Apply for CPSS


CPSS accreditation is available to members and non-members of Soil Science Australia. Find out more about Soil Science Australia membership.

People wishing to apply for CPSS must hold an AQF Level 7 degree and/or a postgraduate degree (or equivalent approved by the CPSS Board) including at least four (4) courses (units) in soil science fundamentals (e.g. soil biology, soil physics, soil chemistry, pedology, etc.). Applicants with fewer than four university courses in soil science fundamentals, amounting to at least a sub-major in soil science at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, are required to sit and pass the Soil Science Australia Fundamentals Exam to satisfy the academic requirements.

Please email the CPSS Officer (or call 0411 701 941) to confirm whether your qualifications satisfy the requirements for CPSS before your proceed with your application. 

Application Process

Assessment of Applications (Impartial and confidential)

Please note that your application is treated confidentiallyThe CPSS Board understands the importance of impartiality in assessing applications, and it conducts assessments only against the Standards for Professional Soil Scientists. It also manages any conflicts of interest in assessing applications by preventing people that have a personal or pecuniary interest in a successful (or unsuccessful) outcome of an application from being involved in its assessment. The CPSS Board treats all applications as commercial-in-confidence material, such that only members of the Assessment Team having no conflict of interest can view an application. Furthermore, members of the Assessment Team are required to delete all documents received for assessment, so the only copy of materials held by Soil Science Australia lie with the CPSS Officer.

The following is a summary of the steps involved in preparing and submitting an application for CPSS:

Step 1

Email the CPSS Officer (or call 0411 701 941) to advise of your intention to apply, and to discuss which of the two application pathways* you will follow. The CPSS Officer is available to answer any questions you may have, and to guide you through the application process.

*As a guide, only persons having more than 30 internationally peer-reviewed papers of high impact factor (with at least 15 papers in the past five years) should apply using the Publications pathway. All others should apply by the Narratives pathway.

Application by Narratives

    1. Read the Guidelines (by Narratives)
    2. Refer to the Standards for Professionals in Soil Science
    3. Complete the CPSS Application Form (Narratives)
    4. Complete the ongoing Three-year Ongoing Professional Development (OPD) Diary
    5. Obtain certified copies of your identity documents, plus academic testamur/s, certificates and transcripts showing course and subject results.
    6. Prepare a curriculum vitae following the Guidelines.


Application by Publications and CV


Prepare evidence of English-language competency (if applicable).

Step 2

Email the CPSS Officer to request an invoice for a CPSS application assessment.

Step 3

Save all parts of your application as a PDF file, except the OPD Diary, which should be submitted in Excel format. Submit your PDF file(s) and OPD diary (Excel format) to the CPSS Officer.

Step 4

Post the hard copy of your signed declaration, certified documents to:
Soil Science Australia Federal Office
PO Box 15

Processing Time

Your application is normally acknowledged within five working days. Applications are normally assessed within 3-6 weeks.

Specialist Certification CPSS-CSAM

Learn how to apply for the CPSS specialist certification in Contaminated Site Assessment and Management (CSAM) and view the guidelines and application forms above.


As at 1 January 2021

CPSS feesSSA MemberNon SSA Member
CPSS Application Assessment fee (non-refundable):$395$545
Annual CPSS Accreditation fee:$345$495
Specialist Competency Application Assessment fee (non-refundable):$165$315
Annual Specialist Competency Accreditation fee:$0$150

Please email the CPSS Officer (or call 0411 701 941) for more information.

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