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Board Approves Accreditation Guidelines

1 June 2010 3,547 views 2 Comments

Committee moves carefully to test procedures

Iain Johnstone, ASA Accreditation Committee Chair, and Ron Wasserstein, ASA Executive Director

    The ASA Board of Directors recently approved a set of guidelines for accreditation developed by the ASA Accreditation Committee. The committee was formed last year, after the board endorsed a recommendation to begin a program of voluntary individual accreditation of statisticians.

    What Is Accreditation?

    First and foremost, accreditation is a service offered only to members of the ASA. Not all members will want to seek accreditation; however, the experiences of colleagues in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom regarding accreditation have been encouraging. Additionally, the results of a member survey indicate many members expect to find value in a credential that provides peer recognition for all of the following:

    • Having advanced statistical training and knowledge
    • Having experience in applying statistical expertise competently
    • Maintaining appropriate professional development
    • Agreeing to abide by ethical standards of practice
    • Being able to communicate effectively

    Accreditation is a portfolio-based—not examination-based—credential that is renewable every five years. Accreditation is also voluntary; applicants seek accreditation because they believe the credential is worthwhile to them, but it is not a requirement for practice.

    Accreditation applicants will submit materials to be reviewed by members of the ASA Accreditation Committee, peers who will evaluate submissions based on the ASA’s Guidelines for Accreditation. Those who meet these guidelines will be awarded the designation “accredited professional statistician.”

    What Others Are Saying
    Colleagues in other countries have warmly welcomed ASA accreditation, expressing the view that ASA participation adds value to accreditation and enhances the perception of the statistics profession worldwide.

    What’s Next?

    Because the concept of accreditation has caused concern for some, the ASA will move carefully and deliberately to positively develop the program. Members of the ASA Board and ASA Accreditation Committee invite all members to read the guidelines for accreditation (PDF download) and provide comments, questions, and suggestions.

    Those who are considering applying for accreditation should fill out the intent-to-apply form. This does not create any obligation, but will help the committee better estimate the level of interest and manage the initial wave of applications. Also, committee members will communicate regularly with those on the intent-to-apply list to keep them abreast of developments in the program.

    Between now and JSM, accreditation committee members and ASA staff will be alpha testing basic procedures and reviewing member comments. After JSM, small groups from the intent-to-apply list will be invited to participate in beta testing systems and processes. Over time, as committee members learn and improve, they will move from testing into full-fledged operation.

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    • Jon Baskerville said:

      The ASA accreditation intitiative is welcome and long overdue. I was looking at the ethical guidelines and find them very lengthy and detailed. They read like a short course for statictical practice. I would suggest that they be condensed into the basic ethical principles of statistical practice that could be made available in a brochure format for distribution to interested parties/clients. As an example take a look at the Statistical Society of Canada website under Accreditation.