Accreditation, such as Chartered Geographer, recognises your skills and experience, and demonstrates your development from a graduate to an established professional
Accreditation, such as Chartered Geographer, offers an opportunity for your skills and work experience to be recognised. Becoming accredited shows that you have made a successful transition developing from a graduate into an established professional, raising your profile and boosting your chances of getting where you want to be in your career.
The benefits of accreditation vary, but generally include some of the following:
Recognition of your skills and experience
Raising your profile, increasing your influence and improving your career prospects
Potential to earn more (chartered accreditations are often linked to a higher pay scale)
Opportunities to network and share knowledge with others working in your profession
Post nominal letters (e.g. CGeog)
Employers also benefit because they can document a competent, motivated workforce
There are many different accreditations available, so which one you choose will depend on what is most appropriate for your skillset and the sector in which you are working. Some of the statuses most associated with the skills and knowledge developed in a geography degree include:
Chartered Geographer (including post nominals for GIS specialists, economists, teachers and geomorphologists)
Chartered IT Professional
Chartered Town Planner
Transport Planning Professional
Further accreditations recognise achievements in careers where you might use your transferable skills rather than your specifically geographical knowledge, for example Chartered Accountant or Chartered Insurer.
When deciding on an accreditation, you should consider a number of factors before you commit to working towards achieving the status. Find out what the basic requirements are, including specific education, training, work experience, or evidence of certain competencies. Learning about the application process and requirements to maintain the status will also help your final decision. Remember also that you can hold more than one accreditation.
Applying for any accreditation will usually involve becoming a member of the awarding body. Some employers will pay for professional memberships held by their employees, so it is worth investigating to see if this is the case in your organisation.
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Andy Murdock was a panel member in the online discussion ‘Geospatial skills and continuing professional development’ at the AGI’s annual GeoCom event in November 2020
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