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What is the best membership category for you?

If you are looking to join the CIPHE your first question may be ‘what is the right category for me?’ As CIPHE membership is for individuals, rather than businesses, membership categories depend on skills, qualifications and experience, 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.

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):
This category is the first to hold designatory letters. Designed for those holding NVQ Level 2 or City & Guilds Craft Certificate (circa. 1980), 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, as long as the member has extensive practical experience supported by trade references and, where necessary, an inspection.

Member (MCIPHE):
This level is the gold star of CIPHE membership, 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.

Fellow (FCIPHE):
This membership level denotes those who are at the pinnacle of their careers. Having either distinguished themselves through their skill level and learning while on the tools, or moved into other areas such as public health, this category is for those who are in management positions or have attained further qualifications such as IEng and CEng.

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.

To find out more about CIPHE membership visit