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Chartership FAQs

If you have a question about Chartership that isn't answered here, please email our Chartership Officer who will be happy to help.

Questions for Potential CGeols:

Why should I be Chartered?

In some countries geology as a profession is regulated, very much as medicine, pharmacy etc are in the UK where it is necessary to have a licence to practice. This is not yet the situation in the UK, though in some areas of employment professional qualifications are required but not yet mandatory. CGeol is recognised throughout Europe as a professional qualification and is becoming recognised in many countries where the profession is regulated.

What professional titles are offered by the Geological Society?

Since 1990 the Geological Society has offered the professional qualification of Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and has more recently been licensed by to award the title of Chartered Scientist (CSci).Both these designations require applicants to demonstrate their skills, experience and competence in their given area of professional practice.

Which professional title is best suited to me and what I do?

For many Fellows, because of the nature of their work as practicing geologists, it is quite clear that the path is to CGeol. To become chartered as a practising professional geologist you must be able to demonstrate in your application and at interview that you fulfil seven qualifying criteria by reference to the work that you do. Of these seven, two are unique to applicants for CGeol. In particular you must show that you understand the complexities of geology and geological processes in time and space in relation to your speciality and that you are able to identify, collect, synthesise and evaluate geoscientific information to generate predictive models.

The Chartered Scientist qualification is equal in status to Chartered Geologist but does not require the proof of the two specialist geological criteria. All other criteria are the same and Chartership will be by reference to an area of professional practice in science. The increasing number of geology graduates employed in contaminated land specialisations and Environmental science may well find that their work has taken them away from geology per se. They may not therefore be readily able to demonstrate through their work that they fulfil the two specialist geological criteria. These Fellows are geologists working as professional scientists in fields related to geology where they have developed additional skills. It is for these Fellows in particular that the Society encourages validation as CSci.

Are there any other requirements for CSci?

The Science Council has a requirement that applicants either have a Master’s (M) level qualification (MSc or MGeol or MSci etc) or can demonstrate working to this level through the quality of their supporting professional documents.

What do I do if I am unsure for which qualification to apply?

Contact the Chartership Officer and discuss your situation with him and/or discuss this with your sponsors/line manager/mentor.

Can I apply or both CGeol and CSci at the same time?

Yes but you will need to demonstrate how you satisfy the criteria for CGeol and for CSci in separate applications.

Can I apply for CGeol after I have gained CSci should my employment change allowing me to do more geological work?

Yes, but in your application and at interview you will need to produce supporting information to demonstrate how your geological expertise/competence fulfils the specialist geological CGeol criteria.

Can I apply for CSci retrospectively following CGeol?

Yes. You will need to produce evidence of your CPD for the intervening period (up to 2 years) and demonstrate working/learning at Master’s (M) level. This does not mean that you necessarily have an MSc (or MGeol, MSci etc) but that you can demonstrate, via your submitted supporting documents that the later ones show work at Mlevel.

Does CGeol allow me to sign off reports in all areas of geology?

No. You are Chartered for the area of your competence. Should you move to working in other areas then you must gain competence there through being supervised and undertaking additional training.

Where can I get more information?

Visit our Chartership page for up-to-date information, CGeol and CSci application forms, guidance information for candidates and the Regulations of the Geological Society governing each of these professional qualifications. 

Can I get help and advice with my application?

Yes. The first place to go is to meetings of the Regional Group of the Society for the area where you live. As a Fellow you are automatically allocated to be a member of one of these Regional Groups based on your postcode. There you will find many working professionals who will readily advise and help you. You may also contact the Chartership Officer to discuss any aspect of your application or with specific questions.

When do I become eligible to apply?

Eligibility requires that you have had a number of years relevant post graduation experience. A matrix showing the relationship between degrees and number of years experience is available on the Society’s website. Contact the Chartership Officer for further information.

The published guidance notes for the Application process states that candidates may submit no more than six (6) Supporting Documents, why is there a limit?

Supporting documents should be carefully selected to illustrate and highlight the skills, experience and competences claimed in the Professional Report. If large reports are submitted then a covering paragraph should be provided for each to guide the reader to the part played by the candidate. Selection of which reports to submit is a demonstration of a professional skill. Should the Scrutineers wish for more information they may request this before the interview.

Questions for Sponsors and Scrutineers:

I have been asked to be a Sponsor for a Candidate, what does this entail?

Sponsors’ reports/recommendations are a very important part of the Candidate’s Application. It is therefore essential that you read the full Application, and discuss its content with the Candidate, before making your recommendation. The Candidate should normally seek your advice during the time that they are writing the Application, and hence you will get no surprises when you see the final document. Completion of the Sponsor’s Report form indicates that, in your professional opinion, you consider that the Candidate fulfils all the Chartership competence criteria and is worthy of election to CGeol (CSci).

I have been asked to be a Scrutineer, how important is the Pre-Interview report form?

We endeavour to provide Scrutineers with copies of the Candidate’s Application, the Pre-Interview Report form, and their other documentation, around a month prior to the scheduled Interview. Early completion of this report is important, as it indicates acceptance of the Candidate for interview. It is intended for you to use it to; note discrepancies in the Application and to ask for clarification of particular points if needed; ask for more information; request the Candidate to produce hard copy of particular documents/diagrams/maps for discussion at the Interview. In very rare circumstances the Scrutineers, having read the Application, may return it and ask that it be modified before re-submission.

I am a Scrutineer, what do I do with all the supporting documentation after the interview?

These documents must be treated as being strictly confidential and Candidates (and their employers) must have confidence that this is respected. Prior to the interview you should ensure that they are not copied or seen by anyone but yourself. After the Interview you should return them to the Society, or to the Candidate, or destroy them. If you have downloaded them to your computer then please delete them immediately following the interview. Occasionally we have situations where the documents are commercially or politically sensitive and for these you may be asked to sign a Non- Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before seeing them. In fact all documents should be treated to high level security/confidentiality.