Frequently Asked Questions


Associate Members work in the air quality field and have less than 4 years’ full-time equivalent experience

Full Members of IAQM are expected to have, as a minimum, an undergraduate degree and four years’ full-time ambient air quality work experience, or equivalent.

Candidates whose roles are only partially on air quality management will need to indicate on their application form how much of their working week, on average, is spent working on air quality management work.

There are a number of core air quality management skills listed below. Members of IAQM should have awareness of all of these, in-depth knowledge in several, and practical experience of applying this knowledge. Practical experience may be acquired through work in ambient air quality, odour and/or dust.

Assessment methodologies | Atmospheric chemistry | Dispersion in the atmosphere | Emission abatement | Emission sources/source apportionment
Meteorology/atmospheric physics |Modelling | Ambient monitoring | Policy |Regulation

There are no specialist air quality management undergraduate degrees offered in the UK, and therefore air quality management practitioners hold a wide range of degrees. Typically their degrees are in science, engineering, maths or geography (sometimes with a module in air quality). The Membership Sub-Committee determine the relevance of your studies to the field

The Sub-Committee will also decide on the equivalence of any postgraduate degrees to work experience, and the equivalence of work experience to an undergraduate degree on a case-by-case basis. The Candidate is responsible for providing sufficient evidence to enable the Membership entry requirement to be reduced.

How will my postgraduate degree contribute towards experience?

MSC: May be equivalent to 1-year's work experience, depending on course content. For example, an MSc awarded following a course in Air Quality Management accredited by IAQM would be equivalent to working for one year. Other courses with no or a single air quality module would not count towards the work experience. Candidates will need to show that their course had sufficient air quality management content to justify reducing the 4 years’ work experience requirement.

PhD:May be equivalent of up to 2-years' work experience, depending on the relevance of the research to air quality management. Candidates will need to demonstrate which of the core Air Quality Management skills listed above they have gained experience during their research and/or the courses.

I have no degree, can I still apply for membership?
Candidates with no degree may be accepted as a Full Member provided they can demonstrate a minimum of 10 years’ work experience and good knowledge of the subject.
How long will the application take?
We aim to turn around applications in four weeks, but there may be a slight delay over summer and at busy times of the year.


What is the criteria for IAQM Fellowship?

The applicant is expected to be a member of the Institute for Air Quality Management for a minimum of two years and to provide three references in support of the application. A short curriculum vitae should be provided.

To help objective decision making, the IAQM asks applicants when applying to cite three outstanding activities with which the applicant has been involved. These can be in any of the four areas: (1) academic, (2) business, (3) NGO or (4) public sector. The IAQM does not favour any of these areas of air quality management. The cited outstanding activities can be in one or more area depending on the applicant’s experience.

For each of the activities used to demonstrate Fellowship qualities, the applicant should explain his or her role under the headings influence, promotion, development and expertise. In other words, the applicant should explain for each activity:

  1. who have they influenced to benefit air quality management, and for how long;
  2. the ways in which the applicant’s involvement promoted good air qualitymanagement;
  3. the ways in which the applicant’s involvement developed air quality management practice; and
  4. the applicant’s area(s) of expertise, which demonstrates the distinctiveness of the candidate.

The applicant will, therefore, have provided examples of 12 achievements in relation to specific activities which demonstrate air quality management excellence. Each example will be scored out of 4

1 = Insufficient evidence
2 = Some evidence
3 = Good evidence
4 = Excellent evidence

The maximum score will be 48 and those candidates who score more than 36 will be accepted as an IAQM Fellow.

What are examples of excellence for Fellowship?

To help applicants choose the kind of activity which they would like to cite as examples of excellence, a list of example achievements is given below which the Application Review Panel may consider during a Fellowship application.


  • Pioneered new research in the air quality field.
  • Published a large number of significant papers, books etc.
  • Have the respect of and influence over the atmospheric science and wider community.
  • Contributed to the furthering of knowledge and education within the air quality field.
  • Had an advisory role on a regional to an international scale.


  • Outstanding contribution to improving air quality.
  • Demonstrated leadership and best practice within the air quality sector.
  • Led teams working on high profile projects.
  • Had an advisory role on a regional to an international scale.
  • Have generated or developed innovative new air quality management technologies.


  • Have developed national air quality projects.
  • Actively sought out areas in need of air quality assistance not covered by governmental bodies.
  • Developed the air quality profile of a project to be influential on a national or international scale.

Public Sector:

  • Have attained a position of seniority relating to air quality in an influential public sector body.
  • Initiated an innovative air quality project that has led to a positive impact on policy.

Code of conduct

What happens if I don't abide by the code?
Failure to abide by this code could result in an individual’s membership being revoked, following a formal complaint being made and implementation of the procedure for investigating such a complaint, as described by the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
Why do you publish a code of conduct?
The Institute of Air Quality Membership exists to maintain and enhance professional standards in the field of air quality. It achieves this partly by ensuring that only those people who are sufficiently qualified and actively working in the subject are granted membership. This aim also needs to be met by members adhering to the appropriate standards as a condition of membership. The Code of Conduct set out below defines what is expected of members.