Application tips

Starting your application? Here are our tips to make your experience as smooth as possible:​

1. Set aside some time

Applications for Affiliates don't take long - roughly ten minutes.

An application for one of the higher assessed levels - Associate (AICRS) or Member (MICRS) - will take longer, and we recommend setting aside between three and five hours. Book in a few time slots in your diary and treat it as you would a job application or a performance review. But don't worry, it doesn't need to be done all at once. Use the 'Save my progress' button on the form to return to it another time.

Our assessors want to hear about your experience so do your achievements justice by giving full and descriptive answers.

And it will be time well spent. In the words of one member ...

"Knowing that my application had been assessed by a group of my peers made the time I’d invested worthwhile."


2. Using examples more than once

We encourage you to use as many different examples as possible​​ to demonstrate your experience of the Competency Framework. But we also accept that any one project / achievement / initiative might demonstrate more than one aspect of the Framework. So don't worry about using the same example more than once, and cross-referencing to other parts of your application where necessary.

Just make sure you clearly articulate how your experience is relevant to the specific Core Competence or Guiding Principle. Don't assume your assessor will make the connection.

As an example, writing your annual CR report requires a range of skills including stakeholder engagement and research and analysis.


3. Get to ​know our Competency Framework

The ICRS Competency Framework explains what CR and sustainability professionals need to be effective and inspiring in their jobs.

The Framework is an important part of our application and assessment process, not to mention our approach to Continuing Professional Development.

It's worth having an understanding of the Framework before applying as an Associate or Member. It will make your application much easier to complete.


4. It's all about you, so talk about your achievements

This is your personal application for membership. We want to know about your achievements, not those of your organisation. Of course, the two can be closely related but they are not necessarily the same.

Tell us about your role and how you contributed to improving CR and sustainability performance.

If you mention using a consultancy during a project, always explain how you interacted and the final outcome.


5. Years of service doesn't always indicate achievement

Time spent working in CR and sustainability matters, but it's not the only measure of success.

Take time in your application to explain the positive impact you have had, even if you’ve been in the sector for a long time.

And if you have a relevant Masters or PhD in CRS, this could also help your application. Read about the Academic Fast Track.


6. Clarity is crucial

We're looking for straightforward, plain English in your application.

And when it comes to length, short answers aren't necessarily a bad thing - just as long answers aren't always a sign of quality.

Your assessor needs enough detail from you to have a good understanding of your career, experience and achievements.


7. Update your CV / LinkedIn profile

We ask for your career history so it's worth updating your CV or LinkedIn profile.


8. Read the ICRS Code of Conduct

Members of the ICRS must uphold the Code of Conduct. It sets expectations for your honest and ethical behaviour while upholding and promoting the reputation of the Institute and the profession.


9. Commit to Continuing Professional Development

Associates and Members of the Institute commit to Continuing Professional Development to ensure your skills and knowledge are up to date and fit for the job at hand.

Our scheme does not set target hours or points, but does ask you to plan and record what you are doing to improve in a CPD Log. Find out more about our approach to CPD:


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