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Presentation 5D4. The Professional Statistician: A Policy for Continuing Professional Development

Derek J Pike (UK)


Presentation Abstract

We live in changing times! The 21st Century is fast becoming an age of assessment, of quality assurance - and of accountability. What does this all mean for the professional statistician? It means that potential clients need assurance of "professional competence".

It also means that this "professional competence", once achieved, is maintained in the light of advancements in both technical and analytical tools.

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) too has recognised this need and is in the final stages of the implementation of a policy for assessing Continuing Professional Development (CPD), in support of its professional status award of Chartered Statistician (C.Stat.).

A number of professions including medical, actuarial & legal have long recognised the importance of CPD, and make strict demands on members as a Right to Practice. So, for doctors or actuaries or lawyers this process is a regular and routine part of their job specification; and the challenge is to ensure that this can also work effectively for professional statisticians.

This paper will illustrate the philosophical underpinning of the CPD process which will be implemented and used by the RSS as a vehicle to ensure the maintenance of professional standards within the statistical profession.

The paper will also seek to initiate and encourage a continuing rational debate between Academic Statisticians (who are increasingly being encouraged to generate commercial revenue for their universities) and practising commercial statisticians (who are increasingly finding academic developments in statistics irrelevant for their current needs).
Put another way:

Why should an academic need to be a commercial professional?
Why should a commercial professional need to be academic?


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