Academic membership

Academic membership is the route to CIPD professional membership for individuals engaged in teaching, lecturing and research in the field of HR. It recognises their unique contribution to the profession and provides a suitable route into professional membership for those who work outside of the traditional HR practitioner field. Academic membership is different as it illustrates expertise in the development and progression of  ‘thinking and knowledge’ of the HR profession

Launched in 2010, Academic membership has been developed in consultation with academics and researchers from a range of organisations and countries. Growing in popularity, it fully reaffirms CIPD’s commitment to professional membership based on demonstrating the ability to deliver and make an impact in the workplace, based on what you know, what you do and how you do it.

Who is Academic membership for?

Academic membership is open to all lecturers, academics and researchers working in the field of HR, including those who are responsible for:

  • Developing and facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and skills within the HR discipline in an academic environment, for example teaching or lecturing, scholarly research supervision or management of academic programmes.

  • Managing the conduct of scholarly activity and/or undertaking research in any defined area of HR, or in another area, but with significant impact or focus on HR issues.

  • Those with significant influence and responsibility for managing and overseeing the delivery of academic provision (e.g. heads of departments and deans of faculties).

Academic membership levels

There are three levels of Academic membership, each carries a professional designation to recognise their significance. Please note Academic membership levels are not comparable to CIPD Chartered membership (Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow).

Academic Associate (Academic Assoc CIPD) - you are typically an experienced lecturer, tutor or researcher in a HR subject area. View the full criteria here (PDF 108 KB)

Academic Member (Academic MCIPD) - you are typically an experienced lecturer, senior researcher, recognised in UK or internationally as an expert in more than one relevant subject area. View the full criteria here (PDF 110 KB)

Academic Fellow (Academic FCIPD) - you are typically a senior academic or research leader, recognised in UK or internationally as an expert in at least two HR areas. View the full criteria here (PDF 112 KB)

The three levels of Academic membership recognise that academics will be at differing levels within their career journey and make different contributions to the profession. The three level structure is designed to encourage a wide range of individuals to aspire to, and invest in, relevant self-development that facilitates progression though a membership upgrading process.

The criteria for each level comprise three areas:

Knowledge and EducationActivitiesBehaviours
The level and range of your previous qualifications.What you do in the workplace, the range of accountabilities and areas of responsibility.How you represent professionalism in the way you operate.

Benefits of Academic membership

  • Recognition in the workplace 
    Academic membership recognises the unique contribution you make to the HR profession. You can also use an Academic designation and letters after your name to showcase your professional credentials.

  • Networking with like-minded professionals 
    Widen your professional network and share research ideas with fellow academics face-to-face or online through our community area.

  • Resources to keep you in touch with the HR profession 
    Access to member-only areas of the CIPD website (latest research, employment law, management and HR journals and more), Impact, our quarterly digital research publication, and In a Nutshell (a monthly email round up of the latest thinking in HR) and the award-winning People Management magazine.

  • Discounts on attending CIPD events 
    As an Academic member you can benefit from exclusive member-only discounts in attending CIPD events, including our flagship events the Annual Conference and Exhibition in November and the Learning and Development Show (HRD) in April.

What if I'm already a CIPD member, can I become an Academic member?

Existing CIPD members can become Academic members provided they are able to meet the criteria for the grade they are interested in. But you would have to be assessed and pay the non-refundable assessment fee. Please note that you can use only one professional designation at any one time. Therefore, members already holding a practitioner professional grade of membership (Associate, Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow) will need to decide which designation they wish to use, and give up the other one.

See how to become an Academic member

Academic upgrading

Existing Academic members who have developed and made progress in their career can apply to upgrade their membership. Getting started couldn’t be easier, just send us an up-to-date CV and we’ll advise if you look ready for the next level.

Upgrade cost

The non-refundable fee to upgrade from Academic Associate to Academic Member is £160. 

The non-refundable fee to upgrade from Academic Member to Academic Fellow is £200.

Email us for more details about the Academic membership upgrade process.

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