Chartered Scientist: a new opportunity from the OR Society by Ruth Kaufman, OR Society President
We are delighted to announce that for the first time, the OR Society is able to offer a chartered qualification to its members. Chartered Scientist is a Science Council award that recognises generic scientific competence. It is only available to members of bodies licensed by the Science Council – and as of now, that includes the OR Society. Read on to find out why you should be interested, who this is for, and how you take things further. Why? There are two good reasons to consider Chartered Scientist: because of what it tells other people about what you have achieved and what you do; and because of how it helps you achieve more, better. The initials CSci after your name tell the world that you have been independently assessed as meeting certain minimum standards of competence and experience; that you are continuing to keep your skills up-to-date; and that you are committed to comply with an independent code of conduct. There are currently around 10,000 Chartered Scientists in the UK, and the Science Council is committed to publicising and promoting the award amongst employers, so that the level of recognition is steadily increasing. Applying for Chartered Scientist encourages you to consider and reflect on your experience so far, recognise your strengths and identify how you can continue to develop. As a Chartered Scientist you are required to undertake, and keep records of continuing professional development: a process which encourages and motivates meaningful building of your professional competence. You are also required to abide by a code of conduct, which helps endorse your integrity and professional ethics.
For O.R. generalists, the Chartered Scientist is particularly suitable because it places great emphasis on the generic scientific competences – of searching for the evidence and data, be it quantitative or qualitative, and respecting that evidence when you’ve found it; of using rigorous reasoning (inference or deduction) rather than leaps of faith; of curiosity and creativity in understanding and changing the world. It relates to what unites us at the most elementary level, rather than specifying any particular methodologies. CSci doesn’t replace our own O.R. accreditations, which are ideal if you want to demonstrate your specific O.R. credentials, but sits alongside as an addition or alternative if you want something which is more widely recognised, or which requires CPD and ethical compliance. Who? The minimum requirement for Chartered Scientist is normally 4 years practical experience post-MSc, or sufficient post BA/ BSc experience to demonstrate equivalence. It is more-or-less equivalent to our own AFORS (Associate Fellow of the OR Society). If you are interested in principle, but at an earlier stage in your career, then it is worth thinking now about how to ensure you sail through your CSci application when the time comes. We strongly encourage you to consider CandORS (for new graduates) and AORS (for those with a little experience). These will set you on the path of identifying your skills and experience and keeping track of your developing competences. Even better, they will enable you to present with confidence your evidence under Requirement E2 on the CSci application form: Demonstrate a commitment to professional development through continuing advancement of own knowledge, understanding and competence. It is also essential for an applicant to be a full member of the OR Society. This award is not open to affiliates. This is because the Science Council requires membership of a licensed body as part-evidence of your personal commitment to professional standards and development. If you want to know more about ‘who’, elsewhere in this issue you can read about the experiences of Andy Harrison and Sophie Carr, long-standing Chartered Scientists and members of the OR Society. How? The OR Society is awarding CSci through the Science Council’s ‘Central Application Process’, a system that has been long established for other Science Council qualifications but has only just been extended to CSci. At this stage, therefore, we are only encouraging applications from people who are willing to act as ‘beta-testers’ for the new systems and processes. If this is you: read on! if not, watch out for further information in three months or so. To apply, go to the Portal on the Science Council website ¹. The application is in two stages. At Stage 1, you are asked to provide basic information (including the names of two ‘supporters’ who can vouch for your professional achievement) which is then individually reviewed by Science Council staff to check your eligibility. If they are satisfied, you will be invited to continue to Stage 2, submitting a full application which will be reviewed by professional Chartered Scientists/OR Society members trained as assessors. The fee, set by the Science Council, is currently £25 pa for the Chartership (rising to £30 from 2018), plus £25 administration fee for the initial on-line application. There is plenty of background material on the Science Council website. For more specifically O.R.-based information, we will be building up a collection of useful materials on our website www.theorsociety.com/ CSCI/, including: a list of the designations available to OR Society members, and how you might choose which one(s) are for you; a ‘typical profile’ of an OR Society CSci; an example completed application form; a CPD recording template; a list of CPD opportunities that you can consider; the OR Society code of conduct and associated disciplinary code; some FAQs; and who to speak to if you want to know more. What now? We have long been keen to introduce a wider variety of qualification opportunities for those members who want or need them, and it is satisfying now to be able to offer CSci. We are hoping that early next year we will also be able to offer the Certified Analytics Professional award, which will sit alongside our current accreditation system and CSci as an exam-based, analytics-oriented option. More details of all options are on the website. We will be very interested to see the response and to get your feedback. ¹ http://sciencecouncil.org/scientistsscience-technicians/which-professionalaward-is-right-for-me/csci/