To be eligible for membership, a society or similar organisations should: 

  • be a registered, self-sustaining, not-for-profit organisation, 
  • represent a significant number of members,
  • represent a distinct national or regional grouping not currently represented by an existing member society, 
  • support the purpose and objectives of the Federation. 

Membership categories

Originally, national hydrographic societies were the local branches of the Hydrographic Society created in 1972. In 2005, these founding members decided to partner and join their effort under a common Charity organisation structure, the International Federation of Hydrographic Societies (IFHS).

The Federation’s structure allows its member societies the freedom to operate under their own independent constitution, maintain their own membership databases and determine and collect their own subscriptions whilst maintaining and subscribing to the wider international interests of the hydrographic profession at large.

Membership of the Federation is open to national hydrographic societies (or similar organisations) only. Individuals, companies and other organisations wishing to be associated with IFHS must gain access via membership of one its member societies.

To visit IFHS current member society’s own page, click on its logo on the homepage IFHS National Society Member section.

Currently membership is made up of two sub-groups:

  • a full listing of their contact details, key personnel and web address in The Hydrographic Journal and on the Federation website. 
  • inclusion of their news and reports in the Information Bulletin of the Journal. 
  • promotion of all their events in the Calendar sections of both the Journal and Federation website. 
  • a link to their own website from the Federation website. 
  • opportunities to distribute their literature with the Journal and also via the Federation’s stand at a range of exhibitions and trade fairs. 
  • ready access to a globally-based hydrographic audience. 
  • Full member: take an active role in the Federation’s strategy and decisions. Each member society has one representative to the Executive Committee with one vote. Is is also entitled to host editions of the HYDRO conference. It gets visible on the IFHS home page with direct link to its own page. It provides all its individual and corporate members with each edition of The Hydrographic Journal and any other official publications.
  • Associate member: Available to new or smaller societies wishing to familiarise themselves with the Federation and the opportunities it offers before applying for full membership. Associate members are invited to participate to the Executive Committee and Annual General Meetings as non-voting observers, and provide a smaller number of publications to distribute selectively to their individual and corporate members. 


All member hydrographic societies receive 

Individual and Corporate Members of affiliated hydrographic societies 

  • be entitled to attend all Federation and member Society events, including Hydro symposia and will be offered discounted registration, where applicable. 
  • have unrivalled opportunities to network within the regional, national and global hydrographic community. 
  • are regularly informed of the latest professional and technical developments. 
  • have access to an authoritative international forum for the exchange of knowledge and the ability to influence crucial decisions affecting the future of hydrography. 
  • are offered a range of careers services via the Federation website. 

And may also 

  • receive The Hydrographic Journal, if their Society has elected to subscribe. 
  • have unrestricted access to all areas of the Federation website, including members only sections and services. 
  • receive selected Special Publications free of charge with the option to purchase other publications such as technical papers, conference proceedings and reference guides at reduced rates. 

Corporate Members of affiliated hydrographic societies may also 

  • raise their organisation’s profile through sponsorship of Federation publications, activities and events in addition to discounted advertising rates in The Hydrographic Journal and other publications and on the Federation website, and favourable rates for exhibiting at Hydro symposia and other similar events. 
  • benefit from discounted delegate registrations for Hydro symposia, seminars and workshops. 
  • take advantage of a range of recruitment and work placement services including web-based advertising and direct mailing to registered job-seekers. 
  • use the logos of both the Federation and their national society on letterheads, websites, publicity material etc. 

Subscription rate

Full and Associate Member societies are required to pay an annual subscription to the Federation. Each society’s fees are calculated on a per capita basis, plus an additional component based on its Journal requirements if appropriate. Associate member gets to subscribe at half the full subscription rate.

For further information or answers to specific questions about the membership and management of IFHS please reach us through our contact page.