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Scrutineers wanted!

Bill Gaskarth

Geoscientist 20.02 February 2010

Bill Gaskarth writes: The number of Candidates applying for Chartered Geologist status continues to rise. We had 32 applicants for the February Interview Day in London, requiring us to put on ‘overspill’ days to ensure that all would be interviewed in time for election at the April Council meeting.

To look after this number requires a minimum of 32 Scrutineers, assuming each takes on two interviews. Pressure on Scrutineers in the London area is high, not only because of the number needed for the London venue this time, but also because any ‘overspill’ Candidates from interview days elsewhere are dealt with by adding extra interviews in Burlington House. To get 32 Scrutineers normally requires us to approach around twice that number – which means that around 25% of our pool of Scrutineers has been contacted for this round of interviews alone. I must therefore repeat my plea for more CGeols, particularly those within an hour of London, to offer their services as Scrutineers. We particularly need folk with expertise in Engineering Geology/Geotechnics, Hydrogeology and Contaminated Land. You will find a short application form on the website for you to complete. Go to


Queries from candidates and observations from scrutineers point to the need for more guidance about producing the Professional Report, and the Interview.

The Professional Report allows candidates to show how their careers have developed to their present position, and thus gained the learning, skills, experience and levels of responsibility befitting a Chartered Geologist. It should show that they have experience of planning, execution and reporting of projects where they have had responsibility for their own work and that of others, making them ‘competent persons’ in their employers’ eyes. No more than six documents highlighting candidates’ work, should be submitted to support the statements in the Report. Scrutineers’ lifetimes are finite, and candidates should not submit very large company reports in which their contribution may only be a small part. The ability to be selective is a measure of candidates’ professionalism.

In the Interview, candidates’ work will be discussed and judged against the five criteria for Chartership. Please note that the old criteria numbers five and six have been amalgamated as follows: “Clear understanding of the meaning and needs of professionalism including a clear understanding of the Code of Conduct and commitment to its implementation.”

It is likely that the two-page Overview that must be produced along with the Professional Report will lead the questioning in interview. At the start of the Interview, candidates are invited to give a 15-minute presentation to showcase their skills and experience and demonstrate why they qualify as a professional Geologist worthy of Chartered status.

Chartered Scientist (CSci)

The CSci qualification is available to Chartered Geologist applicants. If you possess all the skills and experience necessary to become a CGeol, then you will normally qualify for CSci status. To streamline the process we encourage Fellows to apply for CSci when they submit their CGeol application. Candidates have to complete a separate application, but much of it duplicates the CGeol application. Exceptions are twofold. First, to gain CSci status you will be expected to explain your understanding and application of the scientific method and to produce CPD records for a minimum of two years (CPD is a compulsory requirement of the Science Council). Second, you will need to demonstrate that you have worked at Master’s level. If you do not have a higher degree, you will need to show that work you have done, submitted as supporting documents for your Professional Report, is the equivalent of an MSc project. This should prove no obstacle, as work demonstrating your competence as a Professional Geologist will easily reach this standard.