Chartership is free of charge to eligible CIOL members, and it takes only a few minutes to register online.
Who can apply?
Chartership is open to all full-paying CIOL members (and applicant members) in the following grades:
- CIOL Member (MCIL)
- CIOL Fellow (FCIL)
Chartership is not available to CIOL members (or linguists from other qualifying organisations) who are on a concessionary rate or in a retired grade of membership who, by definition, are not in current and/or frequent professional practice. Chartership is not available to honorary members.
Other qualifying organisations
Applications for chartership are also welcome from members and fellows (or equivalent) of other qualifying organisations, currently the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC).
What are the benefits?
Chartered Linguists benefit from enhanced professional recognition. Read more about the benefits in full.
What does it cost?
Chartership (assessment and registration) is free for CIOL members (and applicant members).
For non-CIOL members from other qualifying organisations, a non-refundable assessment fee (£50.00) and an annual registration fee (£99.00) is payable.
Chartered Linguists are entitled to use the designation 'Chartered Linguist' and/or the post-nominals 'CL' to further highlight their professionalism.
CLs may also indicate specialisation(s) as follows:
- CL (Translator)
- CL (Interpreter)
- CL (Education)
- CL (Language Specialist)
Chartered Linguists will be listed on the CL register from the day registration is approved until 31 August each year, when they will be invited to re-register. For CIOL members this will form part of the annual invitation to renew their membership, sent out in July each year.
CL admissions criteria
All full Members and Fellows of CIOL (and other qualifying organisations) should, as a matter of principle, be eligible for chartership on the basis that the CL admissions criteria are met:
Applicants will have been in current professional practice for at least the last five years, working (as a minimum) 120 days each year in one (or more) of the following specialisations:
- Teaching a foreign language and/or coordination or management of foreign languages at secondary level or in university language departments or language centres
- Teaching translation / interpreting
- Sustained, frequent use of foreign languages at a high level in business, industry, the professions (e.g. law, engineering, accountancy) or government
- Translation/interpreting project management or equivalent in other areas of language services
Applicants working in more than one of the above specialisations must normally undertake at least 40 days' practice per year in each specialism.
Applicants will hold a relevant language qualification to honours degree level or above. In order to use one (or more) of the following designations:
- CL (Interpreter)
Applicants will normally hold a specialist qualification in interpreting such as the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) or an MA or MSc (or equivalent) in interpreting
- CL (Translator)
Applicants will normally hold a specialist qualification in translation, such as the IoLET Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) or an MA or MSc (or equivalent) in translation
- CL (Education)
Applicants will normally hold a professional qualification, at first or higher degree level or equivalent, in teaching or another relevant field
- CL (Language specialist)
Applicants will be able to evidence attainment of a high professional level in their specific area of work in business, the professions (e.g. law, accountancy, engineering) or government demonstrated through membership of a relevant professional body and/or degree-level or other appropriate professional qualification in their area of expertise
Continuing Professional Development
Applicants will be committed to CPD and will:
- have a record of relevant CPD activities covering the last two years (normally a minimum of 30 hours in total)
- be continuing with professional development activities in order to maintain chartership, and have a 12-month forward plan, based on their reflection on past CPD activities
At this stage no physical evidence will be required, unless you are selected for audit.
For applicant Members and Fellows, applying for chartership will be part of the membership admission process.
Applicants from other qualifying organisations should contact the CIOL membership team for details of how to apply and what evidence will be required.
CIOL will randomly select for audit, a percentage of all registrations (from CIOL members) on a periodic basis. In addition, new CL applicants who select more than two designations will be automatically audited. If selected, CLs will be required to provide, within 60 days, the following evidence in order to maintain registration as a Chartered Linguist:
- An up-to-date CV giving details of professional experience
- Evidence of current professional practice
- Evidence of CPD activities, including the number of hours spent, over the previous two years, plus a reflective statement of 500 to 1,000 words on CPD undertaken plus a forward plan, based on their reflection on previous CPD activities
CIOL will provide additional guidance on the evidence needed including format and how this should be submitted. Evidence supplied will initially be assessed by the CIOL membership team. Should the evidence submitted not meet the criteria the membership team will provide feedback. At this point, registration may be provisionally suspended until we have resolved the issues. Cases that cannot be resolved will be referred to CIOL's Chartered Linguist Registration Board for a final decision. Should evidence not be supplied within the stipulated timeframe then chartership will automatically be suspended, unless the CL has contacted the membership team to discuss and agree an extension. For more see here.
Unsuccessful applicants will be eligible to reapply following a break of 12 months from the date of rejection and on submission of up-to-date requisite evidence to support registration.
CLs whose registration is revoked will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
CIOL members who are chartered will automatically retain their chartership on:
- Renewal of their CIOL membership
- Confirmation that the CL admissions criteria continue to be met; this will be obtained through a series of declarations.
- Agreement to provide evidence if selected for audit
Unsuccessful applicants and Chartered Linguists called for audit who subsequently have their registration revoked, will have the right to appeal under the current arrangements.