Our accreditation history
The RSC has been accrediting companies of all sizes for over 20 years to support the professional development of chemical scientists. We support organisations in many different sectors within the chemical sciences including pharmaceuticals, regulatory, food, oil, contract research and many more. This breadth also allows us to recognise the skills and knowledge of chemical scientists in both lab-based and non-lab based roles. A few of our accreditations are some of the largest chemical science employers in the UK and have vital roles supporting services, ensuring valuable work to keep us safe.
We also have a growing international presence within the scheme as these accreditations cover staff across different countries. Jacobs Douwe Egberts have a scheme covering chemists in the UK and Netherlands, AstraZeneca with chemists in the UK and Sweden, and both BP and Evotec have schemes supporting chemical scientists across the world.
Professional awards have many advantages for an organisation and there are different awards to cater to every role and career stage. Our members use the process of working towards and completing the awards in a variety of ways, for instance, AstraZeneca encourage their industrial placement students to apply for RSci as a way of demonstrating high levels of competence and professionalism during their placement, but also to benefit their budding careers.
Novartis, Syngenta and Thames Water highly recommend the CChem award and encourage their employees to become a CChem mentor to aid others in their professional development. Accrediting Novartis allowed their employees to achieve their CChem in the course of their day-to-day role. Dr Scott Gibson CChem FRSC, Technical Transfer Lead at Novartis states the accredited scheme is useful as “having that seal of approval, that rubber stamp, is mutually beneficial from both a chemists’ perspective and from a business perspective.”
We have recently been in touch with Valero, a large independent petroleum refiner in Pembrokeshire, who are beginning the process of accreditation with us. Valero is committed to developing its employees' careers at all stages. Mike Jones MRSC, Laboratory Supervisor at Valero spoke to us about their journey with accreditation and the importance of this for his colleagues. "Having accreditation will allow us to drive the development of chemistry,", Mike said. "We have a variety of employees with a range of experience. The support from Valero and the scheme enables our employees to obtain different levels of professional awards depending on their career stage, which adds a new level to support their career progression in the company."
Mike also cited the importance accreditation has on recruiting for Valero: "We want to be able to tie in job descriptions with the RSC standards from this scheme, which helps Valero assess their employees needs in regards to training and career development."
"We have new recruits from sixth form, but also from university with different degree backgrounds. We want to show that there are many ways to break the ceiling in their careers – even without a chemical background it is still possible to achieve RSci or RSciTech, gain further experience and become chartered in the future."
The RSC holds multiple events yearly for members from accredited companies to connect, share their experiences and discuss best practice in upholding professional standards. Scott Gibson explains how accreditation provided support in maintaining professional standards at Novartis. "Our industry is highly regulated," he says, "so having an independent external accreditor of our training programme helps to show our auditors and the Health and Safety Executive that our chemists are competent and performing to the required standards."
Mike Jones agrees, saying, "At Valero we have IChemE and IMechE accreditations for our engineers. Obtaining RSC accreditation that is internationally recognised for our chemical scientists certifies that we are upholding our professional standards, and ensures high quality training to all our employees within an increasingly regulated industry."
Making an impact on society
Members from accredited companies are integral to the work we do as an organisation, influencing and providing the foundations for the support we offer all our members. They are part of the wider RSC community and contribute to a vast range of our activities.
A number of our members from accredited companies sit on RSC committees including our Professional Standards Board and our Admissions Committee. The Professional Standards Board oversees advancing the RSC’s strategy as a professional body, upholding standards of qualification and professional practice within the chemical sciences. Dr Andy Rudge CSci CChem FRSC, Chief Chemist at EDF Energy and the Chair of the RSC Professional Standards Board discusses the importance of chartership in the accreditation scheme. "For me, chartership is a bond of trust. If I put CChem after my name in a professional capacity, my stakeholders can place an increased value in the advice and guidance that I’m giving them – and they also know that I’ve committed to a set of important professional attributes."
Members are also part of our interest group committees, which play a large role in organising group meetings, conferences and social events. The RSC, alongside our members help inspire the next generation of scientists by doing outreach and school engagement. Many of our members are ambassadors for us, engaging with students to shed light on careers in different sectors, but have also provided experiences of chemical science workplaces. Delwen McCallum, Education Coordinator at the RSC states how effective this is. "Members from industry are full of energy and professional. They are always great team players, working with students and retired members alike, they have a positive attitude for the day and are fun and engaging. In my experience, they are skilled in science communication and are happy to adapt science to their audience."
The RSC are committed to supporting organisations through our tailored, flexible accreditation scheme. We actively encourage members from accredited companies to become part of our community and have a say in the way we shape the future of the chemical sciences.
Visit our webpage for more information on company accreditation, and to find out how it could directly benefit you and your colleagues.