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Chartership FAQs

If you questions about Chartership that are not answered here, please email our Chartership Officer.

Questions for a Potential CGeol

Why should I be Chartered?

In some countries geology as a profession is regulated, and it is necessary to have a licence to practice, similar to medicine or pharmacy in the UK. Geology is not regulated in the UK,although in some areas of employment professional qualifications are required but not mandatory. 

CGeol is recognised as a professional qualification 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 more recently, has been licensed by the Science Council to award the title of Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Both of these designations require applicants to demonstrate their skills, experience and competence in their given area of professional practice, through a peer assessment process.

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

Chartered Geologist

For many Fellows, because of the nature of their work as practising geologists, it is quite clear that the path is to Chartered Geologist (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. The criteria should be referenced to the work that you do. 

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.

Chartered Scientist
The Chartered Scientist qualification is equal in status to Chartered Geologist and the Science Council has published five criteria to be addressed. 

Chartership will be awarded by reference to an area of professional practice in science. 

When seeking Chartership, the increased number of geology graduates employed in an area such as Contaminated Land specialisations and Environmental science may find that their work has taken them away from geology. They may struggle to demonstrate that they fulfil the two specialist geological criteria required for CGeol. 

The Society encourages these Fellows in particular to apply for validation as CSci. Working as professional scientists in fields related to geology, these geologists have developed additional skills that can be demonstrated towards the CSci qualification. 

Are there any other requirements for CSci?

The Science Council requires applicants to have a Master’s (M) level qualification (MSc or MGeol or MSci etc) or can demonstrate working to this level by submitting a professional document (or documents) that demonstrate the use of M-level knowledge.

Find more information on Masters equivalents under Information for Applicants.

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

Contact the Chartership Officer or discuss this with your supporter, line manager or 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. Much of your supporting documentation is likely to apply to both applications. 

If my employment changes, after gaining CSci, allowing me to do more geological work, can I apply for CGeol? 

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 two years) and demonstrate working/learning at Master’s (M) level. 

You do not necessarily need to have an MSc (or MGeol, MSci etc) but can demonstrate, via your submitted supporting documents, that the later CPD show work at M-level.

More about Retrospective Applications

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

No. Chartered status covers only the area of your assessed competence. Should you move to working in other areas then you must gain competence through being supervised and undertaking additional training.

Where can I get more information?

The Chartership and Professional section of the website provides 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 the meetings of your local Society Regional Group.

As a Fellow you are automatically allocated membership of a Regional Group based on your postcode. The groups are useful way to network and find working professionals who will readily advise and help you. 

You may also contact the Chartership Officer to discuss any aspect of your application or to ask specific questions.

The Society also maintains a list of Chartered Fellows who have offered help and advice on making an application. You should seek to find a Mentor and Supporter early in your preparation to apply and gain advice from them. 

When do I become eligible to apply?

To be eligible you must have a sufficient period of relevant post graduation experience. This ensures you have acquired the necessary competencies for Chartership. 

An indicator of the number of years required is available in our general guidance matrix. The matrix shows the number of years of experience, in relation to the degrees held, that commonly results in a successful application.  

For more information contact the Chartership Officer.

Please note that you should discuss with your Supporter or Mentor the difference between eligibility to apply and readiness for Chartership.

The published Application guidance notes 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. There is a limit set so the Applicant can select only the best documents to meet the criteria. Selection of which reports to submit is a demonstration of a professional skill.

A covering sheet must be provided for each Supporting Document to guide the reader to the part played by the Applicant. Should the Scrutineers wish for more information they may request this before the interview. 

Large reports will not be accepted. Scrutineers cannot be expected to search through reports to identify the relevant parts to the Applicant. It is your responsibility to select and demonstrate the relevant material and any large or non-focused documents will be returned for revision. 

Questions for Supporters and Scrutineers

I have been asked to be a Supporter for an Applicant, what does this entail?

Supporters’ reports/recommendations are a very important part of the Applicant's Application. Therefore it is essential that you read the full Application, and discuss its content with the Applicant, before making your recommendation. 

The Applicant should normally seek your advice, prior to as well as, during the time that they are writing the Application, so you will be well aware of the contents of the final document. 

Completing the Supporters’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). We distinguish between eligibility to apply and readiness for Chartership and consequently your advice to the Applicant is very important. 

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

We provide Scrutineers with copies of the Applicants full application documentation and the Pre-Interview Report forms (ASS1 and ASS2) up to two months prior to the scheduled Interview. 

Early completion of the ASS1 report is essential 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;  
  • to ask for more information; request the Candidate to produce hard copy of particular documents/diagrams/maps for discussion at the Interview. 
If you feel that the Application is not strong enough to have a good chance of success, then we urge you to postpone the interview and provide the Chartership Officer with your reasons. The Applicant will then be informed and advised on how best to strengthen his or her Application.

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 Applicants (and their employers) must have full 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. 

All documents should be treated with high level security/confidentiality.