Nominations for vacancies on the Professional Affairs Committee

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

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 overseeing the Society's professional examinations; assessing applications for CStat, CSci and GradStat status; and encouraging continuing professional education and training.

The core of the committee consists of eight elected professionally qualified fellows:

  • Jake Ansell
  • Paul Baxter
  • Carol Calvert
  • Susan Cosgrove
  • Trevor Lewis
  • John McColl
  • Nigel Marriott
  • Andy Sutherland

The regulations require nomination of two members to retire at the end of this session; Jake Ansell and Andy Sutherland have volunteered to stand down. There are therefore two vacancies on the Committee for the 2016 session.

Council nominates Alison Cousley and Ben Styles to fill these vacancies. In making these nominations, Council has carefully considered the overall balance of the committee, particularly in respect of the professional interests of its members. The regulations also require that at least one nominee has not previously served on the professional affairs committee; both nominees meet this requirement. Brief statements of the biographical details for Ms Alison Cousley and Dr Ben Styles are given below.

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 1 July, together with the written consent of the nominee. Should an election be necessary, it will be held during September.

Biographical details

Alison Cousley, CStat CSci

Alison leads the evaluation of Automatic Enrolment at the Department for Work and Pensions. She has been a government statistician for more than 11 years, analysing and advising on a range of labour market policies, research projects and operational measures. She is a chartered statistician and chartered scientist, and currently a committee member for the RSS Official Statistics section and Sheffield local group.

Ben Styles, CStat, PGCE, DPhil, MA (Cantab)

Ben is a research director in the National Foundation for Educational Research’s Centre for Statistics. He is also head of NFER’s Education Trials Unit. After completing his DPhil in experimental neuroscience, he embarked upon a statistical career with the help of the RSS professional exams, passing the Higher Certificate with distinction and going on to pass the Graduate Diploma in 2010. He worked on these exams whilst first at NFER and has since returned to this same organisation after an 18-month spell working on epidemiological data at Imperial College, London. He has been a full-time statistician for 11 years. His statistical interests presently revolve around the design and analysis of RCTs within the English education system, with a particular emphasis on missing data. He also has experience of psychometrics, having been involved in the development of several tests used in primary and secondary schools.


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