Member FAQs


1. What are the rights of members?

  • Full CIPFA members are entitled to use the designatory letters CPFA and the title ‘Chartered Public Finance Accountant’.
  • Affiliate members are recognised by using the letters “CIPFA Affil”.
  • The use of both is subject to maintaining membership of CIPFA and complying with the obligations of membership (see question 4).

2. What are the benefits of membership?

All CIPFA members enjoy access to a range of benefits including:

  • Online e-learning resources including videos, e-learning modules, checklists, journal articles and e-books that will count towards your Continuing Professional Development.
  • Keystone guides – top CIFPA technical guides on topical issues in public services.
  • Latest news from CIPFA’s magazines Public Finance, Public Finance International and SpreadsheetMember discounts on training and publications.
  • Representation through the Institute on key professional policy-making bodies.
  • A range of sector and function specific information, with the opportunity to gain membership of panels.

3. What is defined as public sector experience?

Public sector is broadly ‘Government’, including either National, provincial, local level, and any organisation that provides or works with public services. And any organisation or body that is:

  • owned or controlled by such government or in which a ‘government’ has an interest of above 20 percent
  • supervised directly or indirectly by ‘government’ and not trading for profit
  • funded wholly or substantially by ‘government’
  • supplying utility services
  • supplying services, subject to price regulation, either immediate or potential, by a statutory body
  • wholly or largely concerned with auditing, supervising or funding public service bodies
  • administering or supervising the administration of pension, insurance or superannuation schemes established primarily for officers and employees and dependants of officers and employees of ‘government’ or body or organisation referred to above
  • other such public bodies or organisations may, from time to time, be recognised by the CIPFA Council as public sector.

4. What are the obligations of membership?

All members must satisfy our CPD requirements to maintain their membership.
If you are already a member of a full IFAC member body we have accredited your CPD scheme and documentation, so you would automatically meet the requirements of CIPFA’s scheme by registering with us and annually confirming participation via the annual members’ statement (see question 6). You would not need to maintain or submit additional records.
Details of these are available from the CIPFA membership handbook.

5. How does CPD affect these members?

We have accredited the schemes and documentation of all IFAC full member bodies so as a member of such a body you meet the requirements of CIPFA’s scheme by simply registering and annually confirming participation via the annual members’ statement. You would not need to maintain or submit additional records.
Read more on our CPD scheme.

6. Annual Members’ Statement

This becomes available each November in your My CIPFA area on the website for members to confirm their CPD and Practice Assurance Status, and should be completed online by 31 March.

Complete my Annual Members' Statement.

7. Am I eligible to become a member of the Institute Council or to become involved in other governance roles at CIPFA?

Full CIPFA members are able to put themselves forward for election to the Institute Council, contribute to ballots for the election of Officers and Council members, and to vote on Annual General Meeting resolutions. 21 seats on the Council are the subject of an annual election from amongst the whole membership. Any current Institute member who meets the criteria necessary to become a trustee of CIPFA can be nominated, and stand, for election to Council.
Affiliate members of CIPFA aren’t able to take part in the above. However, all members are also eligible to put themselves forward for other volunteer roles within CIPFA, serving on, for example, national panels and/or regional committees.

8. What is the cost of application and annual subscription?

The fees that you will pay is dependent on the type of membership you have. Full details of application and membership costs.

9. Can I apply for a reduction in my Membership fees?

CIPFA offers reduced subscriptions to fully qualified members in certain circumstances, which include:
  • taking a career break 
  • raising a family
  • prolonged period of ill health
  • full time caring for disabled children, partner or parents
  • returning to full time education
  • maternity leave
  • working part-time
To be considered for a reduced subscription please complete the Application for a reduced subscription form (PDF, 171 KB).

Applications for reduced subscriptions in the current year must be received by 30 June.

10. How can I pay?

For UK members we accept direct debit and via invoice.
For non-UK members we encourage payment by credit card and payment will need to be made in GBP.
All details and other possible payment options.

11. Is there a reduced membership rate if I am retired?

Qualified members who retire from employment and are 55-years-old or over can apply for retired membership. Members who retire on the grounds of ill health, regardless of age, and will not be returning to any paid employment can also apply.

12. What do I do if I no longer want to be a CIPFA member?

If you are sure that you wish to end your membership then CIPFA is sorry to end our relationship with you. Your resignation should be made in writing or by email to

Please let us know why you are resigning.  Knowing why people resign can be just as important as understanding the needs of its members in deciding how to develop CIPFA's role in the future.

Once resignation is confirmed you will no longer be able to use CPFA after your name, or refer to yourself as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. Details of how you may refer to your CIPFA qualification are available in the non-member policy (PDF 148KB).

13. How do I get my membership certificate?

 A certificate will be sent to your registered membership address within two weeks of your membership being approved. Some CIPFA Regions hold a presentation event to celebrate membership of those who have become fully qualified CIPFA members.  If your region is one that holds such an event(Scotland, South East, Yorkshire and Humber) your certificate will be forwarded to the Regional Secretary. Certificates remain the property of CIPFA and are only valid for as long as you remain/renew your membership.

A replacement certificate can be obtained if you have lost or destroyed it, if it has been stolen or if you have changed your name. Application for Replacement Certificate form (PDF 154 KB).

Membership certificates are a recognition of your achievement.  Why not display your achievement by framing your certificate and displaying it in your office. CIPFA members can receive a 20% discount from the Certificate Framing Company by entering the offer code 'cipfa2013'.

13. Where can I study the two papers to move from Affiliate to full membership?

You can study face to face, online or via distance learning.
Find out more about study options

14. Is there a time limit between registration and taking of examinations?

There is no specific time limit but please note that we have exam registration deadlines for the 2 exam sittings per year – these deadlines are end of March for June exams, and end of September for December exams.

15. How many attempts are allowed for exams?

There are no restrictions on the number of sittings.

16 Readmission to membership

If you are a former member and wish to apply for readmission to CIPFA membership you can make an application.

Your application for readmission will be considered providing that:

  • you have not, during the period of non-membership held yourself out to be a Member
  • can provide a satisfactory reason for wishing to be readmitted
  • you are able to submit a recommendation supporting your readmission, from your Chief Financial Officer or, where circumstances make this impossible, a current CIPFA Member in good standing.

Download the readmission application form

17. My question isn't here?

If you need any other information please email us on


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