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Chartership and professional

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Accreditation as a Chartered Geologist or Chartered Scientist is a sign to clients, regulators, employers and the general public that you are a competent professional who can demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skills and experience, and signifies a public commitment to these professional standards.

The Geological Society of London is the recognised UK professional body for geoscientists across all areas of expertise. It awards the professional title of Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and is licensed by the Science Council to award the title of Chartered Scientist (CSci). Both titles are of equal standing.

The 'Chartered' designation indicates a professional practitioner who has been peer assessed as having key professional competencies and experience in their field of practice. They are required to maintain their professional skills and knowledge through an appropriate programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and are bound by an enforceable Code of Conduct.

Before you apply

To apply to become a Chartered Geologist or Chartered Scientist you must first be a Fellow of the Society.

You will need to demonstrate how you meet the respective Chartership competency criteria for each title. The validation process consists of your application, which is reviewed by Chartership assessors and is followed by a validation interview. The whole process should take less than four months from the submission deadline.

Please read all the relevant guidance before starting your application.

There is a one-off admission fee to be paid when you submit your application form. Once you become Chartered, an annual Chartership supplement will be added to your Fellowship fees.

Your Mentor or Supporter should help you decide which title to apply for. The Chartership Officer is also available to provide advice, and discuss any questions you may have.

Chartered Geologist

Chartered Geologist is appropriate for Fellows who have a Masters level degree in Geology or a related Earth sciences subject (or equivalent experience), and are practising professional geoscientists for whom geoscientific knowledge is an essential element for their work.

Chartered Scientist

Chartered Scientist is appropriate for Fellows practising as professional scientists where scientific knowledge is essential for their work. As a Fellow of the Society, those Fellows who usually opt for the CSci title include:

  • those with sciences Masters-level degrees (or equivalent experience) now working in an aspect of Earth sciences; or
  • those with geoscience Masters-level degrees (or equivalent experience) but whose work is now in wider science areas.

Retrospective Award for Chartership

The Society also allows a Fellow gaining one title to apply retrospectively for the other without the need for a second interview if this is completed within two years of the first award.

20+ years' professional experience route to Chartership

The Society wishes to encourage Fellows with more than 20 years of professional experience to take up the professional titles in order to act as role models to colleagues within their sector of work and provide a role as a supporter or mentor to others applying for Chartership.

It also recognises that these senior geoscientists/scientists may find it difficult to produce detailed documentary evidence of their early professional work.

European Geologist route to Chartership

European Geologists (EurGeol) who are not Fellows of the Society may also apply for CGeol using this modified route, having first become a Fellow.

Reciprocal route

Professional Members of AAPG, AIPG, and IGI may be eligible to apply for Chartered Geologist (CGeol) status through the reciprocal route. For more details, please visit our 'Already Chartered?' web page.

The eligibility requirements for Chartered Geologist and Chartered Scientist are outlined in the table below.

Chartered Geologist

Chartered Scientist

You must be a Fellow of the Geological Society.

You must hold a recognised Masters level degree or equivalent qualification in Earth sciences, or be able to demonstrate equivalent Masters level experience. Fellows without a geoscience degree are eligible for validation but they must be able to demonstrate professional experience practising in Earth sciences.

You must hold a recognised Masters level degree or equivalent qualification in science, or be able to demonstrate equivalent Masters level experience.

You need to have a sufficient number of years of relevant post-graduate experience in the profession and practice of geology (CGeol) or science (CSci) to be able to demonstrate competency in all of the criteria applicable to the Chartership for which you are applying.

The Geological Society no longer specifies the number of years’ experience needed to apply for Chartership. The length of time you will need will depend on a number of factors, including your exposure to new and different work experiences, coupled with the rate at which you assimilate the knowledge to become competent, as well as your motivation.

However, as a very general guide, the Society has found that most successful applicants have had at least 4 to 5 years’ relevant post-graduation work experience to gain the necessary level of competency. Those applicants that have a degree accredited by the Geological Society and/or have participated in an accredited company training scheme are typically able to become Chartered a year earlier than those who do not.

Masters level equivalence

If you do not hold a Masters level degree, you must submit a ‘Masters Equivalency Report’. Please see the guidance notes.

To read the full eligibility requirements and criteria for validation as a Chartered Geologist and Chartered Scientist, please see:

Regulation R/FP/2: Criteria and Procedure for Validation as a Chartered Geologist

Regulation R/FP/11: Criteria and Procedure for Validation as a Chartered Scientist

Candidates applying via the 20+ years’ professional experience route who do not have a Masters level degree are not required to provide a Masters Equivalency Report.

The Fellowship of the Society encompasses a very broad range of geoscience/science, covering a wide cross-section of geoscience themes , specialist groups and areas of expertise . The primary areas of expertise are shown in the list below.

  • Academic Research and Teaching
  • Contaminated Land
  • Engineering Geology and Geotechnics
  • Geoenvironment and Waste Management
  • Geophysics
  • Ground/Site Investigations
  • Hydrogeology
  • IT and Data Management
  • Mining, Quarrying and Mineral Exploration
  • Natural Hazards
  • Oil and Gas
  • and many others

An essential part of the Chartership application is for you to select the general area of geosciences/science for which you are claiming competency. This specialism is then assessed against the required criteria at interview. Please select from the dropdown list in the application form, or contact us if you need further advice about how best to align your skills.

Please note you are applying to become Chartered as a Geologist or Scientist but only for the specialism in which you practise and are competent (as nominated in your application form) and not geoscience or science as a whole. Should you start working outside your area of competence you will need to be supervised by a competent person or gain competency in that area through additional training. Because you must demonstrate competency in any of each specialism nominated in your application, the Society recommends recording a maximum of two specialisms.

Although the interview may focus strongly on meeting competency in the designated specialism (criteria I, ii and vii for CGeol, and criteria A and D for CSci), the other professional competencies are equally important and must be addressed within your application. These will also be discussed and assessed in the interview.

You need one Supporter who is a Chartered Geologist or Chartered Scientist, matching your application. Other professional qualifications may be accepted, but must be agreed in advance with the Chartership Officer.

Your Supporter should have current, first-hand knowledge of your professional experience over the last three years.

If your Supporter does not meet both criteria, please provide a second Supporter so that both criteria are covered. Although the Society does not hold a formal list of Mentors, our LinkedIn Mentors group will help you to make contacts who can support you.

Things to consider

Remember that validation as a Chartered Geologist or Chartered Scientist is based on your geological or scientific competencies, and not on your ability to do your job.

Your Supporter should be more than just a referee. They should be able to advise you on the preparation and focus of your application. Therefore, involve your Supporter early and discuss your application with them.

Your Supporter’s statement will address each of the competency criteria, and you should ensure they have seen the entire application prior to submission.

The Society holds validation interviews four times a year via online interviews, usually in March, May/June, September and November. Interviews dates will be confirmed with you once the assessors have reviewed your application.

Application submission deadline Interviews will be held before Election date
01 January 2024 19 April 2024 08 May 2024
01 March 2024 07 June 2024 10 July 2024
01 June 2024 06 September 2024 25 September 2024
01 August 2024 01 November 2024 27 November 2024

Due to application processing demands, the April 2024 election round (01 January 2024 deadline) will be capped at 50 applications. Submissions will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis, so please submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. If your application documents do not meet all the requirements as set out by the declarations made by you within your online form, we reserve the right to postpone your application to a later date.

Your completed application forms and all supporting documentation must be sent in full using our online Chartership application form on or before the corresponding application deadline date.

After your interview, you will be notified of the outcome by email, immediately after the Council meeting, which is the Election date.

The Geological Society requires all Fellows to encourage and assist in the development of a safe, diverse and inclusive workforce through our Code of Conduct. We are firmly committed to improving access and opportunities in the geosciences, and in 2014 signed the Science Council’s Declaration on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. In 2023, the Chartership regulations for Chartered Geologist (criterion (v)) were updated to reflect current professional practice with regards to EDIA.

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, age or other diversity characteristic. We encourage candidates applying for Chartership to let us know of any accessibility requirements that should be taken into account during the assessment of their application. This could include a disability, physical or mental health condition, or anything that means extra support or reasonable adjustments might be required.

Similarly, those who are fulfilling the role of a Chartership Assessor are also welcome to advise us of any considerations necessary to delivering their role for the Geological Society. This is requested so that everyone receives the same opportunities during the review process. Any information given regarding personal access requirements will be used to inform access during the review and interview process. All information will be kept confidential.

Please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] to discuss any access needs, reasonable adjustments or additional application support that may be required at any point during the Chartership process.

Prepare your application

Having decided whether to apply for CGeol or CSci, selected the area of geoscience/science in which you are claiming competency, and found your Supporter, you can start preparing your application.

Submit your application online here. You can save and resume your application before submitting it. The application sections are detailed below:

The online form includes applicant details, competency area selection, education record, and employment/experience history.

In the Competency Overview section, address each criterion in turn to describe how you fulfil the requirements (maximum 3,000 characters for each). Please cross-reference to the Professional Report and Supporting Documents. To learn more about the competency requirements for both CGeol and CSci refer to the guidance notes and regulations .

We recommend you work offline whilst drafting these sections, before updating the online form.

Applicants with 20+ years’ professional experience are not required to complete the Competency Overview section.

You will need to download the template below, then upload the completed document into the online form.

The Professional Report should detail your professional development and focus on the relevant Chartership competency criteria being applied for. You should describe how and when you gained the necessary experience and skills to demonstrate you have the competencies needed to become Chartered. Think of this as an expanded CV which shows how you have developed the different competencies over time as you have gained professional experience.

You should cross-reference this against both the competency criteria, as well as the Supporting Documents in order to back up your evidence. Each part of the professional report should be signed off by the relevant person to confirm your statements. It is your responsibility to explain what is involved to those who are not familiar with the process.

Please note the Professional Report should not exceed 2,000 words. The assessors will not review beyond this limit.

Download templates

20+ years route

A record of CPD activities for at least the last three years must be included with your application in the CPD section of the application.

Please use the Society’s definitions of the various CPD categories, which are illustrated on the 'CPD Mind Map '. Your record must illustrate your aims and objectives for your professional development each year by using the Plan-Act-Reflect cycle.

The record may be produced using the Society’s online system, although a company scheme record or your own spreadsheet is acceptable provided it meets the above criteria. Note that all CPD must demonstrate learning. It is not intended to capture routine day-to-day professional practice activity. Minimum hours and more details about our CPD scheme can be found under the CPD scheme details .

Please provide your Supporter details in the application form (including their Chartership designation). Once you have completed your application online you will receive a copy of your application along with instructions for your Supporter to complete the online Supporter’s statement form. Please send this to your Supporter so that they can submit their statement directly to the Society.

You are able to include details for more than one Supporter if needed.

Please make sure that the Supporter has read your completed application. They should support you throughout the application process and review each part of your application before it is submitted.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the Supporter statement is sent to the Society as close to the submission date as possible.

The deadline for the supporter statement submission is 14 days after the application submission deadline.

Your supporting documents should be uploaded to the online form. It is essential that you take great care in the selection and presentation of your Supporting Documents (SD) as follows:

  • There is a maximum of six SDs.
  • Please provide a maximum of 30 pages for each SD, including photos, maps and diagrams
  • SDs should be short and must focus on your geoscience/science Chartership competency criteria to support the statements made in your Professional Report.
  • Provide a cover sheet for each SD to confirm which material was written or produced by you. You should also highlight how the SD demonstrates the Chartership competencies.
  • Remove non-relevant material, such as large appendices.
  • Please provide documents in PDF format.

Please note:

  • Large company reports prepared by a team are difficult to demonstrate your contribution and how this relates to the Chartership criteria.
  • You must show what your part was in any project and how (perhaps by only submitting selected parts).
  • Company reports are written for the client and so may contain information not relevant to your application and often contain confidential information. If possible, try to submit something you have done yourself, which may be relevant to your application.
  • If too many, too long or unfocused documents are submitted, the assessors will return the application and your Chartership validation may be delayed.

Further guidance about SDs, with suggestions from our experienced Chartership assessors is available here.

The 20+ years route

SDs are not required for applicants with 20+ years' professional experience, although submission of a piece of work may be useful to start the interview discussions.

Please read the Guidance notes and regulations before commencing your online application.

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