This meeting, held at the RSS on 31 October 2016 and organised by the RSS Professional Statisticians' Forum, was for anyone considering a Chartered Statistician (CStat) application. The four speakers all talked about the benefits of CStat and the practicalities of the application process.
The first talk by Trevor Lewis, of the RSS Professional Affairs Committee, gave an overview of the CStat award and the benefits of holding the award. Trevor himself started in academia but moved to the R&D department of Pfizer before becoming a consultant specialising in clinical trials. He defined the three main support networks in career development as your employer; professional bodies such as the RSS; and other professional statisticians.
Trevor talked about the complementary relationship between professional bodies – who sets standards through accreditation such as the CStat - and employers, who give employees an opportunity to practise those skills. The RSS defines career milestones via its GradStat, CStat and CSci awards, while RSS membership can provide career development and networking opportunities through attending its conference, joining a section or undertaking further training. Employers can help define that professional pathway through appraisal processes and career development.
See Trevor's slides (PDF).
Matt Sperrin, a senior lecturer from the University of Manchester, gave the academic perspective. He pointed out that building towards CStat is not independent of building your career – the two are very much linked. If you have to do a lot more professional development activity beyond your job towards your CStat validation, then it is probably worth doing. With more cross-disciplinary work in academia, it is recognised among other scientists. Filling in these forms may seem arduous, Matt concluded, but it actually takes a very small proportion of your time compared to the benefits CStat status brings.
See Matt's slides (PowerPoint).
Rob Mastrodomenico, from Global Sports Statistics, gave the perspective from someone working in industry as a statistical consultant. Rob is a PhD graduate in genetics but worked in a sports statistics consultancy for four years before founding his own consultancy. Working largely on his own, he found it difficult to find referees for his CStat application. Much of his work is confidential so he was unable to get references from his clients and he works with very few other statisticians. However, Rob has found that becoming involved in the RSS has help him develop his statistical career, not least his work as an RSS statistical ambassador which has led to him being interviewed in national newspapers, radio stations and on TV. Rob said CStat, for an industrial statistician, shows a standard of competence. Rob then went on to talk about the application process, and what he found easy and difficult about filling out the form.
See Rob's slides (PDF).
Finally, Sarah Barker, RSS professional affairs and examinations manager, and who oversees the CStat application process for the Society, described the support the Society gives to those seeking chartered status. She also described the new ‘competence’ route to CStat that the RSS is currently developing (planning to launch in 2017), which will allow those who have gained relevant experience but not necessarily possess the traditional statistical qualifications to apply for CStat.
See Sarah's slides (PowerPoint).
The event finished with a drinks reception where the 25+ attendees were able to network with other individuals who are in the CStat process. The event itself is considered as a professional development activity and so could be featured in attendees’ own applications.
Watch the webcast in full.