Membership criteria

and supporting documentation

membership criteria
General membership requirements
  • You will be admitted to the appropriate grade of membership based on a combination of your horticultural qualifications and/or experience.
  • You do not need to have formal academic qualifications in horticulture in order to be admitted to membership of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.
  • Your relevant voluntary experience, and/or placements you undertook while studying, may count towards your work experience.
  • Your application will be assessed based on the information you supply.
  • Upon successful completion of your application into membership your details will automatically be included in our membership directory, unless you opt out at the time of your application. The directory will then be distributed to all CIH members for networking purposes.

All members must be:

  • working (paid or unpaid), in horticulture or
  • studying wholly or largely horticulture, or
  • in a branch of science or arts directly linked with horticulture

Horticulture is defined in its widest sense, to include:

  • amenity horticulture, parks, landscaping, botanic/heritage gardens, and the full range of horticulture within leisure industries
  • producing, managing, growing and marketing all edible and decorative horticultural crops
  • allied research, education and consultancy
  • associated supply industries
Academic qualifications and experience requirements
  • Student: No units required. You will be currently studying for an academic qualification that will enable you to qualify to be an Affiliate, Associate or Member.
  • Associate (ACIHort): 5 – 11 units from a combination of the academic and/or work experience given below
  • Member (MCIHort): 12 or more units from a combination of the academic and/or work experience given below
  • Fellow (FCIHort): a Member can be nominated for Fellowship by other Fellows of the Insitute, dependant on experience and individual achievements.
Units awarded for work experience
  • You will be awarded one unit for each year of relevant work experience at appropriate level. Note that half units will be awarded for periods of six months relevant work experience at appropriate level.
  • Your work experience may be paid or voluntary.
  • Relevant placements you have undertaken while studying may also count towards your work experience.
  • Note that only one work/placement will be counted during any given period of time, i.e. if you have a paid job and are also undertaking a study-related placement at the same time, only one of these will be counted towards your work experience total.
Units awarded for academic criteria
  • These are not cumulative, i.e. only the units awarded for the highest qualification will be counted.
  • Equivalent qualifications to those stated will be accepted. The OFQUAL Register of Regulated Qualifications will be used to check equivalences.
  • The maximum number of units that will be credited for academic achievement is 10.
Relevant qualifications in a field related to horticulture
  • PhD: 10 units
  • Masters: 9 units
  • Bachelors Degree (Hons): 8 units
  • Bachelors Degree/Botanic Garden Diploma/RHS Masters: 7 units
  • HND/Foundation Degree: 6 units
  • HNC/Level 4: 5 units
  • Level 3 e.g. NDH, RHS Diploma/Advanced Certificate, Edexcel NCH: 4 units
  • Level 2 e.g. City & Guilds NCH/RHS Certificate: 3 units
Non-relevant qualifications in a field not related to horticulture
  • PhD: 5 units
  • Masters: 4 units
  • Bachelors Degree (Hons): 3.5 units
  • Bachelors Degree:  3 units
  • HND/Foundation Degree: 2.5 units
  • HNC:  2 units

Supporting documentation

Terms of Membership

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture reserves the right to refuse membership without giving reason, and to rescind any membership or subscription offer at any time.

A person’s membership will be renewed annually and automatically, unless the Chartered Institute of Horticulture receives other instruction from the person holding the membership. If a person does not pay their subscription fee within one month of their renewal date the Chartered Institute of Horticulture will lapse your membership without warning. If you wish to reinstate your membership within 6 months of your renewal date, you will need to pay a processing fee of £15. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into account.

Continuation of a person’s membership is subject to adherence to the Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s Code of Professional Conduct. If a person does not adhere to this code they may enter disciplinary proceedings, or have their membership removed entirely, depending on the gravity of the breach.

If a person’s membership has been cancelled, they must immediately remove all reference to the Institute from any professional or non-professional documentation and communication, and must immediately cease using the Institute’s post-nominal letters (ACIHort, MCIHort, FCIHort, CHort). Failure to do so may result in further action.

Chartered Member Competencies

Can be found here

CIH Code of Professional Conduct

Can be found here

Freedom of Speech, Whistle blowing policy

Can be found here