Application Policy

Application Policy

All IOA membership applicants and their proposer(s) must note the following important points: -

1) Membership of the Institute of Acoustics at any grade is a privilege and not a right.  The Membership Committee will always endeavour to grant the grade of membership sought but, in the event that the Committee feel unable to do so, an alternative lesser grade may be offered.  In exceptional circumstances the committee may feel that you are qualified for a higher grade than that sought.

2) The institute exists to maintain and improve standards in all fields of acoustics.  To this end the way in which the Membership Committee judges’ applications evolves over time and decisions made now could differ from those made in the past.  There are now a wide range of academic qualifications available from a host of institutions not traditionally associated with the acoustics profession.  The acoustic content of these courses is highly variable between institutions and between course years; it can take time for the relevance and quality of these many qualifications (which may change over time) to be fully understood.

3) When a Member proposes someone for membership of the IOA it is incumbent upon the proposer to ensure that the application is correct, that the qualifications are acceptable and relevant; that the statements and evidence submitted by the applicant, which the proposer(s) initials as correct/verified, are true. Should facts/supporting evidence submitted by the applicant and proposer(s) be found to be false then that application shall be declined, and the applicant and the proposer(s) shall be required to answer formally to the IOA for any and all false statements.

4) The Membership Committee will only deal with the applicant; unless there is a contravention of item 3 above.  It cannot liaise with their employer/manager or any other person claiming to act on their behalf or otherwise having an interest in the application or appeal process.  The Committee cannot discuss an application with any other individual otherwise the IOA would be in breach of its legal responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

5) If a candidate is unhappy with the decision made then, under certain circumstances, they may approach the Membership Committee and request that their application be re-considered; however, this is likely to require additional supporting information to be submitted.  There may be an opportunity to discuss with one of the Committee members the route to obtaining a specific membership grade.

6) Comparisons with other members’ applications or grades of membership will not be entertained under any circumstances.  All applications are strictly confidential, dealt with on their own merits and may include other mitigating factors and such comparisons may breach the GDPR.

7) The Committee will endeavour to grant membership at the appropriate grade wherever possible, but this is normally when evidence of satisfactory academic qualifications and relevant post-qualification experience has been submitted.  Under no circumstances will the Committee take into account the commercial or operational needs of a company, sole trader or other organisation in its decision-making process as this is not relevant to the membership process.  The IOA is a learned institution for individuals, not a trade or commercial organisation.

8) Non–corporate member applications (AMIOA, TechIOA, Affiliate) are dealt with as soon as possible.  A ‘fast-tracking’ system overseen by three random Committee members is used for applications received between Membership Committee meetings.  However, please bear in mind that all Committee members are volunteers with their own jobs and responsibilities, so a prompt turnaround cannot always be guaranteed.  There is no provision to speed up a particular application.  Please ensure that all parts of application forms are completed in full, as failure to do so may prevent proper consideration of an application, leading to delay.

9) The Committee recommend that transcripts of degrees be submitted with the application along with the title and abstract of the dissertation.  This includes all non-acoustic degrees and also qualifications (e.g. Audio Technology etc.) where acoustics only forms a small part of the syllabus. It should be noted that, with the exception of those applicants applying under By-law 5a, all applicants shall have the requisite number of years’ work experience (one year for TechIOA, two years for AMIOA) post qualification. It is equally important that candidates provide comprehensive details of all relevant work experience, including previous as well as current employment.

10) If a consensus cannot be achieved between the three committee members on a ‘fast-tracked’ application, then it will be held over until the next full Membership Committee meeting. This is more likely to happen if application forms lack relevant information and detail.

11) The Institute’s Rules and Code of Conduct require that members do not work outside their area of competence.  Therefore, the Membership Committee reserves the right to appraise the acoustic qualifications of an applicant on a case-by-case basis, depending on the field in which the applicant is currently working. An example would be media studies degrees with an acoustics element.  If the applicant is working in media, then the degree is relevant and may be acceptable for a given grade. If the same applicant is working in another field of acoustics, then a lower grade of membership may be offered.

12)  In considering applications for Associate Member and higher grades the Membership Committee may, in the first instance, compare non-standard or previously unseen academic qualifications with the Institute’s Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control.  To aid this comparison, applicants must include a transcript of their degree listing the modules studied and any other relevant information explaining the acoustic content of the modules in addition to the title and abstract of their dissertation.  Failure to do so may result in the application being refused or a lower grade being offered.  For example, such academic qualifications that do not meet or exceed the acoustic content and standard of the Diploma are unlikely to be acceptable as a primary route to Associate Member without significant relevant experience and/or other relevant qualifications.

13) Note that when applying for membership and supplying evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) the applicant must submit evidence of CPD in a suitable format that would be acceptable to the IOA. The IOA have made available on our website suitable examples of CPD for varying scenarios and these, as well as a blank form, can be downloaded at

14) We remind all candidates to carefully read and note the information about IOA membership, the application process, by-laws and code of conduct prior to submitting their application to ensure that their form is correctly completed and contains all of the relevant supporting information.


PG April 2021 – version 4,item 12 added.