CILIP Membership 2018: fit for the future

Kate Arnold on CILIP's new membership model

Dear Members,

In 2015, CILIP consulted widely with members and non-members about the future of the profession and our role in supporting it. The resulting Action Plan 2016-2020 sets out our ambition to:

  • Improve the value we provide for members
  • Grow our membership base
  • Increase our influence and impact
  • Deliver on our role as set out in our Royal Charter

The new membership model is an essential next step in achieving the kind of visible, influential professional body that the sector needs. CILIP currently represents around 18% of the UK’s library, information and knowledge management workforce. This new model enables us both to improve the benefits for existing members and reach out to new members.

We know that we need to support low-income professionals, students and lone workers and at the same time we need a model which works across the whole profession and encourages more people to take up Professional Registration. This new model has been extensively researched and represents the best balance between being more affordable for more people and enabling us to deliver our work on behalf of members. The model has been designed explicitly to support growth, and if it is voted through the Trustees and I will be carefully monitoring it to ensure that it is as fair as possible. Of course, the more people that join, the more we can do to make CILIP membership affordable for people on lower incomes.

The CILIP Trustees and I hope that you will support this new model and enable us to take the next step into CILIP’s future as the lead independent voice for our profession.


Kate Arnold, President, CILIP

CILIP Membership 2018

CILIP membership is changing. We are proposing a new approach that will be better value for money, be open and inclusive, provide more ways to support our cause and more tailored benefits. If agreed by members it will launch in January 2018. This is part of a wider change in CILIP, one that drives growth and dynamic and engaging support of the profession.

Following testing some improvements have been made to meet the needs of sector, now and in the future.

This guide explains:

Key changes introduced since the initial model announcement are highlighted below and if you are interested in registering your proxy vote, head here (current members only).

How it will work

The new approach will provide better value for money and be more affordable.

Membership is open to all - whether you are studying, starting out in your career, retired, developing your professional expertise, or an aspiring leader. Benefits have been selected to provide relevant services, whichever category is right for you and your career.

The three levels of Professional Registration – Certification, Chartership and Fellowship demonstrate your skills and expertise, improve your earnings potential and provide new opportunities in your career. By adding the Leaders’ Network to your membership you will be able to access exclusive opportunities and resources to develop your leadership skills and experience.

Alongside membership we are introducing new ways to get behind our cause, by becoming a supporter and donating to our causes.

For a quick summary of the key points for the final model, take a look at the slides below.

How the approach has changed since testing

Following testing on the proposed model it was decided to introduce some changes. Key comments included:

  • While the proposed model is cheaper than the current one, some concerns were raised about affordability for some members
  • Part-time workers in leadership roles and aspiring leaders felt the Leaders’ Network could be more affordable.
  • Members wanted more details about what’s involved and the benefits of the Leaders’ Network.
  • An interest in more details about the new approach to membership and how current categories fit.

In response to these comments we have:

  • Revised the concession structure, making it even more affordable
  • Introduced a concession band for the Leaders’ Network
  • Included new services for the Leaders' Network
  • Provided more detailed information about the proposed model - all of which can be found on this web page

We will also be exploring new ways in which we can support our international members.

New membership categories and services

Being part of CILIP is an investment in your career and professional future. By being a member you will:

  • Belong to a wider professional community via Regional Member Networks
  • Enhance your career through CPD and learning opportunities
  • Gain professional recognition with postnominals (ACLIP, MCLIP, FCLIP)
  • Get latest sector news and developments from Update magazine
  • Join the debate, support the profession and have your voice heard

CILIP supports you every step of the way through a range of benefits and recognition. Further detail about these can be found below.

At a glance…

There are three categories of membership – Student, Member and Registered Professional.

Rather than having a dedicated category for members living overseas, you can now select the category most appropriate to you. For those who are retired, you can join any category and benefit from appropriate concessionary rates.

A summary of the associated services provided to members can be found immediately below. A more detailed table can be found here.

Proposed CILIP Membership Benefits


Anyone studying full time on a graduate level degree programme in any information and library related subject can benefit from discounted Student Membership. 


  • Dedicated news email
  • Access to dedicated grants
  • Digital edition of Update magazine


Anyone can become a Member. It is the entry-level category for people working in the information, knowledge and library sector. 


  • Continuous Professional Development opportunities
  • Interactive skills map and development tool
  • Specialist and local networking and events
  • Journals, Update magazine and weekly news email
  • Career support and employment law advice
  • Support working towards Professional Registration through our mentor scheme

Registered Professional 

Our three levels of Professional Registration – Certification, Chartership and Fellowship – demonstrate your skills, expertise and professionalism. 


  • In addition to all the benefits that Members receive, you will be entitled to
  • Easy and free annual revalidation to prove your skills are up to date
  • Demonstrate your commitment to CPD and skills development by being published on the public Register of Professionals

Revalidating Certification, Chartership and Fellowship demonstrates your ongoing commitment to keeping your skills and expertise up to date. While revalidating annually is encouraged, it is not mandatory and will not affect the use of your postnominals (so long as you remain a member).

Leaders’ Network

If you are in a leadership role or an aspiring leader this new enhancement to your membership will provide exclusive support and recognition to excel. Anyone can decide to join the Leaders’ Network, whether you lead a large service, are a solo professional, consultant or are developing your career towards leadership.

CILIP have also partnered with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to provide a suite of services and resources to develop your leadership and management abilities even further. As an internationally recognised expert body in this field, you can be assured of valuable CPD and learning opportunities. In essence belonging to the Leaders’ Network will give you two memberships for the price of one.

In addition to all the benefits you will receive as a Member or Registered Professional you will receive:

  • Dedicated leadership CPD resources and activities
  • Affiliate membership status with CMI and access to an amazing variety of resources
  • Webinars on a range of topics including strategic management and developing leadership skills
  • Dedicated networking opportunities through events and discussions on webinars and the VLE
  • Tailored news and information

There are two price points: the full rate or the concession. Those earning over £20,000 pa pay £22 in 10 instalments (or £220 a year). If you earn less than £20,000 pa, you will be entitled to the concession rate at £18 in 10 instalments (or £180 per year). There are no additional fees and in addition to belonging to the Leaders’ Network you will receive all benefits of membership, including postnominals if you have a level of Professional Registration.  

Additional information about the Leaders’ Network can be found here.

Supporters and donors

We believe that a fair, open and prosperous society relies on access to information and knowledge. We know that libraries and information services make communities stronger, support research and innovation, and help businesses grow.

We will make it easier to support our cause by:

  • Encouraging people from outside the sector to become supporters and donate at least £20 a year 
  • Seeking donations to the CILIP Library Fund and CILIP Benevolent Fund
  • Helping people to support legacies and to remember us in their will

To introduce the new approach members need to approve it by voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 23 March 2017 at Ridgmount St, London. The voting is conducted as per the Companies Act 2006 which states that votes are counted by hands in the room, but as all members have a right to vote; hence members who can’t attend will also be able to vote electronically, by proxy.

Introducing the new model is dependent on current CILIP members approving it by a member vote. All eligible members are encouraged to take part. In order for the new model to be adopted, there needs to be a majority vote of over 50% in favour.

Eligible members are those that are current on the date of the EGM, i.e. are on the current register and fully up to date with their subscriptions.

If you cannot make it but would like to have your voice heard, register your proxy vote online (current members only). 

CILIP Membership 2018 additional details (FAQs)

About the Leaders’ Network

Who is eligible?

Anyone! Membership of the Leaders’ Network is open to anyone would like to make use of the services associate with this enhancement. It has been created to support those in leadership or management roles AND those who are aspiring to those roles.

Are there entry requirements?

No. Anyone who would like to join the Leaders’ Network can do so, provided you have paid the annual subscription.

How much is it? Do I pay an additional fee on top of my other membership subscription?

The annual subscription to the Network is £220. If you earn less than £20,000 a year the concessionary rate is £180 per year. You will receive all the benefits of the Leaders’ Network and your chosen membership category – either Member or Registered Professional.

What benefits and services are included with the package?

  • All of the benefits associated with Member/Registered Professional; plus:
  • Dedicated leadership CPD resources and activities
    • CMI’s Management Direct
    • Live webinars, e.g. strategic management, leadership stories, thought pieces etc
  • Unique networking opportunities
    • Discussion forums on the VLE
    • Topical/policy discussion webinars
    • Employer engagement events
  • Tailored news and information
    • Quarterly eNews
    • Policy eUpdate

Are retired and international members eligible for the Leaders’ Network?

Yes. If you are retired you can still make use of this. As much of the offer is available online, international members will also benefit from belonging to this Network.

How much time will it require?

As little or as much as you would like. Remember that, as with regular membership, you get out as much as you put in. We expect that for investing as little as 1-2 hours per month you will benefit from using the resources on offer.

Additional information about Membership 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the new model launch?

If members vote the new model through in March 2017, it will launch in January 2018.

How do I vote?

Voting information can be found here.

I am an existing member, will I need to rejoin?

No. Existing members will be transferred straight into the new model and will be advised well ahead of time as to which category they fit into and how much their new subscription rate will be.

Is the new model a way to make revalidation mandatory for those who hold Professional Registration?

No. CILIP strongly encourages all members to maintain CPD. For those with a level of Professional Registration this remains voluntary. Your last revalidation date will be displayed on your record in the public register of information professionals.

Why are Registered Professionals paying more?

The additional fee is linked to the increased status, career prospects and earnings potential that are associated with gaining Professional Registration. Attaining postnominals is more than just a standard qualification and are a way of demonstrating your ability to engage with your personal development as well as an organisation and the wider sector.

Who is eligible for the concession bands?

If you are retired, unwaged or earning less than £12,000 a year, then you will be eligible for the concession bands in the Member and Registered Professional categories. Generally speaking this will include those who are on a career break for things such as maternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, long term sickness.

If you are interested in the Leaders’ Network enhancement then the concession applies if you are retired, unwaged or earning less than £20,000 a year.

Are overseas members eligible for the concession bands too?

Yes. Provided they are earning less than the stated amounts (see above). The concessions are linked to income therefore if you earn under those amounts (regardless of where you are based), you will be eligible for the concession.

Can I pay annually or can I pay in instalments?

Yes, you can pay a one-off annual fee or in instalments over the year by Direct Debit. You can pay a one-off annual fee by credit or debit card, invoice, cheque or Direct Debit.

What has happened to the Overseas category?

Members will pay the same rate wherever in the world they live and can select the right category for them. With a greater digital offer, including CPD opportunities through our Virtual Learning Environment and Update magazine available digitally, there is less need to treat members differently due to where they live.

What has happened to the Retired category?

Retired members should choose the right category for them and are eligible for concessionary rates on Member and Registered Professional categories. We are working with the Retired Members Group to provide an improved dedicated offer to members who have retired and want to play an active role in the sector.

What has happened to Life Members and Honorary Fellows?

Life Membership and Honorary Fellowship are unaffected by the changes. As Life Membership is closed to new entrants and Honorary Fellowship is a result of nomination rather than self-selection they do not appear in the summary of membership categories.

Are my voting rights affected?

No, all individual members are eligible to vote, for example at AGMs and elections.  

Are Organisation members affected?

Organisation membership remains unchanged.

Why has a student fee been reintroduced?

Free student membership was run for three years, but did not see the kinds of success anticipated. This also put more pressure on other, paid subscription bands to subsidise the free rate. The fee – introduced in 2017 – still represents exceptional value for money with an option for £4/month direct debit payments.

Are all current subscription bands decreasing? 

There is not a direct link between the current structure and the new one. Some members will see an increase in their rates moving to the new model, but this has been kept as manageable as possible. Concessions will help those that need it most and for those that do see increases, the annual membership fee still represents excellent value for money. 

If a current member sees an increase in 2018, will they get more benefits?

Benefits are applied equally throughout the membership model. Whilst there are differences between Members, Registered Professionals and the Leaders Network, the same benefits associated with each category are granted to each member regardless of whether they are on a concession or paying the standard rate. 

Why has CILIP removed many of the membership bandings?

We have moved to a new, simpler structure because:

•    It is easier for members to select the most appropriate category for them
•    There is a clearer pathway for membership progression
•    It presents a modern approach employed by the majority of professional bodies