Nominations for vacancies on the Professional Affairs Committee

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The Professional Affairs Committee (PAC) oversees the Society's work for professionally qualified fellows and those seeking professionally qualified status. Amongst its duties, it is responsible for: establishing and maintaining standards and criteria for education, professional training and experience, including accreditation of university courses and the Society's professional examinations; assessing applications for CStat, CSci and GradStat status; and overseeing the revalidation process for CStats and CSci’s.

The professionally qualified fellows serving in the current session are:

  • Mr Paul Baxter
  • Ms Carol Calvert
  • Mrs Susan Cosgrove
  • Ms Alison Cousley
  • Dr Trevor Lewis
  • Mr Nigel Marriott
  • Mr Steve Pyke (Chair)
  • Dr Ben Styles
  • Dr Andy Sutherland

Following a change to the Bye-laws covering the membership of PAC, the maximum number of members has now been increased to 12 (from 8). The Committee has determined that to provide sufficient volunteer resource for its planned activities in 2017, four new members should be nominated, bringing the total number to 10. Steve Pyke and Andy Sutherland will be stepping down at the end of 2016, and Paul Baxter will take over as Chair of the Committee.

There are therefore four vacancies on the Committee for the 2017 session.  Council has approved the nomination of Mr John Bates, Dr Robert Cuffe, Dr Alexa Laurence and Ms Sarah Seaton to fill these vacancies.
Biographical details for the nominees are as follows.

BATES, John  MSc, CStat, CSci

John is a statistician in the UK Government Statistical Service and has worked as a professional statistician in the Department of Health since 1992. He has been a Chartered Statistician and Chartered Scientist since 2012. His main interest is in exploring the ways that statistics can be used to support public debate, and in particular how we can ensure that the public has a growing degree of trust in, and understanding of, our statistics.

He has an MSc in Applied Statistics and enjoys using multivariate techniques and regression modelling approaches to understand the way the health and care system works. He has been involved in a wide range of health and care topics including modelling of NHS Waiting Times, NHS Doctor work-force modelling, measuring and improving patient experience, defining and measuring NHS productivity and more general approaches to measuring and improving performance. He also has a keen interest in quality assurance methods and frameworks applied to analytical modelling, as well as core NHS datasets and statistical series.

CUFFE, Robert DPhil, MSc, CStat

Robert is the head of statistics at ViiV Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company that makes treatments for HIV. At ViiV, he works on clinical trials, epidemiological assessments and indirect comparisons of treatments for HIV and on making ViiV's clinical trial data available to researchers. Robert has also chaired the UK pharmaceutical statisticians' industry body, PSI. In his time at PSI, he worked with the Science Media Centre and the RSS to set up a statistical briefing service on health stories for the lay scientific media. He organised a session at the 2015 RSS conference on open data and has been involved in the ongoing merger discussions between the RSS and PSI.

LAURENCE, Dr Alexa  BSc, MSc, PhD, CStat

Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Currently Director of Learning and Teaching for undergraduate programmes in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science; for 10 years provided statistical consultancy support to researchers in the NHS. Previous employment includes 10 years with a Contract Research Organisation specialising in data management and statistical analysis services for the pharmaceutical industry and 6 years working for a Unit delivering CPD and training overseas. Member of RSS Professional Affairs Committee (1993–1998; 2010-2014). RSS appointed external examiner for the Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre in Tanzania (2006-2012).

SEATON, Sarah  BSc, MSc, CStat

Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2009. She was then awarded a prestigious Research Methods Fellowship, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the University of Leicester. As part of this award she completed an MSc in Medical Statistics in 2011. Whilst studying for her MSc she also worked as a Statistician in The Infant Mortality and Morbidity Studies group (TIMMS) where she undertook analysis on clinical studies as well as research into statistical methodology. She took up a position in the local Research Design Service (RDS) in 2012 where she provided expert statistical advice to people apply for research grant funding, whilst also continuing her research in TIMMS. Her RDS expertise was largely in the area of observational studies, mainly cohort studies. In 2013, she was awarded a competitive part time NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship. This PhD investigates the use of survival analysis methods to consider neonatal intensive care use and length of stay in hospital. She is completing her PhD whilst also working in the RDS. To date she has 18 publications.

It is now open to the professionally qualified fellowship to put forward additional nominations.  Any six professionally qualified fellows may nominate an eligible professionally qualified fellow for election to the committee.  Such nominations must be received at the offices of the Society (addressed to the Professional Affairs and Examinations Manager) no later than 31st August, together with the written consent of the nominee.  Should an election be necessary, it will be held during September.


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