Top tips on how to apply
About to start your ICRS application? Here are our top tips for making the process go smoothly:
- Set aside some time
It takes time to complete an application and show evidence of your achievements against the competency framework. So, book in a few time slots in your diary and treat it as you would a job application or a performance review: the application should take 3-5 hours for Associate and Member level. It will be time well spent: as one member told us ‘Knowing that my application had been assessed by a group of my peers made the time I’d invested worthwhile.’
- Using examples more than once
You may have demonstrated more than one Core Competence and Guiding Principle in a single project or achievement in your career. For example, writing an annual CR report may require stakeholder engagement and research and analysis. We encourage you to use as many different examples as possible but we are happy for you to repeat examples of projects or achievements throughout your application and you can cross reference previous evidence in your application form. However, please make sure that you explain how your example is relevant to the specific Core Competence or Guiding Principle that you are trying to demonstrate. Do not assume that the assessor will automatically make the connection.
- Get to know the ICRS Competency Framework
The ICRS Competency Framework outlines what CR and sustainability professionals need to be effective and inspiring. It is core to the application and assessment process as well as our approach to members’ continuing professional development. Familiarise yourself with it before applying to be an Associate or Member, so that the requirements of the application process make sense.
- It's about you as an individual - so highlight your personal achievements
This is your personal application for membership and so we want to know about your own achievements and not those of your organisation. The two may, of course, be closely related but they are not necessarily the same thing. Tell us about the difference you have personally made and how you have contributed to improving CR and sustainability performance. If you mention using XYZ Consultancy always explain how you interacted with them and what the outcome was.
- Don’t confuse years of service with impact
Time spent working in CR and sustainability matters, which is why we have time-based criteria for membership. But they are not the only criteria, so do take time to show evidence of the positive impact you have had even if you’ve been in the field for a considerable period. It’s unlikely you’ve spent all that time with nothing to show for it so take the opportunity to highlight what you have achieved.
- Be clear in your communications
While a short application isn’t necessarily a bad one (and a long one not always a sign of its quality) you will need to answer in sufficient depth to help the assessor understand what you are evidencing. We’re not looking for elegant prose, just straightforward plain English.
- Update your CV/Linked-In profile
You need to give details of job roles and employers so if your CV hasn’t been touched for a while, take a moment to update it so that you are prepared to provide all that’s required for your application. If your LinkedIn profile is more up to date, having that open as you complete your application can be a big help.
- Read the ICRS Code of Conduct
All members of the ICRS must uphold the Code of Conduct, so please read it before you apply to join. This is about your personal commitment to honest and ethical behaviour and upholding and promoting the reputation of the ICRS and our profession, so it is important stuff.
- Be ready to commit to your continuing professional development
All members of the ICRS (excluding Affiliates) commit to continuing professional development. We don’t have a complicated scheme that requires you to clock up points or hours but you do need to plan and record what you are doing to develop your knowledge and skills.