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Have you ever wondered what the benefits of applying to become a Chartered Chemist are? Or what the process is? Here, some RSC members share their experiences of working towards this designation.

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I guess like a lot of people I first found out about the RSC whilst at university finishing my MChem in the late nineties.  At that time I was primarily focused on getting help finding a job after university and I saw Chemistry in Britain (as it was then) as the perfect way to do this.  CChem wasn’t even on my radar.  I knew it was there but seemed unachievable at that time.  Luckily for me I managed to get a job at Pfizer in Sandwich and stayed there until 2011 when the site closure was announced.  I continued with my RSC membership throughout that time and at some point realised that CChem was available to me if I put the work in to get it.  I managed to go through the process with not too much difficulty and a little bit of help and guidance from the RSC.  In addition to purely getting CChem and the letters after my name the process gave me a better appreciation of CPD and helped me to realise how much I had achieved during my years at Pfizer.  Until I actually put things down on paper and took the time to reflect,  my own perception was that I had been simply working in the lab, helping a few people out and that was it.  It’s amazing how much you can overlook until you sit down and think about it. 
Posted by Toby Underwood on Mar 1, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
Happy New Year everyone! As promised I have set up a group here on MyRSC to give the opportunity for stronger online interaction between all those interested in the Professional Qualifications offered by the RSC. These are Chartered Chemist (CChem), Charered Scientist (CSci), Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RSciTech).

Join the Professional Qualifications group now!
Posted by Andrea McGhee on Jan 14, 2013 10:18 AM GMT
Can you believe we’re well into December already?! For me, 2012 has flown by. Since this blog began in March this year we’ve had a post from a different CChem every month and they’ve all been individual, engaging and thought-provoking.

Some of the key themes I have picked up on are:
  • Everyone’s experience is unique - there is no single right way to achieve CChem
  • The range of job roles that CChems can be working in is huge and spans all sectors
  • Working towards CChem leads people to discover new opportunities
  • CChem candidates make new contacts and build their confidence
  • Holding CChem show you are a good all-rounder with an impressive set of skills
  • The experience can provide a good talking point for interview situations
Posted by Andrea McGhee on Dec 10, 2012 11:23 AM GMT
 I never saw myself as a chemist let alone a “Chartered Chemist”. During my education if someone had told me I was going to have a career in chemistry I would have laughed. I never studied chemistry due to my initial career choice being a world away from science; however fate had other ideas about my career path.
Posted by Christopher Underwood on Nov 2, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
 I had the honour recently of being awarded Chartered Chemist status by the RSC but my journey has been a little different to many people working towards this achievement. I have 27 years scientific experience that includes starting out as a teenager as a technician in the chemistry teaching labs of Cambridge University and then working as a technician in the Pharmacology research lab. From there I joined industry as a technician in the R&D department with London International Group, where I had the exciting job of developing the first surgical glove made from deproteinised natural rubber latex. Now I work in the Test and Measurement Team at Domino UK Ltd in Cambridge. My role now is to ensure that new inks developed within the department meet the specification requirements for that product. The data is used to support the approval to launch at the Gate review meeting. My role also includes determining the confidence limits of test methods and I have developed a number of test methods e.g. measuring the particle size distribution and the migration/sedimentation rates of solvent based pigmented inks. These characteristics need to be understood when storing and printing pigmented inks. I am also the in-house corporate expert for VOC monitoring and the competent trainer for our COSHH assessment procedure within our department.
Posted by Fiona Calver on Sep 24, 2012 12:37 PM BST
Having been a member of the RSC for a number of years I was intrigued by the idea of becoming a Chartered Chemist.  When I looked into the scheme I realised that I was able to apply for the award through the Direct Programme rather than the 2 year Professional Development Programme (PDP) route.  This meant that as I had 10 years experience in the Chemistry field I could submit a portfolio of evidence as soon as I had been approved for the scheme. 
One of the first obstacles I came across was that my primary degree was not listed as an accredited course by the RSC.  As my degree was not accredited I immediately thought I was not eligible for the CChem scheme.  However, I thought I would contact the membership department and seek their advice.  They asked me to submit a transcript of my primary degree and the abstract from my PhD thesis.  My application was assessed and I was delighted to find out I had been given approval to proceed with the next stage of putting my portfolio together. 
Posted by Trudy McMurray on Aug 24, 2012 3:23 PM BST
As a young chemist with aspirations of a stellar career in academic research, achieving CChem status never seemed particulary relevant to me. The value of the award to people such as myself, who were clearly going onto to great things and had Nobel Prizes written in their futures, was not apparent. I thought chartered status was just for industrialists, in permanent positions that afforded them the luxury of enrolling on a two year professional development programme and I didn’t know of any other postdocs working towards CChem. I hadn’t seen anything about “holding CChem status” on a Research Fellow job description and I wasn’t even sure if I knew of a single senior lecturer that held CChem status.
Posted by David Foley on Jun 28, 2012 9:32 PM BST
I have always felt that becoming ‘chartered’ in any profession is an important step. It means you are recognised as an experienced, diligent professional by a trusted body. The process differs across sectors, but is always thorough, measureable and meaningful.
So, ~3 years ago when I decided to leave my job as a pharmaceutical chemist and move into a desk-based job in the city, I wondered whether any opportunity to become a CChem had disappeared along with my fumehood. Although I was still involved with chemistry, my role had become much broader with involvement in marketing, finance and various other projects. So, in 2010 I decided to find out. I made a couple of calls to the RSC and spoke with Kim Smith and Sarah Harrison who were able to offer excellent advice. Firstly, as I had graduated as a chemist 10 years ago (and had been working in the field ever since) I may be eligible to apply to the ‘Direct Programme’ which meant that a two year PDP process was not necessary. As long as I was able to build a ‘portfolio of evidence’ demonstrating the twelve professional attributes required for the CChem award from my recent experience, the Direct Programme was feasible for me. more...
Posted by Trevor Keel on May 3, 2012 9:38 AM BST
I want to let you in on something I learnt the other day…. I can become chartered! I’m not special; I’m just your everyday, average medicinal chemist and this is something you can do too.
As a (relatively) recent graduate I’ve been in my current job now for a few months. Right from the start I’ve been hearing the phrase ‘CChem’ a lot, naturally prompting me to ask, ‘What on earth is a CChem and just why is everyone talking about it?’
Being fairly new I’d missed the departmental presentation a few months prior so I decided to do some research (i.e. Google it) and ended up on the following page:
Posted by Ellen Gallimore on Mar 29, 2012 8:20 AM BST