Style Guide > 1 Formatting > [1.134] Post-nominals
[1.134] Post-nominals
1.134 Post-nominals
The letters following a name are known as post-nominals and can include honours, qualifications, fellowships, and memberships. The form, order, and punctuation of post-nominals are governed by a precise set of rules, as described below.
...Dr John Jones, AM, PhD(Geophys) MEng UNSW MBA Harvard, FRACI MAusIMM,...
1.135 Usage
Post-nominals should only be added to a name where there is a need to establish a person’s credentials—they can, otherwise, appear pretentious. Except in resumes, only honours, doctoral qualifications, and fellowships of institutes of high standing are usually shown.
...Sandeep Somjee, MAppSc Melb, MCIM,...
...Dr Joan de Wik, PhD(Geophys) UWA, FAusIMM,...
1.136 Order
List honours, qualifications, and fellowships after names in the following order:
List qualifications awarded by the same institute together, with the name of the institute following the last qualification (also see Absorption). In general (subject to grouping by institute), list academic qualifications in decreasing order of merit (doctor, master, graduate diploma, bachelor, diploma).
Post-nominals should be restricted to those awarded for distinction or by election or scholarship by nationally recognized and accredited bodies.
1.137 Absorption
Where two degrees awarded by the same institute are related, only show the higher degree, except for the PhD, which does not absorb lower degrees.
MAppSc BAppSc Melb
MAppSc York BAppSc Melb
1.138 Punctuation
Post-nominals are enclosed with commas, as in “Joanna Klim, FAusIMM CP(Min), is...”.
Do not use periods or spaces in individual abbreviations of honours, degrees, and fellowships. Each category of post-nominal is separated with a comma. Individual qualifications within a category are separated with spaces. Do not enclose the name of the institute with parentheses—they are often used to show a discipline or other qualifiers, for example BE(Mech) and BSc(Hons).
Note. The no-periods-or-spaces convention is universally accepted—yes, even in North America (see the highly regarded Chicago Manual of Style).
The conferring institute is normally shown abbreviated, however, you can spell out the name in full if there is any possibility of misunderstanding. For example, Australian readers will be familiar with abbreviations for Australian universities and the prestigious American universities (USC, Harvard, MIT), but are generally not familiar with American state universities.
...Shi R Lu, BAppSc(Geol) UBC, MCIM P.Geo.(Ontario),...
1.139 Formatting
Except the institute, post-nominals are formatted as normal text.
The abbreviation for the conferring institute is italicized and is usually formatted with a different, smaller font to the main text. This will assist readers to decipher longer and more complex post-nominals. For example, if you use use Arial 11 pt for standard text, then you might format the abbreviation of the institute as Verdana 9.5 pt italic or Arial 10 pt small-caps italic. The choice of font is a matter of style, but italic is a requirement.
All proper nouns (names of institutes) are capitalized. When spelled out in a long-form post-nominal, the designation for a degree or fellowship is capitalized title-style (Master of Engineering). Otherwise, do not capitalize. Similarly, fellowships and other professional designations are not capitalized unless they are part of a person’s post-nominal.
1.140 Long form
Instead of the abbreviated form, a long form can be used in resumes, in which the details are fully spelled out. In this case, place each group on a separate line (where you would use commas in the short form) and separate each qualification with commas (where you would use spaces in the short form). The abbreviated form is often more recognizable and can be included at the writer’s discretion.
Note. Use “bachelor of”, “master of” and “doctor of” in long-form post-nominals. The alternative “bachelor’s degree in” and “master’s degree in” (with the apostrophe) should only be used in descriptive text.
Long form, example
John Jones
Principal Mining Engineer
Order of Australia (AO)
Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD) Master of Engineering (ME)
University of New South Wales, Master of Business Administration (MBA) Harvard
Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM)
1.141 Degrees and diplomas
Note. Use these guidelines in the absence of specific direction from the conferring institute.
Combine the standard abbreviations for the class of degree (Dip, B, M, PhD) with the following abbreviations for fields of study.
For graduate diplomas, the discipline or field of study is shown in parentheses, as in GradDip(MinEcon) and GradDip(BusLaw).
Dual degrees (awarded jointly after a common period of study) are separated by a forward slash without spaces (MBA Melb BComm/LLB UNSW). Whereas multiple degrees (awarded independently by the same or another institute) are separated by spaces (MBA Melb BA LLB Sydney).
Note. Take care not to confuse fields of study with disciplines. For example, a bachelor of laws is LLB, whereas a bachelor of commerce in business law is BComm(BusLaw).
The next list contains building blocks for disciplines, majors, and other abbreviations shown in parentheses after the degree or diploma. These are combined without spaces or periods—for example, BE(Mining), ME(IndDsgn), GradDip(MinEcon), BSc(Geol)(Hons1st), PhD(Geophys), and MAppSc(Geomech&MiningEng).
Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics University of British Columbia
1.142 Professional memberships and accreditations
In general, only show memberships, accreditations, licences, certificates of competency, and non-academic qualifications from nationally accredited bodies, recognized industry authorities, and regional boards of control.
Refer to the conferring body for the preferred long and short form of each membership or qualification. The formats preferred by some of the better known bodies are listed below. If there is no accepted short form, only show the qualification in long form in resumes—for example, certificates of competency.
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (The AusIMM)
HonFAusIMM (honorary fellow)
FAusIMM (fellow)
MAusIMM (member)
AAusIMM (associate)
GAusIMM (graduate)
SAusIMM (student)
Chartered professional accreditation
The AusIMM allows two post-nominal styles for accreditation as a chartered professional: MAusIMM(CP) or MAusIMM CP(discipline). For more than one discipline, separate with a comma and space. The disciplines are:
The discipline style is recommended.
Note. In text, the shortened name is The AusIMM (note capitalization).
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum(CIM)
Members can indicate “member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)”, but the CIM (or ICM if you are French-speaking) does not promote the use of post-nominal letters. However, in a short-form post-nominal, use the abbreviation MCIM, but do not show other classes of membership.
Professional accreditation
Accreditation of engineers and geologists in Canada is controlled by provincial boards. The post-nominal qualifications P.Eng.(province) and P.Geo.(province) indicate professional accreditation. Note that the format is normal text with periods but without spaces. For two or more provinces, separate with a comma and a space, as in P.Geo.(Alberta, Saskatchewan).
Avoid abbreviating province, if possible. See Canadian provinces and territories for standard abbreviations.
Engineers Australia (IEAust)
HonFIEAust (honorary fellow)
FIEAust (fellow)
MIEAust (member)
Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IMMM)
MIMMM (professional member)
AIMMM (associate)
ProfGradIMM (professional graduate)
GradIMM (graduate)
TIMMM (technician)
Professional accreditation
For professional members accredited by the IMMM place CEng (chartered engineer), CSci (chartered scientist) or CEnv (chartered environmentalist) in parentheses after their membership, as in MIMMM (CEng). Associate members (AIMMM) who have registered with the Engineering Council place IEng (incorporated engineer) before, as in IEng AIMMM.
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