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CGeol at 25

lkjChartership is 25 years old.  Tracey Radford and David Shilston, Chartered Geologists, Atkins Ltd., take an engineering geological perspective

A week is a long time in politics, so it is said, and the 25 years since the inauguration of CGeol are much longer.  Indeed, only those of us who are more than about 50 years old can remember the days when the Geological Society did not offer chartered status to its Fellows. 

Let us not look back, therefore - except to say that, in the engineering geology sector, CGeol has become the sign of a properly trained professional, and is on a par with the chartership of the other professions with which we work – architects, civil-structural engineers, ecologists, accountants.  Chartership is now very much the norm and appears high on the bucket list of goals and ambitions to be achieved by graduates in our industry.


But that said, do our younger professionals really know what it means to be a Chartered Geologist?  At the start of their careers they probably do not, but their routes to chartership can provide a framework and a focus for training and development towards satisfying the seven CGeol criteria.  They soon realise that chartership is a professional qualification which is more than just ‘time served’; it is a validation of competence and skills that ultimately supports personal development, career growth and promotion. There is also the other side of the coin: employers want well trained, enthusiastic, self-propelled staff.  Chartership is one of the indicators of such people, and the mentoring of staff and the use of a structured training programme can pay substantial dividends for both staff and employers.

kljIn becoming chartered we make a personal commitment to continuing professional development throughout our careers; but what about further recognition of people's skills, competence, experience and service to the industry and profession?  The average age for becoming a Chartered Geologist is somewhere in the early 30s - what do we have on the bucket list for those beyond chartership?


Within the civil engineering sector, part of the answer to the ‘what’s next?’ question is the Register of Ground Engineering Professionals, which is run collaboratively by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, and the Geological Society. Entry to the RoGEP Register requires one to be chartered (‘Professional’), after which there are two further grades of membership (‘Specialist’ and ‘Advisor’).  The Register has grown rather slowly, but is nevertheless increasingly recognised as a further professional designation.  It should feature on the bucket lists of all our younger colleagues as a long-term aspiration.  And for those who are already chartered, it provides formal recognition of their continuing development. 

Thus, after 25 years, CGeol has become not the end of an engineering geologist’s professional development, but just a step along the way!