Our Member grade is for language practitioners whose foreign language skills are a primary requirement for their role.
Depending on the level of qualification held a minimum of two or three years' experience is required. Applicants with a minimum of five years' current professional practice can also apply for chartership.
Who can join?
Applicants for full Member grade will normally be practising linguists with at least one of the following:
- a degree qualification in their non-native language or language specialism such as translation or interpreting, plus three years' experience, part-time work over a longer period is also acceptable
- a joint honours degree which includes a foreign language (inter-disciplinary programmes with a foreign language component), plus three years' experience, part-time work over a longer period is also acceptable
- a postgraduate qualification in their non-native language or language specialism such as translation or interpreting and a minimum of two years' work experience; part-time work over a longer period is also acceptable
- Diploma in Translation, plus two years' work experience
- Diploma in Public Service Interpreting, plus three years' work experience
- Diploma in Police Interpreting, plus three years' work experience
- Full registration with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI)
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 UK NARIC.
If you do not meet the criteria (for example you do not hold the requisite qualification), but you have at least five years' work experience using your foreign language skills in a professional context, then we may be able to treat your application as a special consideration case. Please contact the membership team for further guidance before completing your application.
Applying for chartership
Applicants seeking chartership will need to meet the admissions criteria for Member (MCIL) in full. You will have, as a minimum, five years' experience as a language practitioner 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.
- Membership demonstrates 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 (Interpreter). Chartered Linguists will also receive a practising certificate
- 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 favorable rates for MemoQ software
- A free copy of The Linguist, CIOL's professional journal issued six times a year
- Monthly members' update including CIOL news, event 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. Members can also access a range of CPD webinars through CIOL partner organisation eCPD Webinars, benefitting from a special member discount.
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.
What does it cost?
There is a one-off non-refundable £25.00 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:
* Non-refundable, payable at point of application
** Payable once membership has been confirmed / at point of renewal
*** Payable at point of application. Rolling membership, valid for 12 months at point of application.
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 do next?
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)
Once your application form and payment have been received you will receive an automatic acknowledgement. CIOL will then assess the evidence provided and will endeavour to confirm your admission to membership within 30 working days. If you are applying for Chartership, your membership application will be considered first. Assuming it is successful we will then assess your chartership application.
Please take a look at our FAQs in the first instance.
For further information on how to apply and/or admissions criteria, please contact the membership team.