Registered Sensory Scientist (RSensSci)


IFST's Sensory Science Group's accreditation scheme for those working in sensory science was launched in 2004 with the provision of the Foundation and Intermediate syllabi and these have become acknowledged professional qualifications that signify the status of individuals in sensory science. The addition in 2014 of the Register of Professional Sensory Scientists (RSensSci) as a third higher tier into the scheme provides a level of professional recognition previously unavailable in the sensory science field.

Our independent, peer-reviewed application process is rigorous and flexible, taking account of each applicant’s technical qualifications and practical career experience to date. Individuals who join the register gain access to the only qualification of its kind in the world for food sensory scientists, as well as joining a network of world-class sensory scientists.

But don’t take our word for it, hear from Sarah Bilson about why they joined the Register.

"Being a Registered Sensory Scientist helps me communicate to my colleagues and network who are less familiar with Sensory Science that it is a scientific discipline. People often think that it is quite easy to do or it is just about asking a few people what they like but there is so much more to it than that. The work we do in the field of Sensory Science is based on rigorous methodologies and the decisions and recommendations we make are evidence based. There is no one-size fits all approach for sensory testing! It is important that we ensure all bias is eliminated during any testing, so we can be confident in the data we are collecting and the conclusions we draw to minimise any risk to the business. Having the Registered Sensory Scientist status demonstrates the level of skill required to be a fully qualified and experienced Sensory Scientist."

What is a Registered Sensory Scientist?

Registered Sensory Scientist (RSensSci) status is aimed at those practising sensory science at the full professional level and for whom knowledge or practice of food sensory science at that level forms an essential element in the fulfilment of their role.

RSensSci provides valuable professional recognition among fellow sensory scientists and across all disciplines and the wider community. It demonstrates high levels of experience and competence to employers, other professionals, and, ultimately, providing reassurance to the consumer that high standards are being met within the industry. The standard of this qualification is aligned with Chartered Scientist (CSci) and successful recognition as a Registered Sensory Scientist automatically entitles you to Chartered Scientist status.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should join the Register:

Build your profile
Expand your network
  • The Register of Professional Sensory Scientists provides the only qualification of its kind in the world for food sensory scientists
  • You will be entitled to use the designatory letters RSensSci and CSci
  • Becoming a Registered Sensory Scientist provides independent recognition that you have achieved a high standard of professional practice and knowledge in food sensory science
  • Have your technical skills and professional experience formally accredited by a respected food industry body
  • Raise the prominence of sensory science within your organisation and within your team
  • You will be joining a network of world-class sensory scientists
  • Attend sensory science workshops and conferences and make new contacts in the sector 
Enhance your skills
Control your career path
  • Access the latest thinking, insights and advice from other professionals and industry thought-leaders
  • Capture and leverage your Continuing Professional Development using our free online recording platform, myCPD
  • Emphasise your commitment and dedication to working in the food sector to current and future employers
  • Receive recognition for your professionalism and excellence in the critical role that you perform every day

Applicants for RSensSci are required to demonstrate professional skills and attributes in five key areas and to demonstrate a commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). At least 4 years of post-graduation level experience in sensory science is required. As with the CSci criteria, RSensSci applicants who do not hold a Level 7 or above qualification must complete an equivalence report. The purpose of the report is to evidence that you have gained the equivalence knowledge to a Level 7 qualification through work-based learning. Given the diverse nature of the sensory scientific practice, many qualification/work combinations will potentially be acceptable. Further information on this can be found in the guidance document below.


How to apply

You will be expected to provide a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that you have gained sufficient experience and shown the necessary competences to be awarded the designation Registered Sensory Scientist (RSensSci). 

If you are not yet a member of IFST, you will first need to apply for IFST membership.

To submit your application, the following is required:

  • Competence Report form (at bottom of page).  The competence report for RSensSci is the same as that for CSci, with some additional information requested to ensure relevancy for sensory science
  • Certificate of highest qualification 
  • Up-to-date CV including details of roles and responsibilities held
  • Details of 2 x referees to support your application.
  • You will also need to pay the registration fee where applicable. 

Your application will be assessed by our Membership Assessment Panel (MAP). The Panel includes experienced food sensory professionals who will be looking for you to draw on your direct experience to provide clear evidence that you have required the food sensory knowledge and skills not only to do your job, but that you are able to go beyond the basic requirements and use your initiative and experience to find solutions and make improvements.

The Panel will not normally interview applicants, but if necessary a member of the Panel may contact you to seek clarification or further explanation on a specific aspect of your application.

Please see the guidance document below for more information on the application process. Please send your completed documents by email: Membership team


Fees and further information

For the current membership and registration fees please visit here. Please note that IFST membership is compulsory for anyone joining a professional register. Should you have any questions or need assistance in completing your application, please get in touch.

Good luck and we look forward to receiving your application!

RSensSci competence report form.docx
RSensSci_Guidance Document_paper application.pdf