Interviews

The path to Chartership

Lucy WilliamsA guest post from Lucy Williams, Petroleum Group Committee Member…

“I celebrated earlier this year when I received a letter from David Manning, President of the Geological Society of London, informing me I had been elected as a Chartered Geologist (post nominal CGeol). It was a proud day for me, but some may ask ‘why’?

I am a geoscientist; I have a geology background, and have worked for the last 24 years in the oil and gas industry. The first 10 years of my career were spent with Chevron Corporation and this is where I really learnt my trade, getting exposure to a wide range of geological provinces on the UK, Norway and Irish continental shelf, but also learning about basins and projects around the world where Chevron was active through in-house global conferences and teaching programmes.

With this strong background, I felt confident to ‘go-it alone’, and spent the next 10 years as a consultant. As a consultant, the client hires you for your expertise, but that is not to say career progression is put on hold. As you will all know, one of the great things about our industry is the learning never stops, and during that time I’ve worked in new basins in Africa, the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

CGeol Logo FINALThe position of Chartered Geologist of the Geological Society of London was introduced in 1990. As a young geologist, I was aware of the path to professional accreditation, but back then most companies, Chevron included, were not aware of the benefits to them and us, of attaining the Chartered status as part of our career development. At the same time, in my early 20s I wasn’t especially confident, and didn’t feel ready to step onto the ladder that would take me to what I considered the lofty heights of a CGeol. If I had, I think it’s fair to say, I’d have been in this position many years sooner, and those 5 letters could have helped in job hunting and business dealings to demonstrate I was a competent professional. It’s great to hear that some companies do now encourage staff to attain chartership as part of their continued development, although I would urge more do so.

So, coming back to the start, why was it a proud day for me? Don’t let me fool you into thinking it’s easy to become a CGeol. There are clear competencies in specific criteria to demonstrate, and that does require time in industry to achieve……and maintain. It is not a requirement to become chartered to practice as a professional geologist. We might ask ourselves ‘why not?’, but that’s for another article. These days some of my responsibilities involve for example, internal reporting of prospect volumes and field reserves, and liaison with the external auditor. I can have cause to meet with regulatory officials, and government bodies in the countries in which we operate. I believe (I hope) it gives confidence and credibility to be able to say I’m chartered. Above all, I am proud that the Geological Society recognise my competency built up over the years.

PG LogoI couldn’t end the article without a plug for the Petroleum Group. One of our key aims is to organise conferences related to the oil and gas industry, and attendance of those conferences can count towards your CPD. All the information you need to know about how to become a Chartered Geologist can be found at: www.geolsoc.org.uk/chartership. Don’t wait. Go for it, and start the path to Chartership.”

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