Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between a Student Associate member and an Associate member?

Apart from the discounted price, Student Associate membership is tailored to provide career-building opportunities such as the Student Launchpad and wider participation in the Student Community as a whole.

2. Am I allowed to be a member of other institutions such as the Royal Society of Chemistry or the Institute of Physics?

Yes. Many of our members are involved with other learned societies and professional membership bodies.

3. I am just about to enrol as a student, at what point can I apply to be a student member?

We process Student Associate applications with your university email address. As soon as your student email account is activated you can join us directly online. However if you have a proof of acceptance letter we may be able to make an exception - contact

4. Can I apply for Fellow status straight away or do I have to progress through the other membership levels first?

You can apply to become a Fellow without any prior IFST membership. If you have any questions or would like to discuss making an application further, please contact

5. I want to upgrade my membership. How can I do this and what supporting information do I need to provide?

Please contact  to discuss upgrading your membership. To help, kindly provide an up-to-date CV and /or LinkedIn profile. This will allow our Registration and Assessment Officer to advise which level of membership and /or professional registration best reflects your skills and expertise.

6. As part of the application, I need to provide details of referees to support my application. However, they are not members of IFST.

This is not an issue. A suitable referee would be a senior professional in your field of work; someone who is able to base their view on a direct knowledge of your work experience. They should also be able to confirm the validity of your stated achievements. Your referees should not be related to you or subordinate to you.

7. Do I need to have university qualifications in order to apply to be a Member or a Fellow?

No, you do not. IFST’s Membership Assessment Panel look at a combination of both qualifications and experience gained throughout your career. You can qualify on experience alone. See here (member) and here (fellow) for further information about eligibility for professional membership levels.

8. I have non-UK qualifications; can I still make an application for Member or Fellow?

Degrees (and other qualifications) from non-UK universities are welcome. However, to support your application we will need a statement of compatibility from NARIC. This can be obtained from

9. What happens if I apply for professional membership and am not successful?

You will be given automatic status as an Associate. We will also provide feedback as to why your application has been unsuccessful but note that application fees are non-refundable. Please refer to our Terms of Payment for more information.

10. If I change job roles and/or leave an employer that provides IFST group membership, will I have to re-apply and submit a new application to maintain my professional membership/registration?

No. Your IFST professional membership/registration is an individual recognition and not linked to your employer. If you have any questions regarding re-joining IFST, please contact

11. Do I have to be involved in IFST events and activities to retain my membership as a Member/Fellow/Associate?

We encourage all members to make the most of their membership benefits and to be part of IFST’s food science community. However, there is no minimum requirement to attend or volunteer in order to maintain your membership.

12. Do I have to be a member before I can attend IFST events?

No. However, it will cost more as a non-member to attend an event. When attending your first IFST event you will be given the option to apply for a year’s complimentary Associate membership.