Time to upgrade? What CIPHE membership level are you?


In CIPHE membership, Membership Benefits

The plumbing and heating industry holds a vast array of career paths, and as such the CIPHE has a number of different membership levels too. For those who are looking to join, or current members who are looking to progress through the ranks, it can be handy to know what level you can apply for or move up in to.

As CIPHE membership is for individuals, rather than businesses, membership categories depend on skills, qualifications and experience you hold, not the size of the business you own.

The CIPHE has six levels of membership, ranging from those who have just entered into an apprenticeship, to those who have a degree level qualification and extensive management experience. There’s even a level for those who work in the industry in role that doesn’t call for industry qualifications (e.g., plumbing or HVAC journalist), who supports the CIPHE’s aims and objectives. We take a look at the different levels below:


For those just starting out in the industry, the Trainee category is especially designed for those studying for an accredited qualification in a plumbing or heating discipline. Trainee members have not yet qualified in their chosen field but are keen to be recognised with the only professional body for their industry from the very beginning of their career.


This category is for those who have obtained either City & Guilds Technical Certificate or an NVQ Level 2. This level bridges the gap between Trainee and Associate. It’s for those who have already obtained entry-level qualifications but require further practical experience to reach the requirements of Associate membership.

Associate (ACIPHE):

The first membership grade to carry designatory letters. Designed for those holding NVQ Level 2 or City & Guilds Craft Certificate, this level demands the member also has appropriate practical experience of at least 1-year post-NVQ experience. For those who do not hold recognised qualifications, it is also possible to join the CIPHE at this level, with extensive practical experience supported by trade references and Assessment via a Professional Standards Inspection.

Member (MCIPHE):

The gold star of CIPHE membership, and the level most people aim to achieve. ‘Member’ level shows that the tradesperson holds NVQ Level 3 or City & Guilds Advanced Craft Certificate, along with appropriate practical experience. Those who attain this level have the designatory letters MCIPHE after their name, giving them instant recognition industry wide of the qualifications and skill level they hold. Existing Associate members with five years of unbroken membership and a complete CPD record are eligible to upgrade to become a Member.

Fellow (FCIPHE):

The highest category of individual membership. A Fellow will be employed in a senior managerial position and must be registered with the Engineering Council as Eng Tech, IEng or CEng. A Fellow is somebody who has a proven track record of advancing the cause of the CIPHE and the wider plumbing and heating industry.


This level is open to anyone who is connected with the plumbing and heating industry and supports the work of the CIPHE. Companions do not have to hold industry qualifications or experience.

So, if you think it's time to move up a membership level, or you are thinking of joining for the first time, get in touch with the CIPHE’s membership department on 01708 463116 or email membership@ciphe.org.uk