The Society has developed and operates a Chartered Meteorologist Accreditation Scheme whose purpose is to provide a professional qualification in meteorology at a level equivalent to that of Chartered Engineer. Accreditation as a Chartered Meteorologist (CMet) assures clients and employers that the individual, in addition to initial graduate qualification, has reached and continues to maintain a specified level of specialist knowledge and experience. Holders are required to show themselves to be conversant with current best practice and to subscribe to a Code of Conduct. The Society is the regulatory body for the meteorological profession in the UK and as such the Chartered Meteorologist qualification is recognized throughout the EU as the highest professional qualification available within meteorology.
The second group of qualifications is based upon National Occupational Standards (NOS) and comprises Qualification Certification Framework (QCF) achievements for weather forecasters and weather observers. (These have superceded the National/Scottish Vocational Qualifications (N/SVQs) which nevertheless remain valid qualifications for those who have already achieved them.)
A National Vocational Qualification is an EU-recognised qualification aimed at employees who can meet national occupational standards of competence in the specific field for which the qualification is awarded.
NVQs do more than assess what someone knows. They confirm that the owner of the qualification can apply their knowledge and skills in the workplace. NVQs are assessed differently to academic qualifications. There are no exams to sit. Candidates have to produce evidence to show how work activities were completed. This evidence is used to prove that the national occupational standards have been met.
National occupational standards define what someone is required to know and do in order to be able to carry out a particular piece of work. A process known as functional analysis is used to determine the activities that are undertaken to achieve the key purposes of a job. Standards for each of the activities are then designed to cover all aspects of performance and are always presented in terms of outcomes. National occupational standards for forecasters and observers have been developed through wide consultation with practising forecasters and observers in the field and are now approved for use.
Achievement of the qualification is a nationally recognised statement about an individual's competence as a professional forecaster or observer. It is only available to experienced practitioners who can demonstrate that they have and can apply the skills and knowledge, which are set out in the national occupational standards. It is expected that all employers of forecasters and observers in the UK will move to using NVQs as an indication of proficiency. The qualification will increase an individual's employment opportunities, within and outside the meteorological profession because every NVQ is approved and moderated against criteria that meet nationally recognised standards. Experience from other employment sectors suggests that the system of assessment will help pracitioners to learn more efficient ways of completing work activities.