Chartered Geographer


“Anything which raises the profile of our discipline in schools is worth exploring”

Peter Evea, CGeog (Teacher)

Are you:
• A member of a department that is keen to share ideas, resources and training?
• Looking to move up the career ladder in the next few years or have your hard work within the teaching profession acknowledged?
• Committed to your own Continuing Professional Development?
• Interested in getting CPD that is free, local and not during school hours?

The RGS-IBG is enhancing the development of individual teachers by recognising subject focused professional advancement and standards through our professional accreditation for geography teachers, Chartered Geographer (Teacher).  Chartered Geographer (Teacher) is available to teachers who can demonstrate competence, experience and professionalism in the use of geographical knowledge or skills in and out of the classroom, and who are committed to maintaining their professional standards through ongoing continuing professional development (CPD).

DISCOUNT: Schools Members of the RGS-IBG do not have to pay the one-off £50 application fee (although Fellowship fees still apply to all non-Fellows)


You will need:

  • an Honours degree in geography, a B.Ed with geography or a related degree (or 15 years teaching experience if no relevant degree is held);
  • at least six years teaching experience, and
  • demonstrable commitment to CPD, embedding it in your practice, and supporting others.

Chartered Geographer (Teacher) is the only ongoing professional accreditation linked to CPD in Geography and is relevant to the TDA framework of professional and occupational standards for teachers.  CGeog (Teacher) can support your application for a leadership or Advanced Teacher role and enhances your career portfolio and employability.

“This status has greatly benefited myself, members of the department and my students.”Garry Atterton, a CGeog of three years standing


If you have a geography degree or equivalent, have been teaching geography for at least six years, have an ongoing commitment to CPD and embed your professional development in your teaching, you are an ideal candidate for Chartered Geographer (Teacher).

What are the criteria?

You must demonstrate:

  • Honours degree in geography or related subject (60% geography content) or B.Ed with geography (or 15 years teaching experience if no relevant degree is held).
  • at least six years teaching experience.
  • commitment to CPD, embedding it in your own practice, and supporting others.

If you are successful in your application for Chartered status you will also become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) if you are not so already.

You can use existing documentation to support your application, such as:

  • your Professional Development Record, which can be used as evidence for the CPD portfolio required for award of CGeog (Teacher).
  • evidence you have collected for performance management.

Becoming a mentor

It certainly was a worthwhile exercise for the teachers involved and myself.

CGeog (Teacher) mentor

Once you have achieved Chartered Geographer (Teacher) status you can become a mentor to other teachers who are working towards gaining the experience necessary to be awarded Chartered status.

Why should I become a mentor?

  • To assist other teachers in gaining the necessary experience and knowledge to fulfil the criteria for Chartered Geographer (Teacher)
  • Demonstrates your commitment to advancing your own professional development and the professional development of others
  • Sharing best practice and geographical skills and knowledge
  • To support the creation of CPD networks within local regions and between schools
  • Provides evidence towards your 35 hour Chartered Geographer (Teacher) annual CPD requirement.

How do I become a mentor?

Once you have achieved Chartered Geographer (Teacher) status you will be sent an official letter congratulating you. This will include an offer to become a mentor to teachers working towards the status.

CPD guidance

What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a career long process by which teachers can keep up to date in their subject and enhance their skills and knowledge for use in the classroom. There are a wide variety of activities that come under the CPD umbrella, and each of them enhances competence in teaching and provides up to date subject knowledge and innovation.

“All teachers should have a professional responsibility to be engaged in effective, sustained and relevant professional development throughout their career”
TDA Professional Standards for teachers in England from September 2007

Why do we need CPD?
CPD has a range of benefits, both for the teacher and the students who benefit from their expertise. Ensuring that Chartered Geographer (Teacher) candidates undertake a set minimum amount of CPD means that students, colleagues, senior managers and parents are aware that any Chartered Geographer (Teacher) has up to date knowledge and experience in their subject and will provide the best possible expertise in and out of the classroom.

The benefits of CPD include:

  • Ensures that teachers are doing the best possible job they can and are confident and prepared in all situations
  • Provides long term career prospects and enhances professional standing
  • Acknowledges your commitment to innovation and sharing your work with others
  • Provides documented evidence of your commitment to your own professional development
  • Provides material which can be used to support job and Chartered Geographer (Teacher) applications
  • Encourages collaboration with collegues both within school and within the wider geographical community
  • Introduces innovative ideas into your teaching
  • Helps you to develop your role within your department
  • Identifies and strengthens weaknesses
  • Introduces new staff to school policy

What makes good CPD?
Making CPD a way of life in your school or department is easy if it is approached in the correct way. Why not create a CPD noticeboard with details of courses and latest policy in your staffroom? Below are some points to think about when planning successful cpd:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
  • Opportunity
  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Identifying and acting on weaknesses
  • Helping to develop roles
  • Sustainable CPD
  • Parental involvement
  • Links to National Policy
  • Evaluates needs and links these to future CPD activities
  • Giving teachers authority and ownership over their own CPD
  • Includes all staff including teaching assistants and PGCE students
  • Regularity
  • Visibility
  • Links to performance management
  • Personalised
  • Is monitored and evaluated
  • Forward planning
  • Included in school development plan
  • Provides career guidance and targets for career progression
  • Is relevant
  • Establishes expectations
  • Focuses on improving pupil achievement
  • Makes staff feel valued
  • Is well planned
  • Appraisal
  • New perspectives
  • Flexibility
  • Well defined audience
  • Feedback and evaluation
  • Reflection

What are the barriers to effective CPD?
There are various barriers that prevent good CPD from taking place, and sometimes prevent CPD from taking place at all. These include:

  • Lack of collaboration
  • Lack of personalisation
  • Cost
  • When voluntary, some staff opt-out
  • No follow-up, therefore CPD has a limited impact
  • Disruptive to teaching if held during the school day
  • No sense of ownership
  • Track record of bad CPD within the school
  • Not seen as beneficial
  • Little outside support
  • Inadequate resources
  • Low moral

What is the CPD requirement for teachers applying for CGeog?
In order to achieve Chartered Geographer (Teacher) status you need to be able to provide evidence that you have participated in a variety of CPD activities throughout your teaching career. This includes presenting as well as attending CPD sessions. There is no set amount of hours of CPD that you must have done to become a CGeog (Teacher).

What is the CPD requirement for teachers once they have been awarded CGeog status?
Once you have been awarded Chartered status, you will be required to log all the CPD you do and submit that log annually to the RGS-IBG. The minimum number of CPD hours per year you will need to collect as a Chartered Geographer (Teacher) is 35. You will need to do at least 15 hours internal and 20 hours external CPD to ensure a variation in your experiences. See the CPD ideas page for guidance on this internal/external criteria.

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