How provisional membership works

Joining as a new member

You can join the Society at any grade for which you meet the requirements. Unless that is Entry Level, you will be given a provisional grade while your membership application is assessed. You will need to supply the required evidence to support your grade choice within one month of joining.

Regardless of which grade you join at, all new members pay the Entry-Level subscription fee in their first year of membership as a special welcome.

  • When you complete the membership application form, select the grade that you think best fits your training and experience.
  • As soon as you get your membership number, log into the website and start completing the upgrade form, listing your evidence for meeting the requirements of your chosen grade.
  • You need to complete and submit the upgrade form within one month of joining, and your membership grade will then be confirmed.
  • If you fail to submit a completed upgrade form within one week after joining, we will send you a reminder. If you fail to submit the form within three weeks after the reminder has been sent, you will be admitted as an ELM and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that grade.

Upgrading after you become a member

You can apply to upgrade at any time, and you are encouraged to do so when you have built up the required training and experience. Once you submit an upgrade application, you will hold the grade for which you have applied provisionally until your application is assessed.

How your membership grade is decided

All upgrade applications are anonymised and passed to the Admissions Panel. The Panel will consider all the evidence you supply, and may ask for more information. The Panel will do one of four things:

  • admit you at the grade you have applied for
  • offer admission at a higher grade
  • reject your application at the grade applied for but offer admission at a lower grade
  • reject your application outright.

Normally, if all the necessary information has been provided, the Panel will reach a decision within six to eight weeks.

Until the Panel has made its decision and you have accepted it or rejected it (see below), you may call yourself a Provisional IM (or Provisional PM, or Provisional APM), but you will enjoy only the rights and benefits of an Entry-Level Member (ELM).

Everyone who joins as an ELM immediately enjoys all the rights and benefits of that grade.

Successful application

If the Panel accepts your application, you will be admitted to the grade you applied for and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that grade. You may then remove the word ‘Provisional’ from your grade description.

Admission at a higher grade

If the Panel suggests that you join at a grade above the one you have applied for because your evidence supports it, you may either:

  • accept – you must pay any additional fee due (see note below); once paid, you will be admitted to the grade suggested by the Panel and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that grade
  • reject – you will be admitted to the grade you applied for and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that lower grade.

Admission at a lower grade

If the Panel suggests that you join at a grade below the one you have applied for, you may either:

  • accept – you will be admitted to the grade offered and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that grade
  • reject – you will be admitted as an Entry-Level Member.

Outright rejection

If the Panel rejects your application outright, or you reject an offer of entry to a grade below the one you applied for, you will be admitted as an Entry-Level Member and enjoy all the rights and benefits of that grade.

A note on fees

The membership year runs from 1 March. If your application to upgrade is still under assessment at 28 February, you will be asked to renew your membership from 1 March at the grade for which you have applied and to pay the subscription fee for that grade.

If you have accepted an offer of a lower grade or your application has been rejected, you will be refunded the difference if the subscription fee for your assessed grade is less than the fee you have paid.

If you have accepted an offer of a higher grade, you will need to pay extra if the subscription fee for your assessed grade is higher than the fee you have paid.