Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Full Member (MCIL)

Our Member grade is for experienced linguists whose language skills are a primary requirement for their role.

You will usually hold a relevant university degree, a CIOL qualification, or a CEFR-based language qualification, and have a minimum of two or three years' experience, depending on the level of your qualification. Applicants with at least five years of current professional practice may also apply for chartership.

Who can join?

Applicants for the full Member grade will normally be linguists with relevant work experience and at least one of the following:

  • 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 full registration with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI).  

Referee details and copies of your qualifications are required when you apply.

Applicants who hold the DipTrans, relevant MAs or above, or who are ITI Assessed or ATA Certified, need 2 years' of relevant work experience to be considered for the full Member grade. Those with other relevant qualifications need 3 years' of relevant work experience.    

Other certificates and diplomas (at degree and post graduate level) will also be considered on the basis that CIOL is able to determine comparability through Ofqual or Ecctis.

If you do not meet the qualification criteria but you have at least five years' work experience using your non-native language skills in a professional, teaching or academic context, then we may be able to treat your application as a special consideration case. If you would like to more information or advice, please feel free to contact the membership team before completing your application.

Also applying for Chartership?

Applicants seeking Chartership will need to meet the admissions criteria for Member (MCIL) in full along with having a minimum of five years' experience as a language practitioner, educator or academic 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.

Why join?

  • Membership demonstrates your excellence in languages and your professionalism to clients, employers and peers
  • Full Members with the requisite work experience can also apply to become a Chartered Linguist, at the point of application or when you have achieved five years professional practice, further indicating your commitment to your own professional development and to raising standards
  • Use of the designatory letters MCIL and CIOL Member 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 a specialism e.g. CL (Translator/Interpreter/Educator). 
  • 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: Members can participate in a range of sector specific CPD events offered by CIOL and its professional divisions, including webinars, workshops and opportunities to network with other members.
  • Members can join one or more of CIOL's professional divisions – Translating, Interpreting or BPG (Business, Professions and Government) which provide unique face-to-face networking events, CPD activities and online forums.

And of particular interest for Translators and Interpreters:

  • Competitive rates for Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Access to a free Legal Helpline
  • Free entry 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

What does it cost?

There is a one-off non-refundable £30.00 assessment fee/upgrade fee which must be paid at the point of application. The annual membership fee payable once your membership has been confirmed is £175.00. 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 admissions criteria to determine which grade of membership is the most suitable for you. Then gather the evidence. You will need:

  • Your CV
  • Copies of your qualifications
  • Details of your work experience to date
  • 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
  • If seeking chartership – evidence of CPD and your future CPD plans (please read the registration criteria in full to ensure you are eligible to apply for chartership)

Please read the guidance notes for applicants in full before commencing your online registration. 

What next?

Once your application form 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. If you are applying for Chartership, your membership application will be considered first. Assuming it is successful we will then assess your chartership application.

More questions?

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

Join online today

Simply complete our online form to become a Member.

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