European Accreditation of Professional Statisticians
Instruction to Applicants
The application for accreditation provides information to the Accreditation Committee regarding the applicant's portfolio (considered to be a combination of education, experience, and expertise) that is required to be accredited.
Applicants are responsible for providing sufficient information through the components of the application form in order to demonstrate their readiness to be accredited.
Thus, great care should be taken to prepare the accreditation application diligently and completely.
A full application for accreditation consists of the following components:
- A form duly filled
- A cover letter
- A CV containing the merits for accreditation
- Proof of degrees earned and course transcripts
- 2 samples of work products in readable format
- Letters of recommendation from 2 references (here is a minimal template)
- Scan or copy of identity card
The application form is intended to help with the evaluation and not to be rigidly bureaucratic. The information included summarises but doesn’t substitute the set of documents required.
Please summarise your claims for accreditation, referring mainly to your achieved education level and the professional positions you have held.
The cover letter should not exceed 1500 words. It should summarise for the Accreditation Committee the materials submitted in the application and the reasons why the applicant claims that he/she has met the criteria for accreditation.
The cover letter is the opportunity to highlight particular qualifications, and also to note and explain aspects which might be out of the ordinary. The cover letter will help the committee understand how the combination of education, experience, and professional competence required of a professionally accredited statistician is demonstrated in your application materials.
The cover letter also serves as an indicator of your communication skills, so please write and review it with care.
A reduced CV is perfectly acceptable as long as it contains the relevant information with regard to accreditation. The committee does not require a lengthy document. The CV should provide, as usual, a broad overview of your credentials.
List of degrees earned and course transcripts
The basic educational requirement for accreditation is an advanced degree, either in statistics or in a related quantitative field with sufficient concentration in statistics.
An "advanced degree" means an MSc (according to the Bologna process) or higher.
"Statistics" may include such areas as mathematical or applied statistics, and may extend to major application areas, such as biostatistics.
The Accreditation Committee uses its judgment to determine what constitutes a "related quantitative field," and defines this quite broadly. However, the key consideration is not the field itself, but the statistical education in the degree program.
Applicants without an advanced degree must present compelling evidence of a breadth of knowledge and understanding of both theoretical and applied statistics equivalent to an advanced degree. This applies also to degrees earned before the Bologna process. The burden of proof lies entirely upon the applicant.
If you do not have an advanced degree in statistics (or closely related areas such as mathematical statistics, applied statistics, or biostatistics), it is your obligation to demonstrate to the Accreditation Committee that you have achieved the equivalent education in some other way. In various combinations, the following can be used to demonstrate this achievement:
- A list of courses taken, showing significant coursework in statistics (for college credit, especially, though continuing education courses are also valuable)
- Strong examples of your work in using statistics, showing work products of quality that would be expected of an individual with a Master degree in statistics and five years of experience in the field
- A consistent history of continuing professional development in statistics
- Strong and detailed support letters by references with advanced degrees in statistics
The committee looks carefully at your application and evaluates it holistically. Please make it as clear as possible, taking the time to provide compelling evidence of your qualifications.
A detailed list of relevant experience
The basic requirement is that applicants must have at least five years of documented experience in the employment of appropriate statistical concepts and techniques.
The five years refer to five years full-time equivalents, which means that working part-time will require a longer work period. The same applies to “gaps” in the work history. Make sure your CV is giving the full information for the work experience to be evaluated.
Any relevant practical professional statistical experience will be considered. The following list is suggestive but not exhaustive:
- leading projects with a substantial amount of statistical analysis or modeling
- undertaking statistical analyses of data and reporting on the results;
- having responsibility for the interpretation and presentation of statistical information;
- working as a statistical consultant;
- taking responsibility for the design and analysis of statistically based surveys;
- managing a statistics section with work in one or more of the above areas;
Citing a variety of such experiences will typically help with the required demonstration of breadth and depth of statistical knowledge and practice. Please fill in the form carefully and in detail, but remember that the fundamental purpose is to show the committee that the applicant demonstrates "greater practical knowledge, experience, and expertise, indicative of a breadth and depth of statistical knowledge and practice, and should be able to take greater responsibility for statistical work, than would be expected of a recent graduate or a junior statistician."
Examples of work products
Applicants must provide evidence that their work as an applied statistician is of high quality. This is demonstrated through at least 2 samples of work produced by the applicant. The following is a suggestive but not exhaustive list of indicators of high quality work:
- substantial positive impact on decision making
- appropriately applied methods and techniques
- adequate discussion of limitations of the data, methods, techniques.
- proper attention to accuracy, reliability, relevance, reproducibility, and transparency
- recognition of applied work by peers
The samples will be treated as confidential and will not be distributed outside the accreditation committee of the national association and the FENStatS accreditation committee.
Sample reports can be submitted in any of your national associations locally accepted languages or English.
A list of professional development activities
In this portion, the applicant is to demonstrate an on-going commitment to professional development. Thus, the items you enter here should show a pattern, a habit of professional growth and development. List the type of activity, the date of the activity, the number of hours involved in the activity, and the category of the activity, for each professional development activity within the past three years.
Examples of professional development are:
- Work-based learning
- Experiential learning: Learning by doing the job - gaining, and learning from, experience - expanding role.
- In-service training - includes orientation programs, standard operating procedures, and employee development.
- Review of case studies & literature
- Discussions with colleagues - idea generation, problem-solving, etc.
- Professional activity
- Involvement in the management of a professional body - officer, organizer, committee member, a working group member.
- Journal referee, associate editor, or editor.
- Supervisor of research.
- Membership of a technical expert group - e.g. special interest group, section or study group.
- Undertaking a program of learning or research for an academic qualification.
- Attending training courses.
- Attending conferences or scientific meetings.
- Maintaining or developing specialist skills.
- Preparing material for training courses.
- Self-directed learning
- Reading books, journals, and articles.
- Reviewing and summarising books and articles.
- Upgrading knowledge through internet searches and the use of electronic information sources.
Letter of recommendation from two references
Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation as well as contact information for these two references).
Supporting letters are a key component in applicants' materials, so applicants should carefully select individuals who can write clearly and authoritatively on their behalf. The references will be asked to address the applicant's experience, competence, written and oral communication skills, professional growth, and any other relevant topics. Thus, references should be persons of substantial stature who have firsthand knowledge of the work and skills of the applicant that is required.
The reference need not be a statistician but shall be able to vouch for the professionality of the applicant.
FENStatS has permission to contact the references if deemed necessary.