Achieving chartered status in any profession denotes to the wider community a high level of specialised subject knowledge and professional competence. According to the Institute of Physics, holders of the award of the Chartered Physicist (CPhys) demonstrate the "highest standards of professionalism, up-to-date expertise, quality and safety" along with "the capacity to undertake independent practice and exercise leadership" as well as "commitment to keep pace with advancing knowledge and with the increasing expectations and requirements for which any profession must take responsibility".
The status of Chartered Physicist was introduced in 1985 following approval from the Privy Council. It was originally granted automatically with corporate membership of the Institute of Physics (IoP). Reform of the membership structure in 1998 saw Chartered Physicist established as as separate qualification from 2001 that could be gained either alongside or after the status of Member or Fellow of the IoP. In order to gain the qualification, a physicist must be appropriately qualified (an accredited MSci or MPhys integrated master's degree is standard, although experience leading to an equivalent level can be counted), have had a minimum of two years of structured training and a minimum of two years responsible work experience, have demonstrated a commitment to continuing professional development, and have gained a number of competencies. From 2012, revalidation through proof of continuing professional development is required every three years.
Chartered Physicist is considered equal in status to Chartered Engineer, which the IoP also awards as a member of the Engineering Council UK, and other chartered statuses in the UK. It is also considered a "regulated profession" under the European professional qualification directives.
- "Job profiles: Physicist". National Careers Service. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Titles and Forms of Address: A Guide to Correct Use. Bloomsbury Publishing. 10 October 2014. p. xvii.
- "Chartered Physicist (CPhys)". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- John L. Lewis (1 January 1999). 125 Years: The Physical Society & The Institute of Physics. CRC Press. p. 183.
- "Charter and Bylaws" (PDF). Institute of Physics. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "Becoming Chartered by the Institute – Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Institute of Physics. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
[Q]Which one [Chartered Physicist or Chartered Engineer] is best? [A] None of the standards are better or worse than any other. They are just suitable for different people.
- "Oral evidence taken before the education committee". House of Commons. 27 July 2013. Q16. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
'When I set the chartered science teacher up, I linked it to chartered scientist, which is exactly the same as chartered physicist or chartered engineer, so that nobody could turn round and say, "What you are doing is below the standard of any other chartered status."' (Professor Derek Bell, College of Teachers)
- "Chartered physicist (United Kingdom)". European Commission. Retrieved 25 May 2016.