Case study: Royal Society of Chemistry.


The Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) purpose is to help the chemical science community make the world a better place. Today, their community includes more than 50,000 members across the world. 

The RSC is committed to providing the opportunities and tools for the chemical science community to network, create and exchange knowledge, adapt and thrive. As part of this, the RSC was looking to replace its legacy CPD tracking system and offer a new and improved version as a member benefit.  

The Challenge

The RSC wanted a forward-thinking solution that was going to be futureproof and serve the organisation’s 21st century needs.  

The RSC wanted to evolve its professional development offering, linking new and current professional development programmes with its existing e-learning content. It required a tool to help with planning, tracking and recording all professional development of its members.   

Having tried bespoke solutions in the past, the RSC decided a SaaS provider would be more suitable to provide a tool that would grow and evolve over time. The organisation required a technology provider that would fit its culture of working in partnership, and who would be flexible and open to new ideas.  


The RSC selected Inkpath to provide their CPD platform after a competitive process. As soon as it had been appointed as the RSC’s preferred supplier, Inkpath worked with the RSC project team to design and develop a range of new functionality for launch which both met the RSC’s requirements and enhanced Inkpath’s platform more generally. The new functionality included dynamic new questionnaires which replaced older more hardcoded versions, and algorithm-driven recommendations, providing a high degree of flexibility and potential for the future.  

The initial result, named ‘RSC Pathfinder’, went live to RSC members in January 2023, and is today the glue and clarity that will over time pull RSC’s professional development content and provision together into one centralised space, easily accessible to members. 

With RSC Pathfinder, the RSC can construct tailored learner journeys for any member group, made up of any activity, and monitor progress along these journeys for individuals or departments. Administrators are able put together rich programmes of training and development for delivery both in person and online. 

Richard Burton, Platform Manager for the RSC PD programme:

“In large organisations you will, to a degree, inevitably work in silos. The RSC has been consciously making a cultural shift away from this. We are aiming for all our departments and offerings to inter-connect, and Pathfinder is the perfect tool to pull those things together.

“We chose to work with Inkpath as the team are more aligned with our cultural way of thinking. Inkpath has been flexible in developing the tool in partnership with us, which meant that we were able to do everything we wanted and needed to do with Pathfinder.

“We are a professional development organisation and Pathfinder is now going to be at the heart of how we support our members.”

The organisation has an ambition to connect RSC Pathfinder with its soon-to-be-launched learning experience platform and to also direct to opportunities through its Careers toolkit. These three systems will create an online professional development ecosystem for RSC members and other customers.   

A digital badging platform will also integrate with these systems to provide digital recognition of the professional development people undertake through the RSC. 

Richard Burton added:

“We are already discussing with Inkpath several developments to enhance RSC Pathfinder for our customers. One of these developments includes investigating running revalidation of our professional recognition in RSC Pathfinder. This will enable users to highlight all the professional development they have done relating to revalidation of a chartership or register on Pathfinder, making it very straightforward to be revalidated. Such developments will embed the use of RSC Pathfinder within our existing projects and programmes making the system more relevant to our members, which will raise the standard of our membership experience.”

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