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International members' handbooks

The ICAEW Library & Information Service maintains a historical collection of printed members' handbooks for key professional accountancy bodies other than ICAEW.

You can find the current regulations and guidance for ICAEW members in the Regulation section of the website. We also maintain a separate guide to historical ICAEW Members' Handbooks and regulations.

Information on standards can be found in our sections on Accounting standards, Accounting by country and Auditing.

What are members' handbooks?

Members' handbooks are publications developed by membership bodies and are a source of official information, such as bye-laws and guidance, about organisations and act as a reference guide for members.

Professional accountancy bodies have traditionally published members' handbooks in printed form and are given or sold to members and selected interested parties. Handbooks often took the form of bound volumes or loose-leaf folders. The latter allowed amendments to be issued following changes in institutional policy or the law.

More recently many professional associations have made their official handbooks available online. This enables the information to reach a wider audience and can be updated as and when changes take place.

What information is published in members' handbooks?

Each organisation publishes different information in their members' handbooks. Generally, this may include:

  • bye-laws
  • regulations
  • code of ethics
  • rules of professional conduct
  • guidance for members in business
  • guidance for members in practice
  • disciplinary schemes
  • regulatory bodies
  • board and committee reporting structures
  • council and officers
  • past presidents
  • regional offices
  • contact details
  • fee and subscription details
  • examination dates
  • information for students
  • information on education and training requirements for Continuing Professional Development
  • analysis of membership trends
  • key issues and insights
  • member services
  • recipients of prizes and awards
  • kindred societies, benevolent societies or clubs
  • the organisation's publications
  • information on the history of the organisation
  • royal charters

Each organisation decides who is entitled to view the information contained within their members' handbook and the level of access they are willing to provide to non-members. Some allow free access to the public, some handbooks are strictly for members only and some offer access to paying subscribers. In some cases, non-members are only permitted to access handbooks in certain specified formats.

Although most handbooks are comprehensive at the time of publication, members are advised in all cases to seek professional advice as information can change with professional developments and adjustments to policy.

Organisations differ on how members should keep up to date with professional developments and changes in Institute policy. Some publish alterations to the handbook content via their websites. Some alert members to changes through the professional press. Other organisations communicate directly with members when changes occur.

Finding members' handbooks and membership lists in the ICAEW Library

Our collection includes print copies of members' handbooks from a number of other professional accountancy bodies.

However, please be aware that these can sometimes can be out-of-date. Please check with the organisation concerned and always seek professional advice in addition to the information contained within the handbook.

We also have print copies of membership lists for several accountancy bodies. For more information, see our dedicated page on members lists.

Verifying a person or firm's membership status

Not all professional bodies make lists of members available to the public online or in print. If you need to verify whether someone is a member of a particular body, try contacting the organisation directly. The information on the membership lists in our collection may not be up-to-date.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.