What is Professional Accreditation?
Following a lengthy consultation process with members, the Statistical Society of Australia Inc. (SSAI) instituted a scheme for accrediting statisticians in 1996. The necessary changes to the Rules and Regulations were endorsed at the 1996 Annual General Meeting of the SSAI.
The relevant regulations apply. The key elements of these are summarised in this Information Sheet.
The prime objective of the Accredited Statistician (AStat) scheme is to indicate to the non-statistical community that the holder has achieved an acceptable level of professional competence in the understanding and application of statistical methods and is bound by the Code of Conduct of the SSAI. It is important to the reputation of the statistical profession that only those persons who satisfy the specified criteria are accredited, otherwise the reputation of our profession is at risk. A member with the qualification of Accredited Statistician may use the abbreviation AStat.
The SSAI recognises that there will be relatively inexperienced but qualified statisticians who want some recognition to support their professional world. For this reason, we have introduced a Graduate Statistician (GStat) scheme. The GStat qualification is intended primarily to indicate that the holder has recently completed a course of study equivalent to a degree course with a Major in Statistics, including Graduate Diplomas.
To be able to apply for Accreditation, applicants must be members of the SSAI.
Evaluation of Applications
An Accreditation Committee has been established to make recommendations to Council about applications for accreditation. The Committee comprises six members chosen to represent the Branches and interests of the Society, the statistical profession and various areas of statistical expertise. Except for the initial Committee, Committee members will serve for three years, with two members retiring each year.
The Accreditation Committee (or a sub-committee of it) will assess all applications on the basis of information provided, and reports by referees. The Committee reserves the right to seek additional material if it is felt desirable.
The recommendations of the Committee are sent to Council for approval. Explanations for non-acceptance will be made and are provided to applicants when notified in writing of the outcome.
Criteria for Accreditation as AStat
Accreditation as an Accredited Statistician is based on a combination for formal qualifications in statistics, relevant practical experience and demonstration of professional competence. At the time of application for accreditation, candidates must be actively involved in the practice of statistics. Holders of the Accredited Statistician qualification must meet at least one of the following requirements.
- A pass degree of equivalent with a Statistics component equivalent to that of second or third level Statistics subjects or Mathematics majors in Australian universities,
plus six years practical experience in applying statistics;
- A first or second class honours degree or equivalent in Statistics or in a subject containing substantial coverage of statistical methods or theory,
plus four years practical experience in applying Statistics;
Graduate Diplomas in Statistics, depending on their origin, may fulfil the degree requirement under one or other of the above two categories. In the course requirements in 1. or 2. above, the Accreditation Committee shall judge the acceptability of the standard and level. Under exceptional circumstances applicants may be accredited who do not fulfil either of the degree requirements above, but who can demonstrate both
- a breadth of knowledge and understanding of both theoretical and applied Statistics equivalent to at least the degree requirement of the second category above, and
- at least ten years practical experience applying statistics.
Criteria for Accreditation as GStat
Holders of the qualification of Graduate Statistician shall meet at least the degree requirement of 1. above, provided no more than eight years have elapsed since the award of the degree or equivalent of requirement 2.
Maintenance of Accredited Qualification
Accredited qualification is rescinded on cessation of membership of the Society, but restored on resumption of membership of the Society within five years of membership cessation.
An accredited member may choose to terminate accreditation. Accreditation may be reinstated at the discretion of the Committee and Council, subject to the maintenance requirement below.
Accredited Statisticians shall provide to the Accreditation Committee every five years, including any years of cessation of membership of the Society or accredited membership a summary of their activities in those five years, to demonstrate at least continuing contact/involvement with statistics and the practice of statistics appropriate to them, plus the name of one referee to be contacted if the Committee so desires. The Committee will take into account temporary interruptions to employment including those for parental leave. The re-accreditation form is available to download as a pdf or Word document.
An appeal against an unsuccessful application for accreditation may only be made on the basis of procedural error. An applicant has four weeks from the date of receipt of notification of the unsuccessful application to lodge an appeal with the Society Secretary. The appeals will be considered by the Executive of the Society. Their decision will be final.
Code of Conduct
Accredited Statisticians are required to comply with the SSAI's Code of Conduct. Those who do not in the opinion of the Accreditation Committee, comply with the Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action.
Applications and maintenance reports may be accessed by the Committee during considerations but are stored confidentially. Part or any of their contents may be released only with the consent of the member concerned. In the case of an appeal, Executive of the Society may also access the papers relevant to the appeal.
Accreditation may be revoked by Council, on the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee if, in the opinion of the Accreditation Committee, an Accredited Statistician
- as refused or neglected to comply with the provisions of the SSAI’s Rules,
- has wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the SSAI or the statistical profession, including non-compliance with the Code of Conduct, or
- has supplied incorrect information in an application for accreditation or maintenance.
A member whose accreditation has been revoked may appeal by lodging a notice with the Secretary of the SSAI within 7 days of receipt of notification that it has been revoked.
SSAI Accreditation Committee