Frequently asked questions

The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is the professional body for all members of the commercial shipping industry worldwide, founded in 1911 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1920. We have 26 branches and 14 teaching centres in key locations, 4,000 individual members and fellows and over 100 company members.

The Institute sets and examines the syllabus for membership, providing the shipping industry with highly qualified professionals.

Members of the Institute are committed to maintaining the highest professional standards across the shipping industry and, as part of a professional body, members enjoy the benefits of an enhanced career in the shipping industry.

How do I become a member?

The main pathway to membership is by completing our Professional Qualifying Exams (PQE).

To complete PQE, you will need to successfully complete a total of seven exams over five years (although, many people complete in a shorter period of time).

If you have any prior qualifications or industry experience, it's likely that you will be eligible for some exemptions, which will reduce the number of exams you will need to take.  We will need a copy of your degree certificate if you would like us to advise you further.

If you would like to start, you will need to do three things:

  1. Register as a student with the Institute
  2. Enter the exams you would like to take
  3. Choose how you would like to study

What are the benefits of membership?

Through its worldwide network of Members (MICS) and Fellows (FICS) the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is internationally recognised as a mark of professionalism in the shipping community.

  • Members have access to a world-wide network of shipping professionals who work to the motto "Our Word Our Bond".
  • From 2013 we introduced new membership benefits, such as annual membership card (that can be used to validate your membership and allow entry to branch events); furthermore we launched a new Institute membership database available at www.shipbrokers.org. All Institute membership have access to it and through it members have access to a whole range of membership services. Users will also have the option to share their details through the Membership directory and have access to other Member's details.
  • Members and Fellows of the Institute also receive the professional magazine Shipping Network.
  • Institute members qualify for a 30% discount on a new Lloyd's List subscription.

How long will it take to become a member?

To complete Professional Qualifying Examinations, which makes you eligible for membership, you will need to take a total of seven exams over five years (although, many people complete in a shorter period of time).

If you have any prior qualifications or industry experience, it's likely that you will be eligible for some exemptions, which will reduce the number of exams you will need to take.  We will need a copy of your degree certificate if you would like us to advise you further.

What countries recognise the MICS qualification?

MICS and FICS post nominals are truly international and recognised around the globe in a way that no other commercial shipping qualification are.

The Institute counts 26 branches accross five areas around the world: a truly global network. Within these regions, almost without exception, the Institute PQE is recognised by companies and individuals alike.

How many members does the Institute have?

The Institute has just under 4000 members in 26 international branches.

How do I apply for membership?

Once you have completed your Professional Qualifying Examinations you will need to fill out the membership application form.  You will need two Fellows or Members to support your application (please contact the Head Office if you do not know two Fellows or Members).  Once you have submitted your form, it will be presented to our Controlling Council for their consideration.  This can take some time because we need to wait until the council convenes before your application can be considered.  Meetings for membership elections are usually held four times a year.  However the dates can vary, so we advise to contact the Membership Team to make sure that you meet the deadlines for your submission:

What happens when I become a member?

Upon gaining membership with the Institute you will receive a letter of acceptance, a certificate to certify your professional membership status and an Institute tie or scarf.

Membership to the Institute offers some great benefits. These include;

  • Having the initials MICS after your name
  • Belonging to a network of professionally educated and trusted individuals
  • Having access to the Institute directory available at www.shipbrokers.org
  • Attending events and seminars aimed at continuous professional development
  • Receiving the Institute journal Shipping Network
  • Belonging to a professional body thus helping to gain a competitive advantage in your commercial and professional life.
  • 30% discunt when signing up for a Lloyd's List annual subscription

Each year on 1st June your membership will be restarting. As soon as you settle your annual contribution, you will receive an Institute memenrship card to give you access to all Institute events worldwide.

Will I belong to a branch?

If you are situated in an area where there is an existing branch of the Institute you will automatically be assigned to that branch.

If you are in an area without a current Institute branch you will belong to the Institute international branch network which is co-ordinated from our head office in London.

What benefits do I get belonging to a branch?

If you belong to a branch in your country you will have the opportunity to attend branch committee meetings, as well as various events throughout the year such as seminars, lectures, meetings and branch dinners.

If you contact your local branch directly, they will be able to give you a much clearer idea of exactly what activities they organise and how you may be able to contribute. You can find the contact details for all our branches on our website.

itute you will automatically be assigned to that branch.

If you are in an area without a current Institute branch you will belong to the Institute international branch network which is co-ordinated from our head office in London.

Can I attend other branch events?

As members of the Institute you can attend events in any branch around the world.  It's just one of the benefits of belonging to a truly international organisation.

Please let us know where you are travelling to at membership@ics.org.uk and we'll put you in touch with the branch.

Will I receive the Institute professional journal 'Shipping Network'?

The Shipping Network is produced four times a year and is full of industry articles that support your ongoing professional development.  Shipping Network is available on the Institute website, but it's also posted to all members and fellows worldwide.

If you would like a hard copy of Shipping Network, you can request this through your branch or to head office at: membership@ics.org.uk.

When do I receive my Institute membership certificate?

As a new member, you will receive your Institute certificate and your tie or scarf once we receive your first subscription payment.

Where can I find a Shipbroker or Agent? Is there a list of all Institute members?

All members can request a list of Institute membership companies, simply email us at membership@ics.org.uk

Can I purchase Institute merchandise?

Institute members can purchase a range of merchandise including ties, scarves and shields.  If you get in touch with us at membership@ics.org.uk we will be able to give you more information and a price list.

What are the benefits of membership in a nutshell?

Membership to the Institute offers some great benefits. These include;

  • Having the initials MICS after your name
  • Belonging to a worldwide network of professionally educated and trusted individuals
  • Attending events and seminars aimed at continuous professional development
  • Access to the Institute membership database available at www.shipbrokers.org
  • Having an annual membership card (that can be used to validate your membership and allow entry to branch events)
  • Receiving the Institute journal Shipping Network
  • Belonging to a professional body thus helping to gain a competitive advantage in your commercial and professional life.
  • Institute members qualify for a 30% discount on a new Lloyd's List subscription.