Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Chartered Linguist FAQs

How much does it cost?

If you are a CIOL Member or Fellow seeking chartership then there are no additional costs to be chartered.

If you are applying from a qualifying organisation (currently ITI and AIIC) then the fees are:

  • £50.00 – assessment fee (payable when your application is submitted)
  • £99.00 – registration fee (for 12 months registration)

I am not a member of CIOL or the two named qualifying organisations ITI or AIIC, can I apply for chartership?

Yes, but please email or call the CIOL membership team on +44 (0) 20 7940 3100 to discuss your situation and to request an application pack.

I belong to ITI or AIIC, can I apply?

Yes, please read the CL Admissions Criteria first. If you think you meet the criteria, please call the CIOL membership team to request an application pack. Please do not apply using the CIOL Declaration form as this form is for CIOL members only.

I am an Associate member, can I apply for chartership?

You must have at least five years' experience and be a MCIL or FCIL in order to apply for chartership.

If you have been an Associate member for a number of years, then you may be eligible to upgrade to MCIL and seek chartership at the same time. Please refer to the upgrade your membership section on our website for further guidance.

How many years' work experience do I need?

You need to have been a language practitioner for at least five years and still be in current professional practice. We expect your volume of work to equate to at least 120 days per year.

Do I need a specialist qualification to be chartered?

No, but you must typically hold at least a degree-level qualification in your non-native language.

How long will it take to process my registration?

Existing members: If you are a current MCIL or FCIL applying for chartership, following submission of the online declaration form your registration will be automatically confirmed. The membership team will review your declaration form and if any immediate anomalies are found we will contact you.

Applicant members: If you are an applicant applying for MCIL/FCIL and chartership, your chartership will be considered once we have confirmed your eligibility to be admitted as a full Member or Fellow.   The time taken to confirm your chartership will vary depending on the time of year you apply. We will endeavour to confirm your registration within 20 working days, once your grade of membership has been confirmed. 

I cannot agree to all the declarations, what do I do?

If you cannot agree to all the declarations then you will not be able to continue with your registration.

I don't think I quite meet the eligibility criteria, who can I discuss this with?

You can email the membership team detailing your case. Please allow up to 10 working days for a response.

I applied before and was unable to meet the eligibility criteria, can I reapply?

Yes you can, but you will have to agree to all the declarations and if you are called for audit you should be prepared to submit the evidence required to prove your eligibility. If your circumstances haven't changed then we would advise you not to reapply until you can meet the criteria.

How many hours of CPD do you require?

At CIOL we realise that CPD is a very personal journey, but normally we ask for evidence of CPD over the last two years and this should be a minimum of 30 hours or more per year.

What is relevant CPD?

CPD is whatever you need it to be in order to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to fulfil your role and develop as a language practitioner.

CPD can be:

  • Formal – e.g. training days, courses, online webinars and videos, and
  • Informal – e.g. regularly reading relevant books, articles, newspapers, journals in the language you use professionally, or networking with other linguists, watching films or even visiting the country where your professional language is spoken.

It can also be CPD relating to other professional skills other than language skills that help you in your work, e.g. business, marketing, financial, IT or managerial skills.

What is important is understanding what you have learnt from the CPD activity and how you apply this to your role as a practitioner.

In addition, you should use reflection to identify your needs for the next 12 months and use this to create a plan of action.

What happens if I am selected for audit?

You will have 60 days to supply information which confirms that you meet the eligibility criteria. This will include details about your working practice, including volume of work, a record of CPD undertaken in the previous two years, plus your 12-month forward plan. CIOL will provide full guidance on what we need and by when.

I am unsure which designation to select.

Most people simply use Chartered Linguist and CL. However, if you want to choose an additional designation you can. For example, if you are a translator, you can select CL (Translator). If you also teach then you may also select CL (Education). To do this, you must translate and teach for a total of at least 120 days per year and within that, not less than 40 days for each additional designation.

How long is the registration period for?

The registration period is linked to the CIOL membership year. When you are admitted to the CL register, your registration will be active for one year. When you are invited to renew your CIOL membership, you will also be asked if you wish to continue with your CL registration. If you do, then you will be asked to re-sign the declarations to confirm that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.