Chartered journey: What the future could hold

Chartered journey: What the future could hold

Alex Xavier | 16 April 2019

Today we announced that we have had the go ahead from the Privy Council to make a formal petition to become the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Alex Xavier looks at the potential future of being authorised to award chartered individual membership, and what this could mean.

Subject to approval by the Queen, the Institute of Fundraising is on an exciting journey to gain chartered status as an organisation by the end of this year and, subject to approval by the Privy Council Office (PCO), provide chartered individual membership in a few years’ time.

If the Institute is awarded chartered status as an organisation, it will be a significant milestone for every fundraiser in the profession. Fundraising will be formally recognised alongside the likes of lawyers and accountants, and it will give added weight and credibility to support the raising of funds for worthwhile causes, as well as putting fundraising on the map as a viable career option for new and diverse talent.

I’ve been thinking a lot over this process about what the changes could mean for our members and seeing how the practice works across established chartered bodies. When the Institute (fingers crossed) is awarded chartered status, that doesn’t mean that all of our members automatically become ‘chartered members’. This could only happen further down the line should the Privy Council approve a further change that would allow us to award chartered individual membership in the future.

What would be the potential benefits of Chartered Individual Membership?

In becoming a chartered individual member, you would be showing your colleagues, supporters and potential future employers that you really are at the very top of your game as a fundraiser. That’s not to say fundraisers who do not decide to go for chartered individual membership are not doing great things, but aiming high and going for the pinnacle in professional recognition would show a concrete commitment to your knowledge, skills and behaviours. The recognition of being in a chartered profession can be a badge of accomplishment and professional development, both within the charity sector and to the wider world, with the associated advantages that hopefully come from that – including making fundraising a more desirable and attractive career choice.

Who would be eligible?

We envisage there being two routes to gaining a future chartered individual membership status: one through qualifications, and one through experience. A qualified route would allow individual members who hold IoF qualifications – for example our Diploma in Fundraising and International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising – to be eligible for chartered individual membership. In addition, members who hold equivalent qualifications in fundraising which are mapped against our own standards may be eligible.

An experiential route would be open to anyone who meets a pre-determined criteria but does not hold an IoF qualification or approved equivalent. An assessment and approval process would underpin any experiential route we implemented to ensure experience is mapped against the standards within our qualifications framework. The process may include things like telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and assessment days.

How would it be awarded and maintained?

Subject to an individual member meeting the eligibility criteria, we would likely have a requirement to show your historic record of continuous professional development (CPD) to gain the initial award of chartered individual membership. In order to maintain your chartered individual membership, we would also be likely to have a policy which stipulates how much CPD and of what quality is needed to be evidenced on an annual basis.

A note of caution at this point – this is for the future, not for now. We will need to see how the process goes with the application for chartered status and get further approval from the Privy Council. We would also need to look at all the criteria for chartered individual membership through a process of engagement with individual members, our Learning and Development Committee, the IoF board of trustees and the PCO to fully inform any decisions made.


Is there anything IoF members should be doing now?

Whether the Institute of Fundraising becomes a chartered body or not, I would always strongly encourage fundraisers to take their professional development seriously. Holding individual membership, undertaking IoF qualifications and keeping a record of your CPD would naturally be advantageous given our direction of travel and put you in a great place for any future chartered individual membership process. Whilst we are on this journey, we will ensure we provide guidance and enabling technology to make the potential awarding of chartered individual membership a valuable experience for members in future.

Whilst we are not guaranteed chartered status as an organisation yet, nor the future ability to provide individual chartered membership, we are at a positive and exciting point in our journey with our members. I hope to hear from many of you through the consultation process and look forward to telling you more as we progress.

Alex Xavier is Director of Individual Membership, Compliance & Professional Development at the Institute of Fundraising

Find out more about our journey towards chartered status here. 

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