Join us

Become a member and discover where geography can take you.

Join us

The Chartered Geographer Framework of Competencies sets out the professional expertise and other characteristics of those seeking to become or maintain Chartered Geographer status.

Geography is concerned with the Earth’s landscapes, people, places and environments and the relationships between them. It provides an effective framework for understanding the dynamics of phenomena over space and time. Geographers offer a spatial lens combined with a critically informed understanding of the many ways of representing and interpreting the world, which brings unique insight and supports reasoned and effective decision-making.

Chartered Geographer is the accreditation for those who demonstrate competence and professionalism in the application of geographical knowledge, skills, methods/techniques, insights and judgments to their professional practice, and who are committed to maintaining their expertise through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


Framework of Competencies

Chartered Geographers are expected to demonstrate, and continue to advance through continuing professional development, their professional expertise across four themes: Applying geographical knowledge, skills and understandingInnovatingActing professionally; and Communicating and influencing. A series of competency statements within each theme set out the expectations for Chartered Geographer.



1. Apply geographical skills, knowledge and understanding

Integrate geography within your professional practice systematically and creatively, making reasoned judgements.

1.1 Apply geographical skills, knowledge and understanding to your work, understanding and advocating the benefits geography can bring

1.2 Understand the geographical dimensions of your practice, and draw upon appropriate geographical concepts, theories and methodologies to engage with these

1.3 Use data and evidence to offer geographical knowledge and understanding and support reasoned and effective decision-making

2. Innovate

Demonstrate self-direction and originality in using and developing geographical skills, knowledge, approaches, concepts and ideas.

2.1 Be aware of the context(s) in which you and your organisation use and deliver services and products

2.2 Use geographical skills, knowledge and understanding to apply and optimise a range of existing and emerging methods, approaches and technologies

2.3 Be creative and innovative in the development and improvement of geographical skills, knowledge, approaches, concepts and ideas

3. Act professionally

Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to professional standards, recognising obligations to RGS-IBG, the profession, your organisation and the environment. Take the initiative to plan and implement tasks to achieve goals, demonstrating leadership and working effectively within teams.

3.1 Comply with relevant legislation, regulation and codes of conduct, and behave responsibly, safely and ethically

3.3 Achieve intended goals when engaging with clients, colleagues and other stakeholders, independently and in a team

3.3 Plan and organise projects, tasks, resources and/or people effectively and responsibly, managing risk and change

3.4 Actively engage in continuing professional development (CPD) necessary to maintain and enhance competence in an area of practice

4. Communicate and influence

Communicate with clarity and enthusiasm to different audiences, influencing colleagues and other professionals. Listen to and accept the value of different views.

4.1 Communicate effectively and build strong working relationships

4.2 Use effective influencing and negotiating skills with colleagues, clients/external bodies and other stakeholders to achieve intended goals

4.3 Promote the insights a geographical approach can bring for you and your colleagues, clients, organisation and wider field


Applying the Framework to your own experience

Understanding and applying the Framework of Competencies to your professional experience is essential for making a strong application and for reflecting upon and planning CPD. It is not expected that individuals will display every competency in depth, but successful applicants normally have evidence for each theme and are able to provide specific examples for many of the individual competencies across the whole of their application materials (professional impact statement, extended CV and CPD record).

How an applicant will demonstrate the themes will vary according to their background, career pathway, sector, role and specialisms, but all applicants should demonstrate, across the Framework, the impact their work has outside their immediate role/organisation. The Articulations of the Framework will support many applicants in finding ways to describe and evidence their expertise.


Articulations of the Framework

To support applicants and Chartered Geographers in their professional development, we have articulated each competency statement with professional knowledge, skills, activities, responsibilities or attributes that may illustrate, demonstrate and evidence competence in each theme. We would expect applicants to draw upon this with specific reference to their career and expertise. The articulations contain many of the professional characteristics of people who have become Chartered Geographers and the sectors employing them, but are not exhaustive - applicants are encouraged to provide other examples and evidence in their application.

Download the Framework of Competencies with articulations 


File nameFiles

File type



Chartered Geographer Framework of Competencies


159 KB

Download all files

Featured image: Iker Urteaga @iurte/Unsplash