How to Gain IEMA Practitioner Membership (PIEMA)

Your Road to PIEMA: TSW's Comprehensive Guide to IEMA Practitioner Membership

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IEMA Training Centre Logo Are you working at an operational level, pursuing a career in environmental management and sustainability? Do you want to advance your career and demonstrate your competence? If that sounds like you, you might be interested in becoming an IEMA Practitioner Member (PIEMA).

Practitioner membership is regarded as the benchmark for environmental professionals driving change and delivering on sustainability goals in their organisations, projects, products and services.

In this blog post, we explain:

  • All about PIEMA membership and what it means for you
  • The benefits of achieving PIEMA membership
  • How you can achieve IEMA Practitioner membership
  • The two routes to practitioner – the certified course route or the experience route
  • The requirements for taking and passing the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management qualification.

What is IEMA Practitioner Membership?

The membership is a globally recognised professional status that recognises your knowledge and experience as an environmental and sustainability practitioner.

Show up on LinkedIn with PIEMA alongside your name, and you’ll be powering up your career prospects by providing recognition for your knowledge and experience.

IEMA Practitioner Video

Video from IEMA – IEMA Practitioner –

What are the benefits of being a PIEMA member?

As a PIEMA, you will be recognised as a competent and credible professional who can apply your environment and sustainability knowledge and skills in the workplace.

Once you get your PIEMA membership, you will also have access to a range of benefits, such as:

  1. Use of the widely recognised PIEMA suffix next to your name
  2. A subscription to TRANSFORM magazine, which covers the latest news, insights and best practices on environment and sustainability
  3. Exclusive discounts on training courses, events, webinars and publications
  4. Networking opportunities with other PIEMAs and experts across sectors and regions
  5. New opportunities to learn and progress in your career
  6. Continuing professional development (CPD) support to help you maintain your competence, improve your ability, and keep up to date with emerging trends
  7. The opportunity to apply for Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) designation, which is a new title that recognises your level of professional practice within the environmental sector
A colourful PIEMA Benefits Diagram

Image provided by IEMA – PIEMA Benefits –

How can you achieve Practitioner membership with IEMA?

You can take two routes: the certified course route or the direct study route.

#1. The Certified Course Route to PIEMA

The certified qualification route will involve you completing the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management course, which covers the 13 learning outcomes in the Practitioner standard.

Take the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management Qualification

The IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management qualification is designed for professionals who want to comprehensively understand environmental principles and sustainability issues and how they relate to their role.

The course covers topics such as:

  • The global trends and environmental challenges facing society today
  • Environmental principles, policy and legislation
  • The principles of environmental law at local, national, regional, and international levels
  • The methods and management tools used to assess environmental impacts and opportunities at different scales (including impact assessments)
  • The frameworks and standards used to implement effective environmental management systems within organisations
  • The strategies and techniques used to promote sustainable business practices across supply chains, products, services, projects, and operations

To take this course, you will need to have a foundation level of environmental and sustainability knowledge and relevant work experience.

The certificate course will require you to write three knowledge-based assignments to assess your understanding and experience in key areas.

After you successfully complete the written assignments, you’ll be ready to submit your ‘Practitioner Member Assessment Form’. Your training provider will inform IEMA, and they will contact you with all the information you need to do this.

IEMA Training Centre Logo How to take the IEMA Certificate in Environmental Management

Your environmental management qualification can be taken in a classroom, virtually (live online) or e-learning, studied 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 course study Route*

The average price of the IEMA Certificate in environmental management qualification is £2995+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 a fee on top. In this case, the fee should be around £150.

Your annual renewal fee thereafter will be £187.50.

The Certified Fast Track Route

Have you completed the relevant qualification or an IEMA-approved degree within the last three years?

If so, congratulations, you are eligible to fast-track your application. You can skip the exam and hop straight into the written competence assessment.

Applying for the Certified Fast Track

To apply for fast-track, you will need to select this option during your application and upload a valid copy of your certificates.

*Certified Fast Track Cost*

To apply through the certified fast track route, you will need to pay an application fee of £308; this covers your initial application and first year as a member.

The annual renewal fee thereafter is £187.50.

#2. The Direct Study Route to PIEMA

The direct route is suitable for those who already have sufficient environmental and sustainability experience, knowledge and understanding to satisfy the Practitioner standard.

That’s right; if you can provide sufficient evidence, you can avoid having to take the training.

If that sounds like evidence you can provide, you will need to register directly with IEMA.

With this route, you will need to complete the following:

  1. An online examination
  2. A written assessment of competence.

The PIEMA Examination

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

*For more info on the expected knowledge levels, download the Practitioner 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.

The PIEMA Written Assessment of Competence

This is your opportunity to document evidence of how you implement your environmental and sustainability understanding in the workplace. You can explain how you are working to the levels required by the Practitioner standard.

In the IEMA-supplied template, you will need to provide four case studies that illustrate how, in the last 18 months, you have:

  1. Demonstrated consistent effective performance within your organisation
  2. Utilised your mastery and expertise in accordance with IEMA’s Code of Professional Conduct
  3. Learned from your experience and committed to Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Getting Your Application Verified

Once you’ve completed your form, you must identify someone to verify your version of events and the part you played in the examples you provide. Your chosen verifier will need to complete a form and send it back to IEMA.

*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. Following this, you will have 6 months to submit your ‘Practitioner Assessment Form’.

Our Practitioner Assessors will review your assessment, and once they are happy you meet the Practitioner Standard, you’ll be able to use the PIEMA suffix.

Preparing for Your PIEMA Examination and Written Account

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

By completing these steps successfully, you can gain PIEMA status and join a community of professionals driving positive change for business and society.

You can also apply for Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) designation to enhance your credibility and recognition in the environmental sector.

How to Apply for IEMA Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP)

In alignment with IEMA’s Practitioner level, the Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) designation recognises the professional practice of people in the environmental sector.

Across academia, government, industry, consulting, and other public and private sectors, it represents a standard of environmental expertise, practice, and skills.

If you are already a Practitioner of IEMA (PIEMA), you can apply for Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP). When you apply to PIEMA or upgrade from another level, you can apply for REnvP at the same time.

What are the other IEMA member types?

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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