Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Associate member (ACIL)

Associate (ACIL) membership is available for all linguists. If you have a relevant university, CIOL, or CEFR-based language qualification you can benefit from a straightforward Fast-track application form and a 20% discount on your first year’s membership.

Who can be an Associate?

Applicants who have the relevant qualifications are immediately eligible for Associate membership with the Fast-track application form below. These include:

  • CIOL: Holders of DipTrans, CertTrans, or DPSI, as well as Language Level Assessments and Certified English demonstrating C1 CEFR or higher language skills.
  • University: Graduates with language based BA/MAs, Translation & Interpreting degrees, or those taken in a non-native language, e.g. English Medium of Instruction BA/MAs.
  • Language skills: Proof of CEFR C1 or higher language skills from the main Cultural Institutes or, for English, from UCAS or SELT approved providers.
  • Professional Bodies: ITI Assessed, ATA Certified, or interim registration with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI).  

For linguists without formal language qualifications we normally require evidence of three years’ experience of working with and in languages in a professional context.

Why be an Associate?

Professional recognition as a linguist: CIOL Associate membership demonstrates your professional standing and commitment to languages to clients and employers. Associate membership is the first professional grade of CIOL membership and is your route to becoming a full Member and Chartered Linguist.

The full range of membership benefits include:

  • Use of the designatory letters ACIL and CIOL Associate logo to display on your website, Linkedin and other social media profiles, email footer, CV
  • Competitive rates for Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Free entry in CIOL’s online Find-a-Linguist directory, where applicable and in accordance with clause 4.1 of the CIOL Code of Professional Conduct, putting new clients in touch with you
  • Exclusive access to our webinar library of around 200 training videos, free of charge, to support you in your CPD activities and to enhance your professional learning.
  • Access to a range of CIOL template contracts and info sheets.
  • Discounts on a range of products and services including favourable rates for CAT tools.
  • The Linguist, CIOL's professional journal 
  • Monthly members' update including CIOL news, events and language updates.
  • Discounts on online and in-person conference and training events.
  • Sector specific CPD events offered by CIOL and its professional divisions.

What does it cost?

There is a one-off non-refundable £30 assessment fee (or upgrade fee if you are already a Student or Study Affiliate) which is paid at the point of application. 

The annual Associate membership fee, payable once your membership has been confirmed, is £150. For most applicants, those with relevant qualifications and therefore using our default Fast-track application form below will benefit from a 20% discount on the first year of membership so the cost will be £130.

You may upgrade from Associate (ACIL) to full Member (MCIL) and Chartered Linguist (CL) grades based on experience, either immediately or in due course.

What do I need?

The majority of applicants to Associate membership will use the default Fast-track application form based on qualification below. You will need to create an online account first. Then upload a copy of the certificate of your relevant qualification and agree to CIOL’s terms and code of professional conduct.

Please note that if you hold a qualification from a university that is neither in the QS 1,500 rankings, nor from the UK or a previously approved university, we may request an Ecctis statement of comparability. 

If you are bilingual or multilingual with three or more years of work experience but do not hold a relevant qualification, you may still apply for Associate membership as a special case brought to our Membership Committee. In this case you will need to complete the full application form.

Whether applying by the Fast-track route based on qualifications or with the full application form based on experience, you will need a credit or debit card handy to pay the assessment fee/upgrade fee.

What next?

Once your application and payment have been received you will receive an automatic acknowledgement. CIOL will then assess the evidence provided and will confirm the status of your application once it has been reviewed.

Apply with qualification

Join with Fast-track application


Apply based on experience without qualifications

Apply with full application form


For further information on how to apply and/or admissions criteria, please contact the membership team.