Chartered Geographer is the Royal Geographical Society's (RGS) professional accreditation and formal recognition of competence for those using their geographical skills, knowledge and understanding in the workplace. As land consultants, we are 'professional geographers', undertaking geographical research to connect people, places and environments to deliver a range of consultancy services which ultimately ensure the right land is available at the right time for infrastructure projects (see Dr. Thanasis Skentos' previous blog 'Land referencing: are we still geographers?'.) Chartered Geographer accreditation is therefore an ideal route to professional chartership for those involved in the land referencing profession. Coupling this with membership of SoLR provides an ideal blend of formalised professional accreditation and broad networking, with industry specific networking, collaboration and a forum to shape the future of our technical area of practice. Lots of support is available to help you achieve this, even as a future ambition.
Regardless of which professional accreditation you may choose, you will need to demonstrate a commitment to continuous professional development (CPD). A successful Chartered Geographer application will require evidence of 3 years' CPD with around 35 hours completed per year.
What is CPD?
CPD can be defined as 'conscious vocational and skills based learning activities engaged in to develop and enhance technical skills and professional abilities.' As a definition, this is purposely broad, as professional knowledge, skills and behaviours may be acquired through various means e.g. research, leading a collaborative workshop to solve a specific problem, completing formalised training or training others. I can confirm from personal experience that this is very tricky to complete retrospectively - so regardless of where you are in your career, why not start recording your CPD now! We have provided a CPD template through SoLR, which you can save somewhere accessible on your computer and populate as you undertake learning and development activities.
The RGS offers a range of membership and fellowship categories, from ordinary member through post-graduate, early career fellowship, full fellowship and Chartered Geographer.
The below timeline gives an indication of when you could be ready to achieve each of these, depending on your route into your professional career:
The RGS host regular lectures, webinars and networking events which are often open to members and non-members, including webinars which de-mystify the Chartered Geographer application process. I have sign-posted these at the end of this blog; sign up to learn more about:
The benefits of becoming Chartered
Our support for you while you are preparing your application, including mentoring
The Framework of Competencies, and ways of evidencing your expertise
Requirements for continuing professional development (CPD)
You'll get practical tips for preparing an application, and insights from current assessors and mentors on what makes an application stand out. There will be time for you to ask questions too.
These webinars are best suited to those have an undergraduate geography degree and three or more years of professional experience or 10 to 15 years' of professional experience without a related degree . If you think you'll meet the eligibility criteria in another way, please contact email@example.com for information about planning your application. Royal Geographical Society - Making an application for Chartered Geographer - introductory webinar (rgs.org).
The RGS is hosting its annual Chartered Geographer networking evening on 20 June at the Royal Geographical Society from 6.30pm. This annual event is a great opportunity to meet other Chartered Geographers, and those who are applying for Chartered Geographer from across many sectors and organizations. The President, Nigel Clifford CGeog, will be hosting the evening. If you are a CGeog or are considering applying for Chartered Geographer or would like to know more about how your professional development can be supported by the Society please come along.
Ashley Parry Jones, a Director in WSP Planning and Head of Profession in WSP’s Land team and SoLR member, was elected a Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) at their AGM on Monday, 5 June. A long-standing Fellow and Chartered Geographer, Ashley becomes the first Vice President - Professional, joining the four others for Education, Research & Higher Education, Expeditions & Fieldwork and Membership With the other members of the Council, they form the board of trustees that are responsible for the Society’s governance. As Vice President - Professional Ashley is Chair of the Society’s Professional Practice Committee, which guides both Council and the Society’s Senior Management Team in work that promotes and supports geographers, geographical communities and professional geographical practice through a wide range of activities. The Professional Practice Committee receives reports from the Chartered Geographer Assessors Committee, which oversees chartership applications and develops the Chartered Geographer strategy.