Davies, Neville and Smith, Fred
A strategy for continuing professional education in statistics
ICOTS 5, Singapore 1998, .
In a world that is producing ever increasing amounts of data, there is unrelenting
pressure to provide a quality service for design, collection, analysis, interpretation and
reporting for these data. There is a corresponding need for a recognised professional
qualification that attests to the ability of individual statisticians to provide this service.
In 1993 the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) began awarding Chartered Statistician
(CStat) status to suitably qualified statisticians. By the end of 1995 over 1600 statisticians
world-wide had received this qualification. The RSS simultaneously recognised a
responsibility for maintaining professional standards after the awards had been made.
Consequently, in 1996, the Society began to explore a strategy for maintaining and
continuing the development of its professionally qualified statisticians.
In this paper we report our views about this strategic exercise. We argue that
continuing education is essential for the maintenance of a professional statistician’s
portfolio of skills and expertise, and that this will help a quality service to be delivered.
We argue for a flexible system based on credits, with an element of compulsion that can
evolve as the profession develops.
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