FAQs

Why are you proposing these changes?

We are proposing a change to the membership structure which will allow it to be more inclusive for all physics professionals.

We want to simplify the existing structure from seven to the following four categories of membership:

• Associate Member
• Member
• Fellow
• Honorary Fellow

Underpinning this new structure is the value we can provide each and every one of our members, depending on their study, training and individual career aspirations. A simplified structure will allow us to offer a range of benefits, support for professional development and provide a clear pathway for all members to progress through each category. Members will receive recognition for their achievements with progression through the member categories and through professional registrations.

How did you decide on these changes?

We consulted over 3,000 members about how we can best support them and their careers in a year-long consultation that ran from March 2016. Our proposed changes are as a result of this consultation where we looked at ways of ensuring that we are more inclusive and provide clear value to physicists from a broad range of backgrounds and professions.

Who has approved the changes?

The changes we are proposing were put to the IOP Council on 4 May 2017, where we talked through the context of changes and how we believe they will allow us to better support our members. These proposals were unanimously approved.

Why are you introducing a fee for undergraduate students and apprentices?

Currently, many undergraduates are paying an annual fee of £15 to receive Physics World but there is little engagement with the IOP outside of this.  Our consultation highlighted various ways in which we can do much more to support undergraduates and those in vocational training. We want to provide a range of support for those studying and in training and when our early career physicists are starting their working lives. The £15 fee will continue to apply for 15 months from the September of the year in which undergraduate studies or training are completed.

Why are you removing AMInstP designation?

The new Associate Member category is mainly for those who are undergraduates and trainees.  In common with other learned societies, the use of post-nominals is recognition of completion of studies and will not be part of the Associate Member category. Upon graduation or end of a training scheme, we will support Associate Members to progress to Member and receive the post-nominal MInstP.

I am currently an IOP member who has retired. How will the changes affect me?

Free membership for members aged over 70 was discontinued in 2014. However, the pre-2014 agreements currently in place will continue to be honoured.

Is the concession for my gross or post-tax income?

All concessions are applied to an individual’s gross income. That is before tax, national insurance or any other deductions such as student loan repayments.

What will happen to my existing reciprocal arrangements?

Reciprocal arrangements with other professional bodies will continue unchanged. This means that those who belong to another recognised professional body with whom we have an agreement can still receive a substantial saving on the combined fees. We have an agreement with the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), the Nuclear Institute (NI), the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

How will I know which category I fit into?

Following the AGM, if our proposals are approved, we will be contacting members about their membership category and how the changes will affect them. For the majority of our members there will be very little for them to do as part of the transition.

When will the new membership fees start?

The new fees will start from 1 January 2018.

When will undergraduate students start paying the £15 per year membership fee?

New undergraduates starting their degree in September will pay the annual fee from the beginning of January of the following year. This means they will be receiving a few months’ complimentary “free” membership. Current undergraduate members will start paying the annual fee from the beginning of January 2018. Full communications about the changes is being provided to current undergraduate members.