What is required for professional workers to call themselves Chartered?

Author: Graham Borley

Chartered bodies have the capacity to enable members who meet certain criteria to use an individual Chartered title. Privy Council policy is that the criteria for individual chartered status must be broadly the same across the professions, Chartered Accountant, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Surveyor, etc.
The chartered title is usually linked to academic qualifications with most chartered bodies requiring a robust professional qualification set as the entrance level. Professionals are also required to prove continued professional competency and development.
The Chartered body has the responsibility to ensure that these requirements are delivered but they have some leeway setting the standards for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Within this remit are.
  • Mandates what development activity is acceptable as CPD.  Should the body mandate specific development, or certify specified learning as suitable or should they leave it to the membership to decide?
  • Mandates how much development activity is required. Some bodies mandate a minimum number of hours that need to be spent on CPD each period (e.g. 24 hours in a year is common) others have a more complicated points system that aggregates the number of hours and the type of learning whilst some others leave it entirely to the individual.
  • Sets the frequency at which professionals need to submit their CPD plans for review. (e.g. annual, bi-annual, etc).
  • Defines how CPD is to be recorded. Some have a paper based system that requires individuals to complete and return forms a few others have an online system that allows the individual to complete an online form.  A few allow individuals to produce their own plans freestyle. However, issues with recording and assessment tend to channel the majority towards some sort of fixed process.
  • Sets how CPD is to be assessed and by whom. The Privy Council statement suggests it is the responsibility of the Chartered body to ensure that CPD meets requirements.
  •  Mandates what percentage of the membership should have their CPD assessed. Most Chartered bodies do not have the physical resources to properly review the CPD records of every member every CPD period.  ​Is it necessary to review every member at every CPD period or is random sampling acceptable?

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