How to apply for professional registration

There are 2 main routes toward becoming registered: either apply through the Science Council’s online system or through your own licensed professional body, depending on which registration award you intend to apply for (currently CSciTeach must be applied for through a licensed professional body).

When applying through the Science Council there are also two assessment options: online or face to face. The introductory cost for registration is £30 for RSciTech/RSci or £50 for CSci. If you’re not already a member of one of our licensed professional bodies there is also an introductory first year membership fee of £55 for RSciTech/RSci. For CSci you will need to pay the membership fee specific to your professional body, so please contact us if you have questions on this or visit their website for further information. A face to face assessment is an additional £50.

Please note: your professional body may mandate a face to face assessment to ensure their membership requirements are met.

You should find answers to any questions you have about the application process below. However, if you need any further help, please do get in touch.

What do I need to do to apply?

There is an online application system, which you will need to sign up to. Once you have done this you can log in at any time to continue with your application.

There are several stages to filling in your application:

  1. Initial questions – these are just a few questions about you, your situation and your motivation for applying
  2. Select which award you are applying for
  3. Professional body membership – either provide your membership ID (if you are already a member of a professional body licensed to award the registration you’re applying for), or select which licensed professional body you would like to join
  4. Tell us about yourself – you will submit your personal details, your employer, your qualifications and career profile. After a few quick checks by the Science Council, you will then be able to move on to your competence report
  5. Select your assessment route (online or face to face), fill in your competence report and let us know how you will be paying.
  6. Tell us about your supporter
  7. Declaration - sign up to the CPD standards and registrant code of conduct.

Once this has been completed you can submit your finished application.

Watch this guide to using the online application system.

How long does an application take?

Completing the sections of the online system will take as long as you need it to. If you are applying for CSci, you can expect roughly a week’s gap between submitting your first and second parts.

The competence report is usually the thing that takes longest, especially if you have chosen the online assessment route.

After finishing and submitting your competence report, there is a delay while your supporter or supporters provide their supporting statement(s).

For online assessments, once we have a completed application and a statement from your supporter it can take up to 2 months for the assessors to be assigned and make a decision. If you are applying for CSci, this may be up to 3 months, due to the complex nature of the assessment.

If you are having a face to face assessment, it is likely the date is already in the diary. If your application and supporting statement are not with us two weeks before this date then you may not be eligible to be assessed.

How much does registration cost?

The cost of your application through the Science Council depends on whether you are already a member of a licensed professional body or not. If you choose to apply through your licensed professional body, the costs will vary.

Cost of applying through the Science Council

If you are a member of a licensed professional body, then the full cost of applying is £30 for RSciTech/RSci or £50 for CSci, with an extra £50 if you choose the face to face assessment route.

If you are not yet a member of a licensed professional body, you will be required to join one as part of the application process and the initial cost of membership is covered in your application fee. The full cost of applying in this instance is £85 for RSciTech/RSci, with an extra £50 if you choose the face to face assessment route.

For CSci you will need to pay the membership fee specific to your professional body which you can find on their website, with an extra £50 if you choose the face to face assessment route.

Once you have your professional status, the annual cost of remaining registered depends on your professional body as you will be expected to renew your membership with them alongside renewing your registration.

The usual registration renewal fee is £15 for RSciTech and RSci, and £25 for CSci and CSciTeach. However, some professional bodies may include additional administrative fees on top of this.

What is the difference between an online and a face to face assessment?

An online assessment requires you to provide enough evidence in your competence report for the assessors to decide whether you meet the registration award standards.

If they feel they need more information to make their decision, they may request this from you after your full application has been submitted.

A face to face assessment also requires you to provide a competence report, however this is used to guide the Science Council in assigning assessors with the relevant skills and experience, and to help the assessors prepare for the face to face interview. It therefore does not need to be as comprehensive as for an online assessment.

The evidence you provide in the interview will be what the assessors use to make their decision.

Which assessment option is better: online or face to face?

That really depends on what you would prefer. An online application can take longer because you need to provide enough written evidence alone for assessment. However, face to face assessments may take a few weeks or months to set up once you have submitted your completed application.

Both assessment routes can provide a good opportunity to develop your communication skills, written and oral.

Who should my supporter be?

Your application needs to be supported by a someone who can attest to the information you have provided - the sort of person you would ask for a professional reference should you need one. They should be familiar with your work.

This will most likely be your line manager, however a senior colleague or client who knows the quality of your work may also be appropriate.

Your supporter should have enough scientific knowledge and expertise to be justified in supporting your application. If possible your supporter should be a member of a relevant professional body and hold either Registered or Chartered status with the Science Council, this may help you as they will understand what professional standards are required.

Whoever you choose, you must get their permission before providing us with their contact details. If other people in your team are also applying for professional registration, your supporter may be supporting their applications as well. This is fine, but you may need to be sensitive to how busy they are.

If you are applying for CSci you will need to provide the names of two supporters.

I am someone’s supporter, what am I supposed to do?

First of all, thank you for agreeing to support someone’s application for professional registration!

You may have already received an email from the Science Council confirming that you are acting as a supporter. If not, this may be because their completed application has not yet been submitted.

Once the application has been submitted, you will be sent a link to sign into our online system where the completed application is there for you to read and review. There are several boxes available for you to add supporting information to that already submitted by the applicant. This is entirely optional but may well be a deciding factor if you have additional supporting evidence, where the application isn't strong enough on its own.

The key thing we need you to do is indicate whether you think that the applicant has represented themselves accurately and has the necessary skills and experience to be granted the award applied for.

If you do not think their application is strong enough, or that they are not yet meeting the registration standards, we strongly recommend you have this conversation with them first.

Can I show my application and competence report to people before I submit it?

Yes, we strongly advise that you do. Several areas for evidence relate to how you apply yourself and work with others, so their opinion and their input can be hugely valuable for your application.

You can ask your supporter for their feedback on your application before you submit it. This may also help them prepare for their own statement of support.

If there are any Registrant Champions in your place of work, they would also be an excellent choice to read through your application and provide feedback.