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Construction Industry Professional Bodies

Professional bodies are organisations made up of individuals from a specific sector - in this case, the construction sector - who are responsible for ensuring construction professionals maintain adequate standards of training and ethics. They also offer routes to becoming fully chartered.

Here, we explain how to gain chartership, the benefits of becoming a member and the renowned professional bodies that construction graduates can become a member of.

What is the Chartered Institute of Building?

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is a body that represents construction management professionals who work within the built environment, and it's a full member of the Construction Industry Council.

The CIOB has over 45,000 members worldwide from a wide range of professional disciplines. CIOB members are construction professionals with a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards

There are five grades of membership - Student, Associate, Incorporate, Member and Fellow. For each grade of membership there is an annual fee associated, which starts from £30 for the Student grade and increases to £304 for Fellow grade.

What is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors?                                    

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is an independent, representative professional body, which regulates over 118,000 construction and property professionals worldwide.

RICS provides many education and training standards including The APC, which is made up of a written submission and a professional interview. The APC is an internationally recognised qualification that will increase your status in the sector that you operate in.

There are six grades of membership - Graduate, Associate, Senior Professional, Adaptation, Academic and Affiliate. For each grade of membership there is an annual fee, which starts at £117 for Associate Membership and incrases to £616 for Affiliate Membership.

What is the Institution of Civil Engineers?

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is an independent professional association representing more than 80,000 members around the world. The majority of current members are British, but it has members in more than 150 countries around the world.

ICE’s purpose is to support and promote professional learning for students and practitioners, to manage professional ethics, to safeguard the status of engineers and to represent the interests of the profession in dealings with the government and other bodies.

There are eight grades of membership - Student, Graduate, Technician Member, Associate Member, Member, Fellow, Affiliate and Companion. For each grade of membership there is an annual fee, starting from £61.50 for Graduate Membership and increasing to £281.50 for Companion Membership.

What is the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers?

With over 20,000 members across 98 countries around the world, The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is an authority on building services engineering, as well as an authority on promoting the career of enginers by offering accredited courses and higher education.

Members belong to a worldwide support network and receive the monthly CIBSE Journal and e-newsletters, which offer up-to-date news and opportunities within the profession.

There are eight grades of membership - Student, Graduate, Licentiate Member, Associate Member, Member, Fellow, Affiliate and Companion. For each grade of membership there is an annual fee, starting from £35 for Student membership and increasing to £247 for Fellow membership.

What is the Association of Project Management?

The Association of Project Management (APM) has over 21,150 members worldwide and provides leadership to organisations and individuals who work within project management.

The APM offers five accredited qualifications - the Introductory Certificate, the APMP, the APMP for PRINCE2 Practitioners, the Practitioner Qualification and the Risk Management Certificate. These qualifications are recognised throughout the world and help to demonstrate to employers, clients and suppliers that you're a skilled and committed project professional. 

There are four grades of membership - Student, Associate, Full Member and Fellow. For each grade of membership there is an annual fee, starting from £23 for Student membership and increasing to £112 for Fellow membership.

How do I achieve Chartership?

Chartership is usually gained through a combination of relevant qualifications and practical experience. The most common route to full chartership involves undertaking an accredited university degree in your chosen field and gaining a minimum of roughly four years' practical experience.

If you've successfully completed an accredited university degree course and you possess the required experience, you can apply for membership directly through the relevant institute/professional body. There will be an annual fee for membership, but a lot of employers will either help towards this cost or pay for it completely.

How can being chartered help me?

Although becoming chartered can be a long and sometimes expensive process, there are many benefits of becoming a chartered professional. Here are just a few of them:

  • Proves a commitment to your chosen profession
  • Shows you possess a high level of academic knowledge in your field
  • Proves that you have considerable knowledge and experience in your construction-related occupation
  • Increases your employability and your chances of quicker career progression
  • Can improve your salary (depending upon your employer)
  • Could be a condition of your occupation and you may need it to begin working professionally in your field
  • Opens up networking opportunities with fellow professionals within the construction industry via events and seminars, which are held throughout the year

To find out more about the benefits of becoming chartered, visit your chosen institute's website. 

What if my qualification is not accredited?

If you have taken a university degree but an institute or professional body did not accredit that course, you may still be eligible for chartership through other means of application.

If you have enough practical experience and a good working knowledge of your field, you could apply to take a NVQ level 4. The construction NVQ is a work-based qualification which aims to provide you with the skills and evidence required to prove that you are of a high standard within your profession. Fundamentally, most institutes and professional bodies are willing to consider chartership candidates with varied professional and academic backgrounds.

We suggest that you contact the professional body or institute that you wish to gain chartership with, as many of them offer flexible and varied ways of achieving professional chartered status. 

What qualifications will I need to apply for a graduate scheme?

Now that you know more about professional bodies within the construction industry, find out which qualifications and skills are required to apply for a construction graduate scheme. Good luck!