Becoming Chartered: Busting The Myths

Some people might have misconceptions about becoming Chartered – the application process is time consuming or they doubt they have enough knowledge and experience. Here, we clear up some of the common misconceptions about Chartered membership.

don’t like the idea of the interview/I haven’t been interviewed for years 

It isn’t like a job interview. We aren’t looking to trip you up or find out what you don’t know and you are not in competition with anyone else. The interview panel will put you at ease and ask questions about your experience and opinions about the sector.

It isn’t a test, you will not fail and we will do all we can to support you to ensure you have the best opportunity to present yourself well on the day. If in the opinion of the panel you are not ready to be a Chartered Waste Manager we will provide advice and support to further improve your experience and knowledge.

If I fail I will have to go through it all again

No-one fails. It may be suggested that you need to undertake some professional development and specified learning to develop your broader knowledge of the sector to the satisfaction of the membership team before progressing to Chartered member. It is also possible, but less likely, that you will be referred to a further interview later.

I don’t have a degree or the necessary academic qualifications

There is more than one route to Chartered membership and it doesn’t necessarily rely on academic qualification. The Experienced Practitioner routeis designed for those who have considerable experience within the waste industry but have few or no formal qualifications.

I don’t have the managerial or financial experience

While some candidates will have extensive managerial experience it isn’t a criteria. Candidates come from a variety of backgrounds and have varying experience in operations, management, technical and financial aspects, all are relevant to the application but none are obligatory.

I look at other Chartered Waste Managers and I’m not in their league 

It isn’t a competition or a test, we are not judging you against other members but against set criteria and your knowledge and experience. Even the most senior of All Chartered members or fellows have been in your shoes and you will find them most welcoming and encouraging.

My work is too niche, I don’t know enough about the wider aspects of the sector

You will be expected to be knowledgeable about your own area of work and your presentation as well as having an understanding of the wider resource and waste issues. We are looking for an appreciation of topical issues and most importantly your opinion on those issues. This broader knowledge can be gained from reading articles, journals, conversations, meetings and websites. We can help with guidance on sources of topical information and a mentor to give direction.

I don’t have employer support

Whilst CIWM encourages all employers to support of their staff and see the benefits of membership for personal and professional development we realise that this isn’t always the case. As an organisation we work closely with employers in all parts of the sector explaining the benefits of supporting their staff through CIWM membership. We can offer mentors to support candidates, help them prepare for interview, point them in the direction of information sources and other Chartered members to meet and talk to.

The interviews are too far away

Each of our regions has a series of interviews designed to make them accessible to all members regardless of where they live or work. We try to make them as convenient as possible for all candidates.

It’s going to cost me a lot of money

The Chartered workshops are free, so it will just cost you travel to your local workshop to find out if Chartered Membership is right for you. There is an interview fee of £125 and these also take place regionally. The annual fee for Chartered Membership is £200, the same as some other professional grades.

To start your Chartered journey, visit our Get Chartered page.


Darrel Moore

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