Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Fellow (FCIL)

Fellowship is CIOL's highest level of professional membership. A Fellow is a role model and ambassador for the language professions, demonstrating a commitment to promoting and sharing the highest standards. Fellows in current professional practice will also be eligible to apply for chartership.

Who can apply?

Applicants for Fellowship will normally be linguists of advanced professional standing with a proven track record and high level of linguistic competence in more than one language.

Applicants will normally hold at recognised qualification in a language at UK degree or postgraduate level (or equivalent) or higher. Other certificates and diplomas (at degree and postgraduate level) will also be considered on the basis that CIOL is able to determine comparability through Ofqual or Ecctis.

Applicants will have been a full CIOL Member (MCIL) for at least one year. You will need to evidence career progression since the date of your admission to show that you fully meet the Admissions Criteria to become a Fellow (see under Quick Links on the right of this page).

Professional standing

Applicants will be asked to illustrate their professional standing and distinction as a linguist. Evidence may include information on any or all of the following:

  • Activity undertaken that supports the aims of CIOL, either within CIOL or elsewhere
  • Professional contributions beyond the scope of your position/role
  • Evidence of your commitment to advancing, promoting and sharing the highest standards in the language profession
  • Original published works

Applying for chartership

Applicants seeking chartership alongside fellowship should be in current professional practice and be able to evidence CPD undertaken over the last two years. You will also be required to submit a 12-month forward CPD plan based on reflection of previous CPD.

Why join?

  • Recognition of advanced professional standing
  • Practising linguists can also apply to become a Chartered Linguist, at the point of application further indicating commitment to your own professional development and to raising standards
  • Use of the designatory letters FCIL and CIOL Fellow logo to display on your website, social media profile, email footer, CV
  • If chartered, you can also use the designation Chartered Linguist, CL or CL, plus specialism e.g. CL (Interpreter). Chartered Linguists will also receive a practising certificate
  • Competitive rates for Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Access to a free Legal Helpline
  • Free entry with unlimited specialisation choices in CIOL's online Find-a-Linguist directory, putting new clients in touch with you
  • Templates for the practising freelance translator and interpreters including terms of business and sample contract
  • Access to a range of CIOL Info sheets on topics such as certified translations, tax and VAT guidance, utilising social media, creating a powerful CV and much more
  • Discounts on a range of products and services such as favourable rates for translation software products
  • The Linguist, CIOL's professional journal
  • Monthly members' update including CIOL news, events and updates
  • Opportunity to attend networking events and to participate in CIOL surveys
  • Continuing Professional Development; Fellows can participate in a range of sector specific CPD events offered by CIOL and its professional divisions. Fellows can also access CIOL's CPD webinar library, benefitting from a wide of CPD topics.
  • Fellows can join one or more of CIOL's professional divisions – Translating, Interpreting or BPG (Business, Professions and Government) which provide unique online networking events, CPD activities and forums.

What does it cost?

There is a one-off non-refundable £30.00 assessment fee which must be paid at the point of application. The annual fellowship fee is £200.00. The value of any remaining months on your existing grade of membership will be deducted on a pro-rata basis from the fellowship fee due. There is no additional fee to apply for chartership.

When can I join?

You can apply to join at any time of year. CIOL operates a rolling membership and your membership will begin on the day your application is successful and will be valid for a full calendar year.

What do I need to do?

Read the full fellowship admissions criteria to determine your eligibility. Then gather the evidence. You will need:

  • Your CV
  • Copies of your qualifications 
  • A statement in support of your application for fellowship. This should include details of your experience to date, including details of professional standing such as published works
  • The names of two referees who are able to comment on your language skills and professional practice - referees should be native or near-native speakers of the language(s) you are seeking membership in
  • It is important that these referees should also be able to comment on your professional standing in support of your application for fellowship
  • If seeking chartership – evidence of CPD and your future CPD plans 
  • You will also need your credit or debit card to pay the £30.00 assessment fee

What next?

Once the application form has been received, plus the assessment fee/upgrade fee, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement. CIOL will then assess the evidence to ensure we have everything we need to present your application to the CIOL Applications Committee. The Committee meets four times a year. If you are also seeking chartership, your fellowship application will be considered first.

More questions?

Please take a look at our FAQs in the first instance.

Join online today

Simply complete our online form to become a Fellow.

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