creditors

  • Details of the circumstances leading to your arrangement.
  • The start date of your arrangement.
  • A breakdown of the debt on entry into your arrangement.
  • The outstanding balance to your creditors.
  • The date your arrangement ended or is due to end.
  • Evidence of 12 months of payments to creditors.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

County court judgments (CCJ)

  • Details of the circumstances leading to your CCJ .
  • The date of the judgment.
  • The amount of debt you owed at the point of judgment.
  • Evidence that the CCJ has been satisfied or the date when the CCJ is due to be satisfied.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

Criminal conviction

  • An explanation of the circumstances leading to your criminal conviction.
  • A copy of your Certificate of Conviction (Crown Court) or a Memorandum of Conviction (Magistrates Court). This is an official document from the court that convicted you confirming the conviction and the sentence you received.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

Civil sanction

  • The nature of the civil sanction.
  • Details of the circumstances leading to your civil sanction.
  • The date the sanction was imposed.
  • The date the sanction was or is due to expire.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

Disciplinary sanction with another professional body or regulator

  • Details of the underlying conduct on which the finding was made.
  • The nature of the finding of the professional body.
  • The date the sanction was imposed.
  • Whether the sanction is current or has expired.
  • Any remedial action taken by you since the sanction was imposed.
  • If applicable, any mitigating circumstances. This must be supported by evidence.

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 (bookkeeping) 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.