About the Chartered Institute of Linguists

The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) is the UK's Royal Charter body for language practitioners. We aim to enhance the recognition and promote the value of languages and language skills in the public interest. Founded in 1910, CIOL has over 7,000 members worldwide.

CIOL's purpose is:

To contribute towards international goodwill by encouraging the effective study and practice of languages, promote the exchange and dissemination of information on matters of interest to linguists and persons interested in the study of languages and to provide means of recognising persons who are qualified as linguists in the professions, the arts, the sciences, industry, trade and commerce.

If you would like to learn how you can support CIOL’s governance, please click here.

Learn more about CIOL


Our aims and objectives are founded on the belief that knowledge of languages and intercultural competence benefit society economically, culturally and politically.

Our five core values are:

  • International understanding – respect for the diversity of languages and cultures
  • Professionalism and integrity – in our dealings with our members, our staff, and other stakeholders
  • Openness and transparency – in relation to our members, our staff, and other stakeholders
  • Responsibility and responsiveness – to the wider community and the environment
  • Innovation and continuous improvement – in our products and services and their delivery

These values are underpinned by a belief in equality and a respect for diversity and difference.

Royal Patron

The Institute's patron is HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO. Prince Michael has his own website with more information about himself and his family. We are honoured to have His Royal Highness present our Annual Awards on a biennial basis.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO

Who are CIOL members and what do they do?

Practising CIOL members are qualified, experienced language professionals for whom extensive knowledge of one or more foreign languages is a prerequisite for their work.

They may, for example, be translators, interpreters, teachers of modern foreign languages, university lecturers or professionals who use their foreign language skills as a core part of their role in business, the professions or government.