Before completing the associate application form, please read these notes to ensure you fill in all of the relevant information included in your application.
Under byelaw 6, the basic requirements for election to associate status are:
- To have passed the Institute's examinations
- To have the required period of relevant experience, i.e. six years, reduced by up to three years for acceptable further education
- To be a 'fit and proper' person.
Character and standing
The term ‘fit and proper’ contained in byelaws 4 and 6 relates directly to the character of an applicant and includes the concepts of honesty, solvency and competence.
However, the Council does not link the term ‘fit and proper’ to a subjective view an applicant may hold of their own conduct and methods. As a result, the Council requires all applicants to answer questions 1-3 on page two of the application form as to their character.
The Institute’s Charter obliges it to supervise the standard of professional conduct provided by its members and it is important to emphasise that the examples given below are not intended to be exhaustive or definitive, the concept of ‘fit and proper’ is inherently open ended.
This relates directly to the solvency of the applicant and would include any sequestration order,
compromise or deed of arrangement with your creditors.
This relates to:
- any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty under legislation (whether or not in the UK) relating to companies, building societies, credit unions, friendly societies, insurance, banking or other financial services, insolvency, consumer credit or consumer protection
- any other offence not in (a) above including criminal convictions, in a civilian or military court, involving fines, suspended sentences or terms of imprisonment. You may exclude non-criminal traffic offences.
This relates to:
- disqualification by court or other statutory or regulatory body from acting as a director of a company, or from acting in the management or conduct of the affairs of any company, partnership or incorporated association
- disciplinary action including criticism, censure, fine or exclusion from membership of any professional body or organisation (whether or not in the UK).
Further education experience
This can account for a maximum three years of the required six years. The reduction period is granted on the basis of the number of years study it would take to complete the qualification as a full-time course.
The course can be studied on a full or part-time basis. The work experience balance must, however, be gained outside the study period. It is immaterial whether the qualification is obtained before or after completing the Institute’s examinations.
Incorrect or misleading information
If information is revealed to be inaccurate or misleading before election, the application is liable to be rejected and, if you are currently a graduate, may lead to disciplinary action under byelaw 56.8.
If information is revealed to be inaccurate or misleading after election, you may be subject to disciplinary action under byelaw 56.8.
Relevant experience can be obtained in one or more organisations and in any type of organisation. Some of the major relevant work areas include: company secretarial and legal work, corporate governance, general management and administration, pensions, insurance, information systems management, committee administration and accounting and financial management.
Two specific points to note are:
- Teaching in further education of Institute-related or otherwise approved subjects may be considered relevant. However, primary or secondary school teaching is generally not.
- An applicant whose work is not considered entirely relevant, but contains an element of administrative or relevant duties, may have this proportion of their time counted on a pro rata basis. The employer should be asked to provide a letter certifying the percentage of the applicants’ time spent on such duties. However, in such cases either:
- at least one third of the required period of work experience must be spent in an administrative post or posts, or
- the applicant must be holding a wholly administrative post at the time of application.
Statement of appointment
- You are required to attach a full CV. This should cover the period from leaving school until the present, with any gaps being accounted for.
- Signatures from one or more referees must certify a total period of no less than six years, unless reduced by a maximum period of three years relevant further education.
- If, as an alternative to having your application form certified, you prefer to forward original reference letters from employers, please note that these must show the post/s held and dates (i.e. month and year) of starting and finishing. (Letters merely offering the post, or confirming a regrading, are insufficient for this purpose.)
- Please note the following with regard to the individual sections of this page of the form:
- Name of organisation: In the case of a holding company, a group or subsidiary companies, it is important to specify the particular company in which you hold office.
- Title of appointment: If the duties performed are not self evident from the title, a brief outline of duties should be attached.
- Dates: Month and year to be given.
- Applicants for associate status must be recommended by two signatories of professional status, one of whom should, if possible, be a member (associate or fellow), and both of whom must have known the applicant for at least one year.
- Any personal relationships with the applicant must be declared in all circumstances by indicating ‘yes’ on the application form. Recommendations may come from a relative of the applicant where that relative is an associate/fellow of the Institute, unless the applicant is directly employed by or reports to that relative. In this instance, please contact our Client Services Team for further guidance.
Those completing the examinations prior to June 1989, who have not yet been admitted to graduateship and are not yet eligible for associate status, will be admitted to graduateship.