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Do you know how to list your designatory letters?

Do you know how to list your impressive designatory letters, of which the CTA is one? According to Debrett's, the modern authority on all matters of etiquette, there is a preferred way:

1. The abbreviations 'Bt.' or 'Bart.' and 'Esq.' as appropriate.
2. Orders and Decorations conferred by the Crown (OBE, MBE, etc)
3. Various appointments such as Privy Counsellor or Honorary Surgeon to the Queen
4. QC and JP
5. University degrees
6a. Religious orders
6b. Medical qualifications
7a. Fellowships of Learned Societies
7b. Royal Academicians and Associates
7c. Fellowships and Memberships of professional bodies
7d. Writers to the Signet
8. MP
9. Armed forces membership - e.g. RN

You should always separate your designatory letters by these groups. When listing your membership of professional bodies, an order that reflects their importance to your profession is most acceptable and therefore membership of a Chartered body should take precedence.

Helen Burgess, Membership Manager


Rating: 3/5Order of designatory letters
I had an exchange of letters with the CIOT a few years ago about this: I has objected to the CIOT's list of members including me as "...ATII, FCA". My view then was that the correct order for professional qualifications was by the seniority (basically, the age) of the bodies concerned, so the correct order for me was "...FCA, ATII". The then President of the CIOT, John Whiting, thought that the correct order was the order you got them in.

My view remains that the correct order of designatory letters is governed by the seniority of the institutes involved. So, someone who is member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, as well as being a member of the CIOT, should list his/her designatory letters as "CA, FCA [or ACA], CTA [or ATII]"
Simon Gleaden from Retford, Nottinghamshire, 30 September 2011 14:06
Rating: 5/5Very helpful!!!
Good to know - I shall bear this in mind (particularly when I am made honorary physician to the Queen)!
Mary-Louise from Cornwall, 12 August 2011 09:39

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