Grades of Membership
There are several grades of membership available, to reflect your interest and professional experience.
Choose the best grade for you, or, if you are not sure what grade to choose, contact us.
There are two types of membership, one is aimed at tracking your career progression:
- Student – Annual cost: £32 in the 1st year, £48 in subsequent years
An introductory membership for those studying technical communications
- Junior – Annual cost: £96
The entry level membership for professionals starting out in the field
- Member – Annual cost: £112
For experienced technical communicators
- Retired Member – Annual cost: £56
- Fellow – Annual cost: £112
This grade recognises those with substantial experience in senior technical communication roles
An application to upgrade to Fellow will be considered for those who meet the criteria
- Retired Fellow – Annual cost: £56
Or, if you do not plan on progressing through the membership grades, you can choose a business or associate membership:
- Associate – Annual cost: £96
If you are interested in technical communications
- Retired Associate – Annual cost: £48
- Business affiliate: For businesses with an interest in technical communication
For more information, see Business affiliates
Ways to save
Remember that you can save money on your membership in several different ways:
- Group discounts for multiple members in the same company renewing or joining at the same time
- Recommend-a-friend discount: if a new member joins by 31st January on your recommendation then they won’t have to pay the joining fee and you’ll get £5 off your membership fee for every member you sign up.
Contact the ISTC office for information about these discounts.
Detailed membership information
The rules governing membership of this Institute are detailed in Articles of Association.
If you apply to join the ISTC, your application is considered by the membership committee and, if accepted, you are invited to join at an appropriate level. Requests for a membership upgrade are also considered by the membership committee.
The ISTC is bound by the Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association that define the basis on which it operates. Everyone within the ISTC is expected to follow the Code of Professional Practice and the policies of the ISTC. All of these documents are available on the Governance page.
Fellows (FISTCs) and Members (MISTCs) are collectively known as Corporate Members and have voting rights on ISTC issues. Each Corporate Member is responsible for the liability of the ISTC (if it should close) up to a maximum of £5.00 (five pounds). See item 7 of the Memorandum of Association.
Fellows shall be those persons admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion, and who:
- have been corporate members for at least two years and:
- have held a responsible position in the field of scientific or technical communication for at least four years and can satisfy the Council that they either:
- have a comprehensive knowledge of the techniques of scientific or technical communication
have a special knowledge of some aspect of scientific or technical communication.
Members shall be those persons admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion and who either:
- possess an acceptable qualification and have had at least five years’ experience of a type acceptable to the Council, of which they must have spent at least two years in the practice of scientific or technical communication in a responsible position or:
- have had at least five years’ experience in the practice of technical communication, three years of which must have been in a responsible position, and can satisfy the Council that they have a comprehensive knowledge of the techniques of scientific or technical communication.
Honorary Fellows, Associate Members, Student Members, Junior Members, and Business Affiliates are collectively known as Non-corporate Members and, whilst enjoying the benefits of membership, do not have voting rights on ISTC issues.
Honorary Fellows shall be those persons elected to the grade by the Council at its absolute discretion and who in the opinion of the Council have rendered outstanding service to the profession of scientific and technical communication. The number of Honorary Fellows shall not at any time exceed twenty (20). Recommended to Council by the Membership Committee.
Junior Members shall be those persons admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion and who are active in the profession but have not yet attained sufficient experience for full membership.
Typically, Junior Members will already meet some of the criteria for the Member grade. On admitting an applicant at Junior grade, the ISTC will suggest a likely suitable time for the junior to apply for full membership.
Associate Members shall be those persons admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion and who wish to be associated with the Institute to further their knowledge of scientific and technical communication.
Students shall be those persons admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion and who:
- have enrolled in a formal course of further education that will eventually enable them to undertake duties in the field of scientific and technical communication, or:
- are in full-time employment in the field of scientific and technical communication and are studying by on-the-job training or otherwise with the intention of achieving a qualification in a subject or subjects relevant to scientific and technical communication.
Student Members must apply for a transfer to the grade of Junior Member immediately after they have passed an appropriate examination or examinations in a subject relevant to scientific and technical communication. In other cases membership in this grade will be reviewed not later than three years after admission.
Business Affiliates shall be those organisations (Businesses, Companies, and Educational Establishments) admitted by the Council at its absolute discretion and who:
- employ scientific and technical communicators as may from time to time be determined by the Council and as set out in the Bye-laws of the Institute and:
- provide education or training in the field of scientific and technical communication as may from time to time be determined by the Council as set out in the Bye-laws of the Institute.
See Business Affiliates for further details on the benefits enjoyed by Business Affiliates and the criteria necessary to become a Business Affiliate of the ISTC.