Something for every linguist
CIOL offers linguists and language professionals a range of entry points depending on your stage of study, qualifications, career and work experience. Use our Grade Finder tool below or view our membership admissions criteria.
Join our community
In addition to our three professional grades of membership – Associate, Member and Fellow we offer three Affiliate grades to support students and studying and newly qualified linguists as well as those who use languages as part of their work and life.
Support and development
CIOL membership is designed to support you throughout your study, career and life as a linguist, with a range of benefits and resources to keep you informed and help your professional development.
Membership is also your first step to chartership. Find out what it means to be a Chartered Linguist in our short video here.
Find your grade
Use our two-step Grade Finder to quickly find the grade for which you're eligible.
Frequently asked questions
When asked "what was the main reason for joining CIOL?" an overwhelming 90% of members stated:
- professional status as a linguist and
- professional recognition as a linguist
This was followed by:
- belonging to a professional community of linguists
- professional integrity through the code of professional conduct
- improved career prospects
- opportunities to network with other language practitioners
- opportunities to develop business and other contacts
- keeping in touch with what's going on in the world of languages
- personal development and growth
Source: CIOL Member Survey.
Our affiliate grades are for linguists studying either an academic, vocational or professional language qualification, for linguists who are just starting their career and for practitioners who use languages in the course of their work but where languages are not the main component of their job. The CIOL affiliate grades are Student Affiliate, Study Affiliate and Career Affiliate.
There are three grades of professional membership: Associate (ACIL), full Member (MCIL) and Fellow (FCIL). Professional membership of CIOL demonstrates that you have met the rigorous requirements and standards for good practice in the professional use of your language skills. Membership is open to anyone who uses their foreign language skills in a professional context, whether employed or freelance. This includes interpreters, translators, and foreign language teachers, and lecturers, providers of specialist language services and linguists who work in business, commerce and industry. Find your grade.
Membership of CIOL offers practising and aspiring language professionals and linguists a range of benefits and services which will enable you to be recognised, raise your profile, support your professional development, provide access to valuable information and tools and connect you with other linguists through our member networks.
As a professional member, you will be able to use the designatory letters "ACIL" (Associate), "MCIL" (Member) or "FCIL" (Fellow), plus "CL" for members who are chartered.
Professional membership inspires trust and confidence in clients, employers and peers and the designatory letters are a public demonstration that you meet CIOL's rigorous criteria and standards for best practice in the use of languages professionally.
Affiliate membership (Student, Study and Affiliate) illustrates your commitment to your languages as well as your support for the study of languages, professional standards and the values of chartership.
The full range of benefits for each grade of membership can be found here.
You are more than likely eligible to apply for chartership if you:
- meet the eligibility criteria to be admitted as a full Member (MCIL) or Fellow (FCIL),
- are in current professional practice and have been for at least five years, and
- can demonstrate a commitment to Continuing Professional Development
You can apply online. Please first ensure you have read the membership entry criteria in full and have gathered the evidence you need to support your application.
All Affiliate, Associate, Member and Fellow applications must be accompanied by a one-off non-refundable £30 assessment fee. There is no assessment fee required for Student Affiliate or Study Affiliate applications.
The full membership fees are detailed here.