Royal College of Ophthalmologists - Case Study

By Core Newsroom

Royal College of Ophthalmologists now sees with fresh eyes instead of being caught up in day to day tasks.

Royal College of Ophthalmologists sets and manages the curriculum for training eye surgeons and is the membership body for the speciality by Royal Charter and advises on patient care and best practice.

Company profile

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has almost 4,000 members worldwide and acts as the voice of the ophthalmic profession. The RCO sets the curriculum and examinations for trainee ophthalmologists, maintains standards in the practice of ophthalmology and promotes research in the speciality. It works with leaders and decision makers in eye health, including government departments, commissioning bodies and charities.


Core implemented a membership platform to make it easy for the RCO to manage and maintain member data, and to create a unified view of member data across the organisation. The platform integrated with existing software like finance packages to ensure a seamless management process.

The challenge

The College was struggling with disparate data across the organisation. Data was stored in Excel spreadsheets and in a membership system that was difficult to use. They wanted to move from several databases to a single source of truth and needed a central view of data that was easy for all departments to use. The new database needed to integrate with a number of other platforms, such as finance packages.

Having looked at the current processes and identified ways in which the RCO could be more efficient, Core explained how the RCO could overcome data management challenges and move away from the burden of data siloes.

The solution

Core implemented its Membership Platform as an accelerator. It included modules for managing events, examinations, professional standards and communications, and integrated with existing systems.

The new CRM has changed the way the College works.

CRM is now used to record and manage applications and evidence of academic performance. Levels of membership based on qualification, location, work position and non-member information are all recorded and managed in CRM.

College staff manage events from CRM including venue bookings, speaker and faculty information and pricing. Web integration updates the event information on the RCO website. Online bookings appear in CRM so staff can see registrations in the same place as all other member/non-member info, as well as numbers and revenue.

RCO can now reserve seats for attendees and manage multiple exams at the same time/date with different examiners. Some exams have written/oral and or practical components which must be organised into stations/desk numbers. Core implemented an algorithm in CRM so RCO could allocate these automatically and randomly during booking. This can be manually reset if needed. Exam results are recorded in CRM.

Maintaining current contact information and faculty member details is a key priority for the RCO. They are also responsible for maintaining posts for representatives and distribute voting and applications for new posts and vacancies arising. CRM helps in the active distribution of these and other communications, newsletters and journals. This is enhanced by a Click Dimensions add-in which provides surveys and detailed email analytics reporting.

Because some areas of professional standards are sensitive, the CRM has security which only grants access to the few staff immediately involved in this work.

CRM is integrated with Sage 200 and Sage Pay, so invoice and payment status’, exam and event fees, member subscriptions and refund information are available to staff who need them.

The CRM has changed the way the college works, eliminating duplication and inefficiencies and providing the RCO with new, powerful marketing potential. The project brought forward a longer-term plan to develop a new website, which ran in tandem. The Education and Training and the Examinations departments have merged files for the same trainees, in line with the unified information and single source of truth provided by CRM.



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