Overall University policy is that memberships of professional bodies are not paid except in the following circumstances, where:
"Personal membership is necessary for the purposes of external course accreditation, or is an explicit external funder requirement on a research project.
Membership of the professional body is required in order to attend a conference to present a research paper.
It can be shown that membership results in a net saving in costs, by giving free or reduced access to attendance at a conference or access to professional journals (see also section 6.10.2).
A role cannot legally be undertaken on behalf of the University without the staff member holding a specific professional membership.” (Staff Expenses Policy, 6.10.3 Subscriptions to Professional Bodies)
Following enquiries by the Postdoc Forum in 2019, Schools reported that PIs may have some discretion over such payments according to their funding body’s regulations. The University policy arises because there are tax and benefits implications for the university and funders if professional fees are paid out of grants as these are considered supplementary to pay.