Membership Application Approval Process

Australian Institute of Geoscientists > About AIG > Membership > Membership Applications > Membership Application Approval Process


Membership applications are only accepted by AIG from individual applicants who must meet all of the requirements of membership pertaining to the grade of membership at which admission is being sought. AIG does not accept company members.

AIG has responded to recent changes to geoscience degree undergraduate curricula at some Australian universities by introducing educational requirements for institute membership.

Geoscience knowledge requirements for new membership applications have recently been implemented by the Institute.  The objectives of this initiative are to ensure AIG members have core geoscience knowledge and competencies in order to facilitate best practice and to meet the key object of a professional body to maintain standards and ultimately protect the public.

Read further information on the knowledge requirements here.

  • A non-refundable administration fee is payable on receipt of a completed application. Payment of the application fee MUST accompany the application.
  • Membership dues will be charged upon successful endorsement of an applicant.
  • 10% GST will apply to all Australian residents.
  • Applicants must ensure that their proposers are willing to act in that capacity.

Membership Guidelines can be downloaded here.

Member (MAIG)

Applicants for admission as a member of AIG must possess:

  • a degree qualification in geoscience;
  • a minimum of five years relevant, post graduate professional experience that includes a minimum of three years where the applicant has been in a position requiring regular and routine exercise of professional judgement and discretion.

Membership applications must be:

  • accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s degree, academic transcript and current curriculum vitae;
  • supported by at least two existing Members or Fellows of the Institute with direct personal knowledge of the applicant’s professional experience. Persons who are full members of JORC Recognised Professional Organisations may be considered to act as Proposers. (ROPO’s can be found at maintenance of AIG standards depends to a great extent on the degree of responsibility exercised by proposers. Proposers must not rely on hearsay and must personally know this information to be true; and,
  • a signed statement that the applicant agrees to abide by AIG’s Code of Ethics (this is incorporated into the membership application form).

All applications are assessed by the Membership Committee which is a Permanent Committee of the AIG Board. The membership committee undertakes a range of rigorous checks that may include verification of the authenticity of academic qualifications; assessing the equivalence of overseas qualifications with Australian academic qualifications by reference to Australian Government databases, and interviews with the applicant and members supporting the application. Upon completion of this review, the Membership Committee may recommend acceptance of the application by the AIG Board which is ultimately responsible for the approval of each application. Each application must be approved by a majority of Directors.

AIG does not assess or accredit geoscience courses offered by Australian universities. All Universities are required to have all degree programmes independently assessed by both the University Council and Commonwealth educational authorities before a degree can be awarded. This accreditation process is accepted by the Institute as ensuring the quality of geoscience qualifications offered to students in Australia. Most geoscience degree programmes involve a minimum of four years of undergraduate study.

Fellow (FAIG)

The admission criteria and assessment process for applications for admission as, or upgrade to Fellow are similar to those of Member with several, notable exceptions:

  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have achieved prominence in the geoscience profession and / or made a substantial and sustained contribution to the profession.
  • Applicants must possess a minimum of 15 years postgraduate experience; and,
  • the application must be approved unanimously by the AIG Board.

The applicant’s prominence or contribution to the geoscience profession is assessed by means of a statement detailing how these criteria have been satisfied furnished by the applicant.

Guidelines for Fellowship can be downloaded here.


Applications for admission as a Graduate are received from applicants who meet all of the requirements for admission as Member, apart from required postgraduate experience. Graduates are expected to upgrade to Member, requiring assessment of a new, complete membership application (with the exception of their academic qualifications and transcripts where these are held on file by the Institute) when they attain the required postgraduate experience.

Two proposers must be nominated to confirm that the applicant is a genuine candidate but the proposers must have full AIG membership (MAIG or FAIG).


Student membership of AIG is available to all full-time and part-time students engaged in undergraduate or Honours degree studies majoring in a geoscience field at a recognised tertiary institution. Student members must have their enrolment confirmed by a member of staff of the tertiary institution.


Associate membership is available to anyone with an interest in geoscience.

How to join

We have implemented an online system for registration which enable applicants for membership to lodge the required information and supporting documentation online.

Suspension or Termination of Membership

AIG membership may be suspended or revoked in response to a breach of AIG’s Code of Ethics. These measures form part of a package of sanctions that may be imposed by the Board for disciplinary purposes. Complaints against a member may be lodged in writing by any individual or organisation, anywhere in the world. All complaints are actively pursued by AIG through a multiple stage process:

Complaints are initially referred to a Complaints Committee that determines the validity of the complaint. The Complaints Committee may recommend measures that must be taken by the member to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved in this manner, it is presented to the Ethics and Standards Committee.

The Ethics and Standards Committee investigates all complaints referred to it and, if the member is found to have a complaint to answer, recommends the action required to address the complaint to the AIG Board.

The Board will consider an appeal from the member against the Ethics and Standards Committee finding and recommendations, or take disciplinary action against the member that may extend to suspension of membership or expulsion.

The following diagram helps to clarify the process described above.

aig complaints process

AIG Complaints Process

The Complaints Committee has an investigative role, the Ethics and Standards Committee makes findings and decisions in relation to the offence and penalties, and the Board hears appeals against decisions. The Ethics and Standards Committee or the Board will decide in consultation with the respondent and complainant the most suitable form of proceedings.

The Complaints Committee is a permanent committee of the AIG Board of up to five members, whose cumulative experience covers reporting of exploration results, valuation of mineral properties, estimates of resources and ore reserves, and broad professional geoscience practice. Only one or two members are required to investigate a particular complaint.

Membership of the Ethics and Standards Committee would be drawn from up to five senior members of the AIG, one of whom, ideally, would have some legal or administrative procedure experience. Up to three members would be required to sit on a particular complaint.

This permanent committee of the Board has a judicial role involving:

review of the information and recommendations in the complaint file provided by the Complaints Committee;

  • an opportunity, including if requested by the respondent or the Ethics and Standards Committee; a hearing for the respondent;
  • dismissal of the complaint, if appropriate; • making findings relating to the admissibility of evidence, degree of negligence versus intent to breach one or more of the codes, and appropriate penalty taking into account previous professional history of respondent and early admissions of culpability; and • referring the investigation file back to the Complaints Committee if insufficient information was available to make a finding.

Complaints and Ethics and Standards actions are dealt with in strict confidence. Details of adverse Ethics and Standards Committee findings leading to disciplinary action are published for the information of AIG members.

Complaints and breaches of AIG’s Code of Ethics are investigated and, if necessary, pursued against a member irrespective of where the basis for the complaint occurred.

The Ethics and Standards Committee has wide discretion to decide on one or more penalties fitting the circumstances of each offence. Penalties range from cautions and reprimands for minor offences, through to demotion to a lower membership grade, suspension of membership, naming of members found guilty in an AIG publication, and expulsion from membership in more serious cases. An apology, published, or written or verbal may form part of the penalty.

Last Updated 1 July 2022