Can I study AAT if I’ve been declared bankrupt?

Here is some guidance on the AATs rules:

The AAT is a professional body with a code of ethics. Students are subjects to various checks to ensure that the AAT’s student body maintains public confidence in the accountancy profession.

When you apply for AAT student membership, you will be asked 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 agreement with my creditors
  • I have been convicted of a criminal offence, which is not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • I have been found guilty of a civil offence (examples of civil offences include; offences under Companies Act, Health and safety legislation or UK tax laws. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list)
  • I have been issued with a County Court Judgment
  • I have been found guilty of misconduct by another awarding or professional body


You can still apply for student membership if your bankruptcy is discharged, or the moratorium period of your Debt Relief Order has expired.

However, you will not be able to gain students membership if you have an undischarged bankruptcy or a Debt Relief Order where the moratorium period has not yet expired

IVAs and CCJs

If you have an IVA (an informal arrangement with your creditors), or an outstanding judgement debt, then you will be granted student membership.


  • You will be expected to pay your creditors in full at the earliest opportunity
  • Although Student membership will be granted, there is no guarantee that professional membership will be granted (AATQB or MAAT)
  • When you apply for professional membership, your situation will be reviewed again, and it is possible that you will never be granted professional membership

Criminal Convictions & Civil Sanctions. Or if you have been subject to disciplinary findings by another professional body

If you have an unspent criminal conviction, have ever received a civil sanction, or have been disciplined by another professional body, your suitability for membership will need to be assessed by a Membership Assessor. You will need to provide details of your conviction to the AAT along with character references from qualified professionals, who hold membership of an accountancy body.

If your conviction relates to fraud, dishonesty or financial crime you will not be entitled to AAT student membership.

If you have ever been bankrupt, had an IVA, CCJ or criminal offence record you should read the AAT’s guidance in full before applying for membership or purchasing an AAT course from a training provider.

Applicants’ guide to declarations and disclosure: Student membership

Applicants’ guide to declarations and disclosure: Full membership