To ascertain your eligibility for membership of a Professional Historians Association (PHA), and to apply, read the following information carefully before filling in the application form.


Membership of a PHA requires accreditation under a National Standard. There are two categories of membership for people who practice as professional historians and another category for graduate historians. Some PHAs (WA and SA) also offer membership and accreditation for historical researchers.

The admission criteria for professional and graduate historians are listed in the National Standard for the Accreditation of Professional Historians in Australia 2018. The admission criteria for historical researchers are listed in the National Standard for the Accreditation of Historical Researchers in Australia.

For convenience, the various combinations of academic qualifications and professional experience are also presented in a Checklist for the Accreditation Categories.

Application procedures, membership entitlements, provisions for transfer of membership, and the right of appeal against the rejection of an application for membership are described in By-Law No. 1 (Membership By-Law). All PHA members must abide by a Code of Ethics. 

Category of Membership

Membership in the categories of Professional Historian and Professional Historian (Associate) requires a minimum of an Honours degree with a major in history or its equivalent. In most instances, membership at these levels also requires relevant professional experience in which the accepted scholarly conventions have been used to research, document, interpret and/or educate people about the past.

Membership at the Graduate Historian level requires a minimum of a Bachelor degree in history and, in the absence of an Honours degree in history, or its equivalent, a certain amount of professional experience. Membership at the Graduate Historian level does not entitle individuals to describe themselves as professional historians - that right is reserved for members in the categories of Professional Historian and Professional Historian (Associate).

Benefits of Membership

Members receive:

Applying for Membership

Before applying for membership, each applicant should:

  • Read By-Law No. 1 and the National Standard relevant to their professional status
  • Refer to the Checklist for the Accreditation Categories to confirm the category they are eligible to enter
  • Contact a PHA for clarification if uncertain about eligibility and obtain state or territory information about membership fees, requirements for the payment of those fees and/or any other matters pertinent to the state or territory PHA.

Before sending any completed application form to the PHA, each applicant must identify the category of membership for which they are applying. Each application must also be supported by documents, preferably in electronic format, that include:

  • a copy of the applicant's official academic transcript/s.
  • evidence of the nature and length of their professional work experience.
  • the names and contact details of two referees, preferably PHA members, who are familiar with the applicant’s work.

Extraordinary Applications for Membership

An applicant who is recognised by the profession as a professional historian but does not have the tertiary qualifications identified in the National Standard for the Accreditation of Professional Historians in Australia may apply for accreditation via an Extraordinary Application if his/her qualifications and experience appear to be equivalent to those identified in the National Standard. (See By-Law No. 1 for details.) If you wish to seek membership through an Extraordinary Application, please discuss your eligibility with the PHA in your home state or territory before requesting the relevant application form.

Please note that tertiary qualifications in an allied field; OR a major in history at the Bachelor degree level; OR significant professional experience as a historian that is recognised by those practising in the field, would normally be the minimum requirement for accreditation via an Extraordinary Application.

Extraordinary Applications for membership must be submitted electronically in their entirety.