Chartership with the Geological Society – Why and How 

16th September 2022

Geoenvironmental • Geotechnical • Industry matters

In most industries, chartership with a society or institute is seen as something to strive for. But why is that? Fran Williams sheds some light on chartership with the Geological Society below.

I have been Chartered with the Geological Society of London since 2016 and have been a Scrutineer for new applicants since 2020.

During a recent sound of Scrutineering, the panel present were asked about their experience of the benefits of Chartership and the trials and tribulations of becoming Chartered.

It got me reflecting, so thought I’d write a bit about it.

So why would you become CHARTERED?

  1. Enhanced professional recognition

Chartership level is a high to highest standard for practising geologists and will reinforce your professionalism.

  1. Parity with other professionals

Meet and Be valued alongside other chartered professionals.

  1. Public recognition

Chartership is a mark of quality and competence and will inspire confidence in the clients.

  1. Validation

A commitment to Continuing Professional Development; to maintain high professional standards.

  1. Differentiation

Chartership helps you stand out from the crowd and increase your professional profile.

An additional reason may be that is the basic standard to be able to do the job your in.

For example, Land Contamination Risk Management requires contaminated land to be dealt with by competent persons, one such definition of which is:

  • membership of a professional organisation relevant to land contamination

Aka. Chartership with the Geological Society in Contaminated Land.

You could think of it the other way though.

I have always said that one of the benefits of geologists is the ability to form 3D pictures in your mind about what’s going on in the ground. The formation of Conceptual Site Models seems to come easier to them. The forming of ground models is a fundamental founding principle of both Contaminated Land and Geotechnical work. So why the hell not be recognized professional in a skill which is so fundamental to getting things right!

A further point to consider is that chartership is a stepping stone to higher levels of professional recognition in some areas. For example, it is a base requirement to become SILC in Contaminated Land circles, and I believe is required to be a Registered Ground Engineering Professional (RoGEP) with ICE.

So, now I have outlined how it’s such a “no-brainer”. How do you do it? The following comments are specifically related to Chartership with the Geological Society.

  1. Keep up to date with your Continued Professional Development.

Yawn Yawn I hear you say. But hold on. Doing this will save you hours and hours at application time.

When you come across an interesting project, don’t just move on. Reflect on it, review the Conceptual Model for it, and analyse what went well and what didn’t go so well. Bank it alongside a few key drawings.

When the time comes for the professional statement you will have loads of great examples to choose from.

  1. Make sure that in your application you keep everything related to the core competencies. In the Geological Society, this is primarily the analysis of geological information and how it impacts the conceptual model you are forming.


Always bring it back to the geology.


A mentor, who knows the process, may well be a benefit to your application at this stage.

  1. Stick to the word limit and please please triple-check your application.


No scrutineer likes a professional statement that rambles on. No scrutineer is going to designate you as competent if you can’t competently quality control a document for formal.

The above 3 tips should see you fair well.

An open invitation.

If you have the basic requirements for Chartership with the Geological Society I am happy to help review and advise on your application. Please e-mail me at [email protected].

It will mean I can’t Scrutineer you but may make whoever does it’s life easier.

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