|Joining the company|
The Freedom and Livery of the Company
Membership of the Livery is limited by the Court of Aldermen to 350, and given that there are more than 130,000 Chartered Accountants who are eligible to apply, admission to the Livery is a privilege not easily gained.
The Freedom of the Company is open only to members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (including reciprocal members) and can be obtained by redemption, patrimony or servitude. The candidates must not be less than 21 years of age, but as membership of the Institute is mandatory, the age barrier here has little meaning.
Membership by Patrimony
Membership may also be obtained by patrimony or by servitude. Admission by patrimony is available to a son or daughter of a Freeman of the Company and of the City of London who was born after the parent had received such Freedom of the City.
Membership by Servitude
Admission by servitude follows apprenticeship or student membership to a member of the Institute, who is a Freeman of the Company and of the City of London, and the subsequent admission of the apprentice or student to membership of the Institute.
Membership by Redemption
Membership by redmeption, i.e. by direct payment is the most common route for admission. Candidates for admission by redemption must complete an application form, available from the Clerk; a proposer and seconder are helpful, but not mandatory. There is then an interview process followed by a waiting period for successful candidates.A copy of the latest application form and accompanying notes can be found below.
Freedom of the City
Once the freedom of the Company has been obtained, a member must obtain the Freedom of the City, unless already held, before advancing to Livery status. This last stage is evidenced by the clothing ceremony, when a member takes the oath he or she is traditionally "clothed" with the Livery of the Company and is introduced to the Master, Wardens, and the members of the Court.