How to Gain IEMA Associate Membership (AIEMA)

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IEMA Training Centre Logo Are you looking to embark on a fulfilling journey in environmental management and sustainability? Obtaining IEMA Associate Membership (AIEMA) could serve as your gateway to a world of career opportunities.

In recent years, the global focus on environmental issues and sustainability has reached unprecedented heights. This heightened awareness has led to a surge in demand for skilled professionals who can effectively address and manage the challenges that come with creating a sustainable future.

Fulfil Your Environmental Ambitions

As the world continues to prioritise environmental protection, IEMA associate membership is a great way for ambitious individuals to explore rewarding careers in this ever-expanding field.

By becoming a member, you’ll be well-equipped to contribute to the global sustainability movement while paving the way for a successful career in this increasingly important sector.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline the steps to becoming an IEMA Associate Member and detail the benefits of joining this prestigious organisation.

In this blog post, we explain:

  • All about AIEMA membership and what it means for you
  • The benefits of achieving membership
  • The two routes to Associate – the certified course route or the experience route
  • The requirements for taking and passing the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management qualification.

What is IEMA Associate Membership?

IEMA Associate membership is your entry route to forging a career in a fast-growing sector.

As an Associate member, you will get to use the AIEMA professional suffix after your name, illustrating your credentials for all to see.

Not only that, you’ll be recognised for the environmental and sustainability knowledge you’ve accumulated through your work, while also gaining access to a wealth of resources and networking opportunities.

Who should consider Associate IEMA membership?

Associate IEMA membership is designed for professionals that wish to make their mark in an environment and sustainability role. It’s perfect if you want to forge a career and have a greater impact on the world we live in.

This is the starting point for environment and sustainability professionals. With your continued application, you can continue the journey to achieve Practitioner membership and beyond.

IEMA Associate Video

Video from IEMA – IEMA Associate –

What are the benefits of being an AIEMA member?

Aiema benefits chart

Image provided by IEMA – AIEMA Benefits –

Once you get your AIEMA membership, you will gain access to a range of benefits, such as:

  1. The ability to use the AIEMA suffix — a way to prove to employers, clients and colleagues that you’re on a great career path.
  2. A subscription to TRANSFORM magazine – will give you up-to-the-minute knowledge on environmental and sustainability practices and legislation change.
  3. Regular invitations to IEMA events – give great opportunities to network with other professionals and to continually build your knowledge.
  4. Access to IEMA guidance – will help you contend with the day-to-day projects and tasks you face in your job.
  5. Invitations to Participate in IEMA’s surveys and consultations – and your chance to influence policies and regulations that affect your work

How can you achieve Associate membership with IEMA?

To get your AIEMA ‘badge’ you have two available routes: the certified course route or the direct study route.

1) The Certified Course Route

The path most trodden is the certified course route, which requires you to complete an IEMA-accredited course, namely the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management course.

Take the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management Qualification

The IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management qualification is for those starting out in, or switching to, an environment or sustainability-focused career.

By passing the foundation course, you will get one year’s free membership.

The course covers topics such as:

  • Implications of global trends for the environment, society, the economy and organisations
  • Sustainable business/governance principles and their relationship with organisations, products and services
  • Environmental principles and their relationship with organisations, products and services
  • Major policy and legislation and their implications for organisations, products and services
  • Tools, techniques, systems and practices used to improve sustainability performance
  • Innovation and other leading practices in developing sustainable products and services and providing sustainable solutions
  • How to collect, analyse, and evaluate data
  • Research and planning to provide sustainable solutions
  • Engaging stakeholders, effective communication and capturing feedback
  • Tools and techniques to identify opportunities and risks
  • Improving performance
  • Change and transformation to improve sustainability
How to take the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management

Your environmental foundation qualification can be taken in a classroom, virtually (live online), or e-learning, studying at your own pace.

Most learners decide to take the virtual training as it provides the flexibility to study from home or in their own organisations while having access to an expert tutor and a peer group to network and share with.

Click here to book your course or find out more

Cost of the Foundation course study Route

The average price of the qualification is £995+VAT, but prices can vary depending on the IEMA training provider you take the training with.

Most providers include your IEMA membership fee in the course cost, though some will charge the fee on top of the course. In this case, the fee should be around £245.50

Your annual renewal fee thereafter will be £154.50.

2) The Direct Study Route

If you possess the necessary knowledge, you can fast forward to registering for the exam direct with IEMA.

IEMA has a schedule of monthly exams for you to pick from, and you have the option to choose between an environment or sustainability version.

The online multiple-choice exam lasts one hour.

If you have completed the IEMA Foundation Certificate within the past three years, you may qualify for fast-tracking your application.

During the application process, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate your eligibility for fast-tracking and provide a valid copy of your course certificate dated within the past three years.

The Examination

The online examination is a one-hour multiple-choice affair. It will assess whether you are equipped with the knowledge required of an Associate member.

For more info on the expected knowledge levels, download the Associate membership standard to see an outline of the learning outcomes and content required at this level.

There are two versions of the examination you can choose from when you apply:

  • The environment version is assessed on the environment-related learning outcomes in the standard.
  • The sustainability version is assessed on the environment and socio-economic-related learning outcomes.

You can choose the version you prefer when you apply.

Preparing for Your AIEMA Examination

There are various resources and support provided by IEMA, such as:

By completing these steps successfully, you will get your associate membership status and join a community of professionals driving positive change for business and society.

Direct Route Cost

To apply through the direct route, you will need to pay an application fee of £308, which will cover your initial application and your first year as a member.

The annual subscription renewal fee thereafter is £187.50.

How to Apply Through the Direct STUDY Route

To apply for the direct route, you will need to register online and select the month in which you’d like to sit the examination element.

Associate membership renewal:

To renew your membership when it’s due, log into your MyIEMA account, pay your membership fee and verify your continued commitment to continued professional development.

That’s it; once done, your access to IEMA membership benefits will continue.

Associate IEMA Membership Application

To complete your application for the direct route you will need to complete the form on IEMA’s website – Click here for IEMA’s application form.

IEMA’s 2023 Exam Schedule

Click here to download the IEMA’s 2023 Exam Schedule

Pathways Before and After Associate Membership

Not sure if the associate membership is right for you? 

If you’re a bit further down the road on your Environmental journey, you might want to consider Practitioner membership

There are a number of IEMA Memberships that you can apply for depending on your experience and role. See the below table for an overview of each:

IEMA Membership TypeSuffixWho is it for?Ways to Achieve MembershipApplication and Year 1 FeesAnnual Renewal Fee
Graduate (Entry)GradIEMAUniversity graduatesProof of graduation from an approved relevant degree or programme£143.50£143.50
Associate (Entry)AIEMAProfessional people looking to make a bigger impactOnline exam or an IEMA accredited course£245.50£154.50
Practitioner (Operational)PIEMAOperational professionalsOnline professional assessment - Experience or Qualification Required£308.00£187.50
Full (Managerial)MIEMAExperienced environment & sustainability professionalsOnline Application, Written Submission and Online Interview£500.00£205.00
Fellow (Leadership)FIEMAProven, visionary leaders in business and across the sustainability professionCase Study Submission and Peer Review£529.00£234.00
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Matthew Channell
Matthew is TSW Training’s Commercial Director. He writes about performance focussed learning, leadership, and management approaches that have real-world, sustainable impact.
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