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Application guidance and FAQs

Our application guidance and FAQs will help anyone thinking about making an application.

If you have any questions not covered by the questions below or the application forms and templates, please contact


Am I eligible?

If you apply geographical skills, knowledge and understanding to your work then you may be eligible for Chartered Geographer.

If you have an undergraduate geography degree, you can apply when you have six years of professional work experience (which may include postgraduate study). If you do not have an undergraduate geography degree, other pathways to CGeog accreditation are available – most applicants in this situation need at least 10 years of professional experience, at the discretion of the assessment panel. 

Find out more about the requirements for accreditation


When can I apply?

You can apply as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements. Applications can be submitted all year round at any time.


Do I have to be a Fellow of the Society to apply?

If you are not already a Fellow of the Society, when you apply for Chartered Geographer you must be proposed at the point of application. If you don’t know a Fellow of the Society to propose you, a member of the Society’s Professional and Policy team can do this as part of your CGeog application process. Please contact for advice.

Find our more about becoming a Fellow


What can I do now to strengthen a future application?

  1. Get to know the Chartered Geographer Framework of Competencies.
    It will guide you in planning and recording your professional development and identifying suitable CPD opportunities. Understanding how it is complementary to an internal competency framework or career progression is useful. The  CGeog Framework of Competencies also gives you the language to describe your expertise and experience to colleagues and line managers.

  2. Be reflective and plan ahead.
    Which areas of the Framework do you need to focus on to develop your knowledge or expertise? Practising reflective evaluation will help you to write your Professional Impact Statement for your application.

  3. Keep your CV up to date.
    Make sure to note key responsibilities, achievements, projects and clients that may help you make the case for Chartered Geographer. You will need a long-form CV as part of your application.

  4. Keep your CPD record up to date.
    We advise you to use the RGS-IBG template (which the assessors prefer when you make your application) or a similar format – you will need a CPD record covering at least three years for your application. Keep the CGeog Framework of Competencies in mind when you record and review your CPD – are you developing the areas you will need to evidence later?

  5. Consider how you will demonstrate professional impact and support for the profession of geographer.
    Plan some professional development activities to share and enhance your geographical skills and expertise by engaging with other professionals within and outside your organisation.

When you start to complete the application documents, you will draw upon all of these activities and documents in more detail.


How do I apply?

Applications for Chartered Geographer are written by the applicant using the forms, templates and guidance provided by the Society. 

The Professional Officer for Chartered Geographer provides support for applicants and coordinates the application process. They will check your application is complete before it is submitted for review. They can also provide impartial and free advice and feedback on applications before submission, and you are encouraged to ask questions or discuss challenges you are facing in completing your application. They are independent of the assessment process. 


Who can advise me on an application?

For free and impartial advice about making an application for Chartered Geographer, contact at any time.

The Society can also help arrange mentoring and peer support for geographers who are firmly committed to making an application for Chartered Geographer, subject to certain eligibility requirements. Contact for more information.


How is my application assessed and how long does it take?

Chartered Geographer uses a robust two-stage expert peer-review process – read more about this process. We aim for complete applications to be fully reviewed in 12-16 weeks. However, this can vary depending on assessor availability and requests for further information.  

The decisions that can be recommended by the assessors are as follows:


Acceptance with conditions - An applicant is accredited as a Chartered Geographer with the assessors recommended development in areas of the framework of competencies is shown in future CPD records

Acceptance with additional information - an applicant is requested for additional information related to their application to show evidence related to an area of the competencies that the assessors request. This could be in written format or in the form of an interview.

Hold - the assessors recommend that your application is placed on hold with a view to resubmit additional information when a suitable amount of time has passed to gather relevant experience to exemplify this.



What are the Chartered Geographer specialisms?

Chartered Geographers may adopt a specialist post-nominal if they wish to indicate specialist expertise in a sector or sub-discipline – it is not mandatory to adopt one. The current post-nominals are: GIS or GI (for geographic information specialists), Earth Observation, Economics, Geomorphology, and Teacher (for teachers).

If you choose to adopt a post-nominal, your application will be assessed by experts in your field. Your application will be expected to show how you have established a depth of knowledge and expertise in this field. It is possible to adopt or change a post-nominal after acceptance as a Chartered Geographer if your career path reflects this.


What should a Professional Impact Statement contain?

The Professional Impact Statement is the most important part of your application and the quality of it will be the deciding factor for the assessors.

The Statement should be very different from your CV. It should provide highlights and more information about your professional impact and influence as a geographer, cross-referencing to your CV and CPD record. Your CV and CPD record are factual records of your career progression and professional development, your Professional Impact Statement should be more reflective about your career’s progression and the role geography has played in that. 

Download our template for preparing your Professional Impact Statement, which contains additional specific guidance.


How can I demonstrate professional impact?

There are many ways in which to develop and demonstrate your professional impact, which should go beyond the immediate expectations of your role description. Reflect on the following questions in relation to your work and professional development plans:

  • In what ways have you presented or shared your work to internal or external audiences, and how was it received? How has your work impact on your organisation or wider networks (clients, partners, professional networks) and/or what did your sharing enable others to do?

  • Have you received any external recognition or special commendation for your contributions, insight and expertise (awards, publications)

  • How have you contributed to the work of professional or scientific organisations or working groups? (including the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG))

  • How have you encouraged, supported and inspired (geographical) careers in others, e.g. through ambassador engagement, training, mentoring, coaching, or contributions to career development activities (may be colleagues or students)

  • How do you actively and visibly promote the benefits of a geographical approach in your wider organisation and externally?


How strict is the word count on the Professional Impact Statement?

The word count of 1,000 is a requirement of submitting your Professional Impact Statement. Please ensure you meet this. There is no word count on any of the other application documents. When writing your Statement we strongly recommend that you make clear cross-references to your long-form CV and CPD record (which have no word count), and the Framework of Competencies, rather than duplicating information in detail.

The Professional Impact Statement template contains additional guidance. You can learn more about writing reflectively in our resource library.


What should an extended CV contain?

The extended curriculum vitae (CV) should contain everything a normal CV would, but it is not constrained in terms of length. It should include all dates of education, start and end dates and responsibilities for roles and projects when employed - to clearly demonstrate your career progression and progression of responsibilities.

The CV should be tailored specifically for an application for CGeog, outlining the geographical aspects of all education and relevant positions. The following information should be included to do this: details about education and qualifications (including thesis titles, names of course providers); employment details including key responsibilities and achievements (include brief details of projects worked on); relevant professional memberships; other professionally relevant work or voluntary experience; any publication details.

Details of degree content should be included whether or not your degree is in Geography.


What should my CPD log contain?

We strongly advise you use our CPD template. This provides space to record internal and external CPD in line with our requirements, and space to reflect upon CPD completed and plan for the year ahead. We expect you to have completed a range of activities and justify your reasons for doing so. 

The template categories reflect the wide range of CPD that geographers undertake, but we recognise that development activities are varied. If you have an activity that you think isn’t covered please ask for advice. 


Do referees have to be Chartered Geographers or Fellows of the Society?

No, anyone who can speak in detail to your geographical knowledge skills and understanding, and your professional expertise and capability, can be a referee. One should be one person internal to your organisation (and ideally senior to you, such as a line manager) and one external to your organisation. If this is difficult, please contact for advice before contacting referees.

Current or previous team leaders/line managers, clients or other stakeholders you have worked with are all acceptable. If you have a CGeog mentor, they should not be a referee. We strongly recommend you share and discuss your application materials with your referees and provide them with the Chartered Geographer Reference pro forma.


What other supporting evidence can I include?

You may like to include some (brief) examples of your work, which you feel strengthen your application and are relevant. For example, articles, publications or maps. These should be submitted electronically. Please consider the length of the supporting documents you provide, being respectful of the time the assessors have to review documents. Short passages of publications will suffice.

You should consider whether it is appropriate to provide certain supporting documents - submitting commercially produced reports for private clients may constitute a breach of privacy and will not be assessed, unless you can provide evidence that the client has given permission for these to be included.


How do I become an Assessor?

Please contact and request an expression of interest in assessing form.