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Guidance for Applicants


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Guidance notes and regulations



In order to be validated as a Chartered Geologist, applicants must demonstrate how they meet the requirements of the seven competency criteria.

i. Understanding of the complexities of geology and of geological processes in space and time in relation to the Applicant’s area of work

ii. Critical evaluation of geoscience information to generate predictive models

iii. Effective communication in writing (a) and orally (b)

iv. Competency in the: knowledge and implementation of Health and Safety (H&S); management of environmental and sustainability issues; and knowledge and implementation of other statutory obligations applicable to the discipline or area of work.

v. Clear understanding of professionalism and the Code of Conduct

vi. Commitment to Continuing Professional Development

vii. Competence in your area of expertise




(i) Understanding of the complexities of geology and of geological processes in space and time in relation to the Applicant’s area of work

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate competence in:

  • recognition and determination of basic geological processes in three and four dimensions
  • diagnosis of geological conditions
  • fundamentals of the Earth’s history
  • understanding of geological problems and their interpretation
  • creation and interpretation of geological maps and cross sections
  • compilation and testing of ground models

Supporting evidence could include:

  • examples of the applicant’s work illustrating the maintenance of a sound theoretical approach to the application of geology in practice to current industry standards
  • the use of a sound evidence-based approach to problem solving
  • the identification and selection of procedures and methods to undertake geological tasks
  • conducting or engaging in appropriate study and research to improve technical practices and solutions
  • evaluating the effectiveness and relevance of approaches and solutions in use in the Applicant’s area of specialism



(ii) Critical evaluation of geoscience information to generate predictive models

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate competence in the acquisition, observation and description of geological data, appreciation of the limitations and conditions under which the data were collected or how they arrived in their present state, and an assessment of certainty/uncertainty.

The geological data may be acquired in the field in one or more of the following ways:

  • at outcrop
  • by intrusive investigations (boreholes, pits, etc)
  • by geophysical or geotechnical surveys or other remote sensing.
  • it may also be experimental data (including laboratory-based investigations or computer modelling)

Supporting evidence could include:

  • examples of work carried out and interpretations made, including the reasoning used
  • contribution to the development of solutions
  • the level of decisions undertaken in the workplace
  • output reports and publications
  • contribution to evaluation of the outputs



(iii) Effective communication in writing (a) and orally (b)

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate competence through the material presented in the professional report and the supporting documents that accompany the application, together with the impact the applicant makes at interview.

Supporting evidence could include:

Materials which demonstrate communication skills both within the workplace and also socially and outside the workplace.

Assessment of this criterion will be based on the whole of the application for validation as a Chartered Geologist, including supporting documents prepared by the Applicant such as reports, correspondence, and presentations (including any feedback).




(iv) Competency in the:

  • knowledge and implementation of Health and Safety (H&S);
  • management of environmental and sustainability issues; and
  • knowledge and implementation of other statutory obligations applicable to the discipline or area of work.

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate their application of best practice in relation to matters of H&S, environmental management, and sustainability within their field.

Supporting evidence of satisfactory attainment could include:

  • records showing how H&S issues are managed, and policies implemented, as part of day-to-day work for the Applicant and others;
  • a summary of the Applicant’s H&S responsibilities, including examples of responses to incidents (including near misses) and subsequent investigations;
  • knowledge of the key environmental legislation, policies and environmental protection and management measures applicable to the area of their work, and their impact on the Applicant’s area of practice; and
  • evidence of the practical application of environmental and sustainability considerations appropriate to their area of practice, and the circumstances in which specialist advice is necessary.



(v) Clear understanding of the meaning and needs of professionalism including a clear understanding of the Code of Conduct and commitment to its implementation

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the need to behave professionally and ethically at all times in accordance with the Society’s Codes of Conduct (Regulation FP-07). They must fully understand the requirements of the Codes and be able to give relevant examples of its application in their professional actions, activities, and decisions.

This should include evidence for understanding the relevance of equity, diversity, inclusivity (EDI), cultural context and engagement within their role.




(vi) Commitment to Continuing Professional Development throughout your professional career

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate that they are committed to a continuing and forward-looking programme of development of technical and professional skills for the work they undertake in order to enhance the skills available in pursuance of their career, using the Plan’Act’Reflect cyclical model.

Applicants are normally required to submit a minimum of three years’ CPD records as part of their application (see Section 5.8 of this Regulation).

Supporting evidence of satisfactory attainment could include:

  • records of CPD through a formal reporting scheme supported by evidence of analysis of scientific and professional development needs; and
  • actions taken to satisfy these needs, including a critical review of how successful these actions were and how they were incorporated into the Applicant’s professional practice



(vii) Competence in your area of expertise

Applicants meeting this criterion will be able to demonstrate that they are competent in their claimed area(s) of professional practice at the appropriate level (able to perform without direct supervision and able to direct others).

Applicants should note that, although applying to become a Chartered Geologist this is, nonetheless, only for the area of professional practice in which competency is claimed, and not geoscience as a whole. This specialism should be that in which the Applicant is undertaking professional practice at the time of applying. Competency should be demonstrated in any of each nominated specialism and further training or supervision is required for work undertaken outside the claimed area(s) of expertise.

Supporting evidence of satisfactory attainment could include:

  • relevant sections from job description and written examples of contributions to key tasks;
  • examples of the Applicant’s role in project planning, organisation of tasks, use of people and resources, managing changing technical and project needs;
  • written examples of personal contributions to key tasks;
  • examples of preparing and implementing quality-related processes; and
  • examples of projects for which they had responsibility for design, implementation, interpretation of data collected and presentation of conclusions.

NB: The competencies for CGeol are different from those required for CSci


In order to be validated as a Chartered Scientist, applicants must demonstrate how they meet the requirements of the five competency criteria.

A. Application of knowledge and understanding

B. Personal Responsibility

C. Interpersonal skills

D. Professional Practice

E. Professional Standards




A. Application of knowledge and understanding

Identify and use relevant scientific understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address well defined problems.

A1   Demonstrate how you use knowledge, experience, skills and broader scientific understanding to optimise the application of existing and emerging science and technology

You should provide sufficient detail here to show your deep understanding of your specialist scientific subject and how you have applied it. Further to this, include any examples of where your broader scientific understanding is applied to your area of practice. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Writing and presenting internal papers, reports or standards;
  • Conducting appropriate research to facilitate design and development of scientific processes;
  • Writing primary journal articles and patents.

A2   Exercise sound judgement and understand principles of uncertainty in complex and unpredictable situations

This competence is asking you to identify and be aware of the limit of your own knowledge and professional competence, to demonstrate an ability to manage your own strengths and weaknesses and to recognise the level of risk attached to your actions. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • When you have reacted and dealt with an unexpected outcome;
  • When you have approached a piece of work or project flexibly and in a novel or different way, or reacted to an unexpected outcome.

A3   Demonstrate critical evaluation of relevant scientific information and concepts to propose solutions to problems

You should think of this competence in terms of selecting the best methodology, the subsequent data analysis, evaluations and conclusions you draw and how you overcome any barriers or issues. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in experimental design and testing;
  • Reviewing relevant literature, databases, manuals or designs;
  • Statistical analysis and numerical modelling.

B. Personal Responsibility

Exercise personal responsibility in planning and implementing tasks according to prescribed protocols.

B1   Work autonomously and take responsibility for the work of self and others

It is important for this competency to ensure you describe your contribution, responsibility and impact on a certain task or project and make it clear what you personally have achieved, ie, ‘I’ not ‘we’. In formulating your answers and giving relevant examples, you should consider the following:

  • You will be expected to undertake your work without day-to-day supervision and so you should demonstrate that you are able to achieve this;
  • You should demonstrate your understanding of when you may need to seek guidance from others and how you would obtain this guidance;
  • If you are responsible for managing the work of others, you should clearly describe how you discharge those responsibilities.

B2   Promote, implement and take responsibility for robust policies and protocols relating to health, safety and sustainability

You should demonstrate that you understand the policies and protocols related to health, safety and sustainability that apply to the work you are undertaking, giving examples where you have implemented and promoted them and describe any responsibilities that you have related to this. In formulating your answers, you should consider the following:

  • Demonstrate that you know where these policies and protocols are documented, and that you are able to apply them in your practice;
  • How your work contributes to the update and development of your department’s and, or, organisation’s policies and procedures;
  • How you ‘promote’ the awareness and application of these policies and protocols with others, especially peers and more junior colleagues.

B3   Promote and ensure compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements and quality standards

You should demonstrate that you understand which regulatory requirements and quality standards apply to your area of work. In formulating your answers and giving examples, you should consider the following:

  • Describe what you do to ensure that these requirements and standards are being followed for those activities for which you are responsible;
  • Describe how you ‘promote’ the awareness of regulatory requirements and quality standards amongst peers and more junior colleagues;
  • Describe how you safely store and handle data in line with national and international data protection and cyber security regulations.

B4   Oversee the implementation of solutions and demonstrate an understanding of potential and actual impacts of your work on your organisation, on the profession and on the wider community

You should demonstrate an understanding of the potential and actual impacts of your work on your organisation, on the profession, on the general public and on the physical environment. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Indicating that you are aware of the sensitivity of your work and show how this understanding translates into the ways in which you carry out your work;
  • Showing an awareness of how your profession is portrayed and viewed by the public at large, and how you take responsibility for recognising this in the work you do;
  • Describing how you seek to avoid reputational damage related to the work you carry out;
  • Explaining how you set a good example to others in the way you discharge the responsibilities related to the work you undertake and the benefits to the organisation.

C. Interpersonal skills

Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills.

C1   Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively with specialist and non-specialist audiences

A non-specialist audience is anyone working outside of your particular area of expertise, so it would not necessarily be a non-scientist. Your example(s) should indicate how you have communicated in a way that is effective to each type of audience. In formulating your answers, you should consider the following:

  • Not just the content of the message but also the mode or style of delivery that is adapted according to the audience;
  • The feedback loop to gauge the understanding and improve future communications.

C2   Demonstrate effective leadership through the ability to guide, influence, inspire and empathise with others

This competence is about understanding your leadership skills and is not reserved for those in management roles, it is applicable to all. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Experiences of mentoring or coaching you have had; you should consider how effective this was and the overall impact;
  • Considering when you have managed change within your organisation or overseen the implementation of any new processes; you should consider how effective this was and the overall impact.

C3   Demonstrate the ability to mediate, develop and maintain positive working relationships

You should describe or define the ‘working relationship’ and provide at least one example which focuses on your handling of a challenging interpersonal situation and demonstrates your ability to mediate and achieve a positive outcome. You should consider how, through your approach, you have changed or modified the behaviour or attitudes of others to positive effect. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • How you have managed the merger or integration of different teams;
  • Managing working relationships across different departments or organisations;
  • Interactions with committees, working groups or other professional body activities;
  • How you have managed and resolved a difficult relationship situation between members of a team for which you are responsible.

D. Professional Practice

Apply appropriate theoretical and practical methods

D1   Demonstrate how you scope and plan and manage projects

Describe an example where you have developed a project scope with clearly defined boundaries and project plans. Any problem-solving techniques used should be highlighted along with potential benefits of the project to the business. You should make clear the level of autonomy you had while working on the project, especially when the project is large, covering multiple areas and has a significant time span. You should show how you contributed to determining the resulting courses of action. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Lead an operational project utilising resources across several disciplines;
  • A change management project aligning processes across sites;
  • An industry-wide project establishing guidance on technical standards and requirements.

D2   Demonstrate the achievement of desired outcomes with the effective management of resources and risks

Using projects with which you have been involved as examples, you should describe your roles and responsibilities in managing the activities to achieve the desired outcomes. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Identifying the resources (people and/or money) needed to undertake the activities;
  • Monitoring and surveillance of the progress of the activities;
  • Identification, evaluation and implementation of changes that may be needed to ensure the activities are successfully completed;
  • Identification and management of risks that could impact on the successful completion of the activities.

D3   Take responsibility for continuous improvement within a scientific or technical environment

Your examples should indicate what actions you take to make improvements to your organisation as a whole. This could be through encouraging the continuous development of junior staff or through improvements to processes within the organisation. Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Evaluation of the performance of specialist methods and tools used;
  • Development of recommendations for future enhancements or modifications to procedures or working practices in order to achieve performance improvements;
  • Description of examples where your actions have led to performance improvement by yourself or others;
  • Identification of lessons learned from activities undertaken by yourself or by others for whom you are responsible, such as what went well, went badly or was lacking.

E. Professional Standards

Demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards.

E1   Comply with and promote relevant codes of conduct and practice

You should provide comprehensive examples of how you have applied and promoted the codes of conduct under which you practice, and the outcome.

Examples you may wish to include but are not limited to: equality, diversity and inclusion, reliability and integrity and ethical practices.

E2   Demonstrate a commitment to professional development through continuing advancement of your own knowledge, understanding and competence

Your answer should provide specific examples of what you have already done in terms of continuing professional development (CPD) and your plans for the coming year. In your examples you must describe how your engagement in CPD has benefited your practice and the users of your work and reflect on its impact.

Examples can be taken from any of the five categories of activity (work-based learning, professional activity, formal/educational, self-directed learning and other).

eg:

  • Application of knowledge acquired on an external course that has benefitted the business - how you acquired the knowledge of a new technology and how you planned, implemented and reviewed its success in your organisation;
  • Your work to promote careers in the STEM arena, including the design of materials and reflection on success.

Evidence of how your CPD benefits your practice and benefits others is being sought here, not merely a list of courses attended.

(Note registrants will need to comply with the Science Council CPD Standards)


NB: The competencies for CGeol and CSci do not generally cross correlate.


The Science Council has confirmed that those gaining Chartered Geologist status can be awarded Chartered Scientist status retrospectively within a period of two years without the need for a further interview.


Procedure for retrospective CSci applications

  1. Application must be made within a two year period of the award of CGeol.
  2. Application to consist of the original CGeol application together with a completed CSci application form.
  3. A CPD record for the intervening period post-CGeol award shall be provided (together with evidence of Masters level work (if a Masters level degree is not held).
  4. A report which explains the fulfillment of the CSci criteria.
  5. The Supporting Documents, submitted for the CGeol application may be substituted but the Professional Report must be amended to demonstrate the scientific competencies for CSci.
  6. The application is to be submitted via the online application form. The Chartership Officer who will verify eligibility and will then request a review and recommendation from two CSci Assessors.
  7. ‘Accept’ recommendations will be passed to the Chair of the Chartership & Professional Committee for agreement at their next meeting and then on to Council for election.
  8. ‘Defer’ recommendations will be reviewed by two CSci Assessors and, if upheld, the applicant will be informed of an unsuccessful outcome and provided with advice to support a future application.

Procedure for retrospective CGeol applications

  1. Application must be made within a two year period of the award of CSci.
  2. Application to consist of the original CSci application together with a completed CGeol application form.
  3. A CPD record for the intervening period post-CSci shall be provided (together with evidence of Masters level work if a Masters level degree is not held).
  4. A report which explains the fulfillment of the CGeol criteria, focussed particularly on (i) and ii).
  5. The Supporting Documents submitted for the CSci application may be substituted, but the Professional Report must be amended to demonstrate fulfilment of all seven of the CGeol competency criteria.
  6. The application is to be submitted via the online application form. The Chartership Officer will verify eligibility and will then request a review and recommendation from two CGeol Assessors.
  7. ‘Accept’ recommendations will be passed to the Chair of the Chartership & Professional Committee for agreement at their next meeting and then on to Council for election.
  8. Defer recommendations will be reviewed by two CGeol Assessors and, if upheld, the applicant will be informed and advised on a future application.

To find out more about Chartership, please join us at one of the events scheduled this year. These events are workshops which outline the benefits of obtaining professional membership with the Geological Society and the required competencies. The process for achieving chartership is also explained and plenty of time is set aside for any questions regarding your own application.

The drop-in sessions are intended for those who are about to submit their application and are scheduled a few weeks before the next submission deadline, to ask any final questions on their application documents.

From time to time the Society’s Regional Groups offer a chartership event, which is usually in-person. Find out more from your Regional Group Chair about future dates for your group. However, Fellows can also attend online if they are unable to join in-person.


GSL Chartership – talk and Q&A session 31/01/24  13:30  Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – March deadline drop-in session 07/02/24  13:00  Zoom link
GSL Chartership – talk and Q&A session  07/04/24  12:30  Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – June deadline drop-in session  08/05/24  13:00  Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – talk and Q&A session  03/07/24  12:30 Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – August deadline drop-in session  10/07/24  13:00  Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – talk and Q&A session  09/10/24  12:30  Zoom link 
GSL Chartership – January deadline drop-in session  04/12/24 13:00 Zoom link 

More chartership events will be added here in future.

Don't forget to join the Chartership Mentor Group on LinkedIn to help you find a mentor, ask questions, and to get advice on the Chartership process and your application. 

Apply online and next steps