Am I ready?
Am I ready to apply for Chartered Scientist status?
The closest equivalent of a Chartered Scientist in our own grades of professional accreditation is Associate Fellow of the OR Society (AFORS). To meet the requirements of AFORS, you would typically be able to demonstrate a significant record of achievement and contribution to Operational Research over at least five years, built on a Master’s degree or equivalent work experience.
Chartered Scientist status is awarded by the Science Council and requires a similar level of qualification and achievement. This gives employers and others a recognised benchmark of your status compared to professionals from many other branches of science.
In order to achieve Chartered Scientist you will need to demonstrate your competence across five areas by providing examples from your working life, usually within the last five years
1) Application of knowledge and understanding
The key themes in this competence are using specialist knowledge, exercising sound judgement in the absence of complete information, and evaluating information to propose solutions to problems. As an Operational Research professional this will be part of your everyday experience, and it should be straightforward to provide compelling evidence.
‘Using specialist knowledge’ does not mean applying particular OR techniques. It means applying your knowledge and understanding of the best way to address a problem situation given the cirumstances, constraints and aims of the particular situation. The best way may be the application of a specific technique, but it is at least as important to demonstrate scientific rigour and logic to the processes of problem-structuring, evidence-collection, modelling, analysis, synthesis and solution design.
2) Personal responsibility
This competence requires you take responsibility for your own work and the work of others, promoting and complying with all relevant standards, and recognising the wider picture when implementing solutions. OR professionals in more senior roles will be able to demonstrate their experience of taking accountability for these activities.
3) Interpersonal skills
For this you need to give evidence of effective communication with specialist and non- specialist audiences, leadership, empathy, and the ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships. Again, senior OR professionals engaged in working with clients, or sharing their work with potential users, commissioners, or colleagues, will be able to give examples of these skills from their everyday work experience.
This competence relates to your ability to scope, plan and manage multifaceted projects, manage resources and risks, and take responsibility for continuous performance improvement. If you have acted as an OR project manager you will have evidence for these skills.
5) Professional standards
You must show that you understand and comply with relevant codes of conduct, and give evidence of commitment to your own continuing professional development. There is a strong emphasis on reflective practice and demonstration of learning outcomes, rather than simply providing a list of courses planned and attended. This is reviewed annually to maintain your CSci status.
When applying for Chartered Scientist status you will need to compile a Competence Report based on the five competences, provide evidence of your academic qualifications, and provide professional references.