The ARA’s professional registration programme – Six Steps to Success

Step 1 – Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is all about seeing where you are today; reviewing the knowledge, skills and experience that you already have and understanding where that puts you in terms of the level of registration you may already qualify for, as well as the level you aspire to.

To undertake a self-assessment simply:

  • Download the competency framework summary and the three competency framework areas summary here
  • Tick all the competencies you think apply to you
  • Review the five levels of experience and add the appropriate level alongside your checked competency list
  • Align your completed self-assessment with the submission criteria of the three membership levels, Foundation, Registered and Fellow, to understand which level you may already qualify for. Then identify the additional competencies and work required to reach the next level

Step 2 – Find a Mentor

A mentor is someone with more experience and knowledge than you. They will help you reflect on your experience as you develop your application for professional registration. We encourage you to identify your own mentor if possible, but a list of mentors is available if required once you have enrolled on the programme.

Agree with your mentor how you will work together, share your latest CV and completed self-assessment and identify key milestones. You may also reach out to colleagues, professionals and networks for additional guidance and support.

Step 3 – Enrol on the programme

The next step is to enrol on the programme via

After setting up your profile, complete the enrolment form and pay the enrolment fee. You can now get started on your application by following the Foundation, Registered or Fellowship qualification options.

You will need to invite your mentor to collaborate on your application. This is explained in the programme website guide. Your mentor will then have access your application.

Step 4 – Preparing for Assessment

The programme guide explains the different qualification criteria for each level of registration. Up to 10 years’ relevant work experience can be included in your application. Your application should evidence how you meet the assessment criteria.  You’ll also need a reference from your mentor if applying for Foundation or Registered Membership

Step 5 – Completing Assessment and Qualification

Once your application is complete and you’ve paid your assessment fee, your application will be assessed by two experienced Registered or Fellow Members of the ARA. The assessment takes around three months to complete.  If successful, you’ll be rewarded with your chosen level of professional registration (Foundation, Registered or Fellow).

Your success will be published by the ARA and you will receive a certificate confirming your new professional status.

Step 6 – Maintaining your professional registration

Members with professional registration are required to continue with their professional development. Our CPD Review is a peer-review service that supports members with this obligation.

More information is available from the professional registration programme guide. Look out for our next blog which will include top tips on finding a mentor.

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