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PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION OF GEOSCIENTISTS

AIG’s Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo) program is Australia’s most rigorous recognition program for continuous professional development by Australian geoscientists. The Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo) program of AIG recognises Fellows and Members who have committed to the maintenance and continuous development of their technical and professional skills and capabilities. This commitment is widely recognised by employers. Importantly, the program provides a means by which self-employed geoscientists and consultants may demonstrate their commitment to continuous professional development to both existing and potential clients. Registered Professional Geoscientist is a voluntary grade of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists membership and is defined in the “guidelines for the registration of geoscientists” AIG, (1996). A geoscientist is defined as “a person who has acceptable tertiary qualifications in geological science from a university or tertiary institution recognised by the Council of the Institute for the time being or who has received adequate industrial training equivalent, in the Council’s opinion, to such tertiary qualifications” and may be taken to mean “one who practises one or more of the geological sciences”. Applicants for registration may nominate one or more Fields of Practice and demonstrate competency suitable for registration in one or more of the following:

  • Mineral Exploration. For geoscientists concerned with the search for mineral deposits, including planning, execution and interpretation of exploration programs (geological, geochemical and geophysical), drill testing of prospects, estimation of resources, regional mapping, etc.
  • Mining. For geoscientists concerned with the economic extraction of mineral deposits, including ore reserve estimation, mining grade control, reconciliations, mining feasibility, etc.
  • Petroleum. For geoscientists concerned with the search for, definition and recovery of petroleum and associated hydrocarbons. This Field of Practice includes geoscientists involved in geophysical and structural determination of petroleum and other hydrocarbon reservoirs, and sedimentary geologists involved in research on the evolution and
    history of sedimentary basins and environments that may host hydrocarbons.
  • Coal. For geoscientists concerned with the search for, definition and recovery of coal. This Field of Practice includes geoscientists involved in the geological and geophysical determination of coal reserves, and sedimentary geologists involved in research on the evolution and history of sedimentary basins and environments that may host coal
    deposits.
  • Hydrogeology. For geoscientists, hydrogeologists, hydrologists and groundwater geologists involved in the identification, measurement and development of water resources, and the protection of aquifers from over-exploitation or contamination.
  • Industrial Minerals. For geoscientists concerned with the search for, evaluation, estimation, economic extraction and beneficiation of the wide Variety of generally non-metallic, non-fuel, rocks and minerals of commercial value. This Field of Practice includes geoscientists involved in the exploration, analysis (mineralogical, petrographic, X-ray methods), mining (particularly quarrying), and processing of commodities such as the raw materials used in the agricultural and chemical industries, the building and construction industries, and precious rocks and minerals (including gemstones).
  • Geotechnical and Engineering. For geoscientists concerned with geological materials and with their geomechanical, geotechnical and engineering properties and applications relating to the construction of buildings, roads, railways, dams and other civil engineering projects and mine excavations. This Field of Practice includes geoscientists who work in the civil
    engineering field, urban development, the stability of geological materials, earthquake studies and seismic research as it pertains to the properties of geological material, mine stability, and erosion studies.
  • Environmental Geoscience. For geoscientists concerned with natural geological events and the interaction of human populations with geological materials and the effects of those populations on the environment or the effects of the environment on human populations and their endeavours. This Field of Practice includes geoscientists involved in contaminated site investigations, oceanographic and meteorological studies, climate research, soil science, geological
    hazards, and geomorphology.
  • Regional Geology. For geoscientists concerned with regional-scale geology, including mapping, basin analysis, and geological processes such as tectonics, metamorphism and metallogeny.
  • Geophysics. For geoscientists specialising in geophysics.
  • Geochemistry. For geoscientists specialising in geochemistry.
  • Information Geoscience. For geoscientists specialising in information management relating to geology, geophysics, geochemistry and geography, as well as editing and publishing geoscientific documents.
  • Other Specialist Geoscience. For geoscientists in other specialist areas. This Field of Practice includes researchers in such diverse fields of geoscience as mineralogy, petrology, volcanology, palaeontology, atmospheric geophysics, and meteorite research.

Notes to consider:

  • The voluntary registered grade of membership is designed to be self-regulatory, meet the minimum requirements of any State or Federal legislation for professional standards, and help maintain professional standards and a high level of competence among geoscience practitioners.
  • The requirements for RPGeo include formal qualification of a tertiary geoscience degree or equivalent approved by the AIG Federal Council, and a minimum of five years of experience of a responsible nature and involving exercise of independent judgement in the nominated Field of Practice.
  • Four referees, two of whom must be AIG members, must attest to the knowledge of the applicant’s professional work and experience in the nominated Field of Practice.
  • The names of applicants for registration are published in the AIG News for peer review and acceptance. Interviews are an option at the discretion of the Registration Board.
  • Registered Professional Geoscientists are required to undergo continuing professional development and to keep a record of the activities undertaken.
  • CPD activities typically include attendance at conferences, undertaking relevant postgraduate education including extension courses, in-house courses, distance learning, on-the-job training and private reading of learned publications.
  • As members of the AIG, Registered Professional Geoscientists are bound by the Institute’s Code of Ethics as a condition of their membership. They may use the postnominal denoting their status, RPGeo or Registered Professional Geoscientist. RPGeos are issued with a stamp identifying the Institute, the position of Registered Professional Geoscientist, the member, and a registered number. This may be used in endorsing reports to identify the author’s status.

Click here to download the Guidelines for applying for Registration as an RPGeo. This document includes further details on what constitutes CPD activities.
If you believe that you would be eligible for Registration, the RPGeo application kit is available from the AIG Secretariat office or on-line (click here to download a kit in pdf format)