Chartered (professional)

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A Chartered professional is a person who has gained a certain level of skill or competence in a particular field of work, which has been recognised by the award of a formal credential by a relevant professional organization.[1] Chartered status is considered a mark of professional competency, and is awarded mainly by chartered professional bodies and learned societies. Common in Britain, it is also used in Ireland, the United States and the Commonwealth, and has been adopted by organizations around the world.

Chartered status originates from Royal Charters issued to professional bodies in the UK by the British Monarch, although such is the prestige and credibility of a chartered designation that some non-UK organisations have taken to issuing chartered designations without Royal or Parliamentary approval. In the UK, chartered titles may still only be awarded by institutions that have been incorporated under Royal Charter, with the permission of the Privy Council.[2] The standards for chartered titles in the UK are set between the professional bodies and relevant government departments, and cannot be changed without government permission.[3] Many chartered statuses in the UK and Ireland are also regulated professional titles under European professional qualification directives.[4]

Standing and usage[edit]

Chartered status is generally considered a terminal qualification in a particular profession, in some fields professional bodies also offer lower level qualifications, such as Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Registered Scientist (RSci). It should not be confused on this point with the senior membership grade of Fellow in many professional institutes and learned societies, which is usually a measure of achievement and/or standing in a profession rather than a professional qualification based on assessment of competencies.[5][6][7][8]

Chartered status is a form of accreditation, with there being a grant of a protected title but no requirement to be chartered in order to practice a profession (making it distinct from licensing).[9] In the UK and other countries that follow its model, the professional bodies overseeing chartered statuses have a duty to act in the public interest, rather than in the interests of their members, ensuring that chartered professionals must meet ethical standards of behaviour.[10][11] As a status, rather than simply a qualification, a chartered title may be removed for failure to adhere to codes of conduct, or lost through non-renewal. Someone who has lost the status may no longer describe themselves as chartered.[12][13]

Many chartered statuses require initial academic preparation, normally to bachelor's level but sometimes to master's level (or equivalent experience) in engineering and scientific fields where an integrated master's degree is the standard first degree.[16] After completion of academic training, it is normal to have to complete Initial Professional Development (IPD), which may include professional courses and examinations, to gain the competencies necessary for chartered status. Many chartered statuses also have a requirement that holders undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to maintain and update their competencies, with some requiring evidence of CPD at regular intervals to renew the status.[6][7][8][17][18]

The full title used differs from profession to profession and is normally of the form "Chartered <profession name>", where <profession name> is replaced by the name of the profession (e.g. Engineer or Accountant), sometimes with qualifiers to differentiate it from a similar title issued by another body (e.g. Marine Engineer or Management Accountant).

In the UK, chartered professional titles may only be trademarked if issued by a body holding a royal charter and which has permission under its charter to grant that title. Chartered professional titles are normally only permitted to be registered as collective trade marks. Guidance provided by the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office is that the use of the word "chartered" in a trademark by a non-chartered organisation "would mislead the public into believing that the association and its members have chartered status."[19][20]

In the US, "chartered" is considered a descriptive term, thus trademarks using "chartered" along with a descriptive title for the profession may only be registered on the principal register if they can be demonstrated to have acquired distinctiveness through exclusive usage in trade for at least five years.[21][22] Alternatively, they may be registered on the supplemental register.

International use[edit]

The two best known chartered statuses are probably Chartered Engineer and Chartered Accountant, along with their derivatives.[23] Examples of their use outside of the UK include Chartered Engineer (CEng) in Ireland (granted in 1969 by the Oireachtas),[24] India[25] and Singapore;[26] Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) in Australia[27] and New Zealand (under the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Act 2002);[28] ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer (ACPE) in participating ASEAN member states by the ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer Coordinating Committee;[29] Chartered Accountant in Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa and Zambia;[30] and Chartered Professional Accountant in Canada.[31] Chartered Engineer (or a derivative) is also used in the official translation of titles from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Iceland and Slovakia, while Chartered Accountant (or a derivative) is used in the official translation of titles from Austria, France, Hungary, Iceland, and Romania.[32]

In the US Chartered qualifications are offered by private education providers such as The American College of Financial Services and the Global Academy of Finance & Management (formerly the American Academy of Financial Management). Unlike chartered qualifications in most countries, these are not issued under a royal/government charter or legislation. The UK Intellectual Property Office refused a trademark application for the US Chartered Financial Analyst qualification on the grounds that it was not granted by a body with a royal charter and therefore had the potential to be deceptive.[33]

Historical development[edit]

While the concept of royal charters dates back to the eleventh century, the idea of someone being a chartered professional only dates to the 19th century. The first chartered professionals were accountants in Scotland. The Society of Accountants in Edinburgh (now part of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) was founded in 1853 and the title Chartered Accountant was in use by 1855.[34][35] The title spread to England and Wales with the granting of a charter to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1880[36] and to Ireland with the chartering of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland in 1888.[37]

The next professionals to adopt the title were Chartered Surveyors in 1903.[38] These were followed between the wars by Chartered Civil Engineers (1923),[39] Chartered Electrical Engineers (1924),[40] Chartered Architects (1924)[41] Chartered Textile Technologists (1925)[42] and Chartered Mechanical Engineers (1930).[40] Coverage of the grant to the Institution of Civil Engineers made it clear that the title Chartered Civil Engineer was intended to act as a form of occupational closure:

While the unregulated use of the appellation "Civil Engineer" has deprived that title of professional significance, the designation of corporate membership of the Institution ("M.Inst.C.E." or "Assoc. M.Inst.C.E.") is recognised as an authoritative mark of professional competence. Nevertheless, the mere designation of membership of a Society has not, in recent years, been found to convey that definite idea of professional status to which the public is accustomed. The introduction of the title "Chartered Civil Engineer" therefore marks an important stage in the long history of the Institution.

— "Institution of Civil Engineers". The Yorkshire Post. 2 January 1924. Retrieved 26 June 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 

In the Commonwealth, the title Chartered Accountant was adopted by Acts of Parliament in Canada in 1902 and in South Africa in 1927. It spread to Australia in 1928 with the granting of a royal charter to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (now part of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand).[43] The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was established by Act of Parliament in 1949 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan by Act of Parliament in 1961.[44][45]

Development in the US began in 1927 with the establishment of the American College of Life Underwriters (now The American College of Financial Services) offering the Chartered Life Underwriter designation.[46] This marked not only the first use of a chartered title in the US but also the first use without government permission by either Charter or Act of Parliament. This was a sharp contrast to the situation in the Commonwealth, where accountants in South Africa and Australia had been engaged in a decades-long struggle to gain the right to use a chartered title that came to fruition at about the same time.[47] The CLU was followed, after many years of preparatory work, by the incorporation of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (now the CFA Institute) in 1962 and the creation of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1963.[48]

With the Engineering profession in the UK fractured into many different professional intuitions, the 13 chartered engineering institutions formed the Engineering Institutes Joint Council in 1962, which was chartered as the Council of Engineering Institutions in 1965[49] and introduced the title of Chartered Engineer with the designatory letters CEng.[40] This marked the introduction of separate post-nominals for chartered status, which had previously been (and still is in many institutions) marked by the same post-nominals as membership. The CEng spread to Ireland a few years later in 1969.[24] Following the introduction of the CEng, many scientific professional bodies also gained the right to award chartered status, such as Chartered Chemist (1975),[50] Chartered Biologist (1979),[51] Chartered Physicist (1985)[52] and Chartered Geologist (1990).[53] This expansion was driven less by occupational closure than a desire to demonstrate professional equality with the engineers.[52]

When the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations were introduced in the UK in 1991, they featured 40 chartered statuses, including 5 forms of Chartered Surveyor from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Accountants from three different bodies, and two titles from the Chartered Insurance Institute.[54] The most recent version of the regulations, from 2015, lists 72 chartered statuses, now including 21 varieties of Chartered Surveyor.[55]

The 21st century has seen moves to increase professionalism. The Chartered Physicist status, for example, has, since 2001, required a master's degree to fulfill the academic preparation and is no longer awarded automatically to all corporate members of the Institute of Physics,[56] and since 2012 has required evidence of CPD to be presented to renew the status every 3 years.[57] Similarly Chartered Engineers in the UK have needed a master's degree since 2012, and in Ireland since 2013.[58] The Chartered Scientist title, introduced in 2004, required a master's degree and annual re-validation through evidence of CPD from the start.[7]

Titles[edit]

Not an exhaustive list:

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "IfA and Charter; FAQs". Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Retrieved 16 June 2016. When will there be a 'chartered archaeologist'? Being granted the powers to award chartered status to individual archaeologists is a separate process and would need to be agreed by the Privy Council by means of an amendment to the Charter. 
  3. ^ The Educational Role of Professional Regulatory Bodies (PDF). The UK Inter-Professional Group. 2000. p. 2. “These bodies function simultaneously as professional associations and as authorities appointed by the Government to award designatory letters and professional titles to those of its members which meet the specified standard of education and training. An important point to note is that this standard is set in conjunction with the relevant Government Departments and may not be changed without their agreement. This is the essential way in which these Chartered bodies differ from an ordinary professional association, and the feature of their constitution from which they derive their status as competent authorities for the professional titles and designatory letters listed in the implementing regulations.”  (Quote from 1999 letter from the Department of Trade and Industry)
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  9. ^ Impact Assessment of the Horizontal Amendments to the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (PQD) (PDF). Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 1 July 2014. p. 27. Retrieved 24 June 2016. The UK also operates a system that allows some professions to use the ‘Chartered’ title. The awarding of such titles to a professional is a form of accreditation. The title is generally awarded by a professional body that is empowered to do so by a royal charter. There are a wide range of professions that have access to the title such as Chartered Accountants, Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Waste Managers. Crucially, the use of the title, and accreditation more generally, does not prohibit an individual without accreditation or the title from practising the profession. 
  10. ^ Stuart Rock (13 February 2016). "Why Chartered Status is Britain's USP". Chartered Institute of Marketing. Retrieved 26 June 2016. Unlike a trade body, which represents the interests of its members, a chartered body is bound to protect the public interest above that of its members. Chartered status bestows a requirement to act in the public interest. 
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    7. Every person who at the twenty-eighth day of February 2001 was a Corporate Member of the Institute shall be entitled to use the title Chartered Physicist and the abbreviation CPhys according to regulations prescribed by the Council. Every person admitted to any of the corporate classes of membership after the twenty-eighth day of February 2001 who shall:
    7.1 have been educated as a physicist and have obtained an Integrated Masters degree recognised by the Council for the purpose of this Clause of this Bylaw and have had experience in responsible work including a structured training course which demands a knowledge of physics or its applications as shall satisfy the Council
    or
    7.2 have attained professional competence to an equivalent standard demonstrated through a combination of academic qualification, training and experience as shall satisfy the Council
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  63. ^ "Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association". Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
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  67. ^ http://www.societyofbiology.org/development/chartered-status
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  84. ^ No longer granted but may still be used by members of the Institution of Engineering and Technology awarded the title prior to 6 June 2002[83]
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