As explained in our main page about Fair Access, every person who wants to go to university and/or have a professional career deserves to be treated in the same way as other person with the same qualifications.

Fair access initiativesSome of our professional bodies are working hard to make access more fair to the sectors that they represent. There is a growing realisation and recognition that the professions need to represent our increasingly diverse country. If the sector you are interested in or working in is not listed below, contact the relevant professional body directly via the Profession Finder, to find out what they are doing to promote fair access.

Find out how some of our members have been involved with the work that the government is doing to improve access to the professions (also linked to above in Related Resources). You can also read case studies from those professional bodies that have signed up to the Cabinet Office's Social Mobility Business Compact.

More information about non-graduate and alternative routes is included in our Career Sectors, so head there if you know which sector you'd like to get into, but here is a showcase of some of the excellent efforts our professional bodies are making to improve fair access:

  • AAT (The Association of Accounting Technicians) have been working with firm Baker Tilly and now offer a trainee scheme which does not require a degree. Whatever your background, the AAT is an entry level qualification opening the doors to accountancy. 
  • The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is committed to making buildings and business work, and offer apprenticeships as well as a variety of qualifications which you can take on the job. Take a look at their career development pathways (downloadable pdf at the bottom of the page).
  • The British Medical Association (BMA) believes fair access to be very important and encourages medical schools to take applicants that have gained broad work experience rather than only those with A* grades.
  • The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) partners with schools, colleges and universities to offer qualifications which help students understand the industry and prepare them for a career in financial services. Take a look at their interactive guide 'Get into Finance', including information on the available routes to Chartered membership. 

  • The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) route into law is extremely flexible, with multiple entry levels via GCSEs, A-levels, graduate-entry level and LPC-entry level.

  • The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has been working with schools to encourage young people from all background to consider a career in insurance. Find out more at
  • The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) have options for budding apprentices and those wanting to take the BTEC route as well as graduates. See their careers pages.
  • Engineering UK provide detailed information about the various routes to the many career options within the sector.
  • Equally Professional is a network of 20 professional bodies (including some of those highlighted on this page) which share a commitment to equality and diversity within their work and profession.
  • The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has a busy programme of activities, events and resources to raise awareness of engineering careers amongst young people and to support them in their studies. Read more here.
  • IfL (the Institute for Learning) supports a flexible and adaptive system by which new teachers train on the job, gain teaching qualifications and then progress to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) professional status.
  • The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) now provides management apprenticeships as well as other support for aspiring leaders and managers.
  • The Law Societies of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland support, along with the Sutton Trust, a group of law firms in their commitment, known as PRIME, which sets out minimum standards for whom work experience in the legal sector should reach and what it should achieve.
  • The Legal Services Board will be introducing systematic socio­-economic data collection from the end of 2012. The Bar Standards Board is developing a new Code of Conduct on mandatory training in fair recruitment and selection processes, and the Bar Council is inalising a recruitment and selection toolkit.
  • Property Needs You is a collective initiative run by major property firms, professional bodies and a higher education institution, aiming to raise awareness about the range of career paths in property
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has a wizard which can be used to identify the different routes to career in this profession.