How to get ready for accreditation

If you're an ambitious operational researcher who's aiming to achieve FORS in due course, here are some tips which can help you. Remember, these are for the long term and you don't necessarily have to do all of this, but it does all help.

  • Aim to get a balance of experience. If you're an academic, aim to engage in industry-based projects or research; and if you're a practitioner, engage in training (whether by training colleagues, ensuring that staff are well-trained, or getting well-trained yourself).
  • Take opportunities to put your work in the public domain, whether by giving conference presentations, putting papers or presentations into the document repository, writing articles for Inside OR or OR Insight, or submitting papers for publication in OR journals. It will strengthen your case if you have exposed your work to judgement by peers, as well as colleagues, in this way.
  • If you want to become a fellow, take responsibility and aim for a leadership role.
  • Get involved in the life of the profession by participating actively in regional societies and study groups, or helping in the running of The OR Society or similar bodies.

Submitting an application

For those wishing to submit an application, there are two main categories:

  • The practice criteria emphasise the application of OR to real problems
  • The education training and development criteria emphasise training of oneself and others, and wider engagement in ORS activities

The application form and its criteria are the same for all accreditation levels. However the expected achievements increase as you go up the levels. Remember, you don’t need to fill in every box, but if you do have evidence that relates to the criteria, please provide it. And one activity could contribute to several of the criteria.

Practitioners need to provide some detail of the work undertaken highlighting things like:

  • Your own personal contribution to projects
  • Professional development
  • Methods used and illustrations of innovation (such as using an existing technique in a novel way, or development of a new technique)
  • Application of work to real world problems – what impact has your work had? Try and quantify this if at all possible
  • Training and mentoring others
  • Technical review of others’ work
  • Leadership of OR activities, especially for higher levels:  though applications only highlighting business management of OR are unlikely to be successful
  • Publications, especially those that are in the public domain
  • Promotion of OR within own organisation or externally

Academics need to demonstrate the contribution they have made to OR, for example:

  • Expertise in analytical techniques used and developed
  • Demonstrating the impact of their research - undertaken by themselves or others
  • Illustrations of innovation
  • Development and running training activities
  • Evidence of academic and /or practitioner collaboration
  • Application of their work to real world problems
  • Review of others’ work
  • Leadership of OR Activities, especially for the higher levels
  • Publications
  • Promotion of OR

Both practitioners and academics should demonstrate that they are engaging with the OR community, The OR Society and similar bodies. Typically this will involve activities like:

  • Giving a paper at a conference, New to OR conference or conference with an OR focus (e.g. EURO, IFORS, GORS and ISMOR);
  • Organising a stream of papers at a conference
  • Taking part in one of the Special Interest Groups
  • Writing papers for ORS publications, such as JORS or Inside OR
  • Adding papers to the ORS document repository
  • Refereeing papers and reviewing books in JORS

Engagement with the OR community, through The OR Society or similar, becomes increasingly important with applications for Associate Fellow and Fellow.  Lack of engagement is the most frequent reason for rejection at these levels.


The views from at least two referees are required.  It can be helpful to use an existing AFORS or FORS as a referee (dependent on level) if they know your work well enough. In addition, getting such a person to review your application before submitting it is helpful, since they know the standards which the ORS apply.

Referees can greatly increase the strength of an application by:

  • Providing more than yes/no answers on the referee’s section of the accreditation form – explain why the application is supported.
  • Demonstrating clear knowledge of the candidate and the work they have been doing.

Referees should make their level of accreditation (if any) clear.

Accreditation panel - six people

Requirements to become a Fellow

To become a fellow you need a high level of experience. The achievements and engagement in, and contributions to, OR can be demonstrated by meeting a number of the criteria listed below:

Practice Criteria

  • Contributions to improved performance or well being, directly or indirectly, through OR applications in public, private or voluntary organisations, or in the community.
  • Management of significant OR budgets, staff or facilities (including in education) and promotion of OR in the organisation and/or senior non-OR management roles.
  • OR project management and supervision, including of practice-based student projects.
  • Authorship of written or oral reports, conference and workshop presentations, and case studies which contribute to the practice of OR.
  • Contributions to the development, maintenance and implementation of innovative OR systems through academic/practitioner collaboration.
  • Successful creation of own business in OR consultancy.
  • Theoretical developments that have led to improved practice.

Education, Training and Development (ETD) Criteria

  • Management and development of OR courses, including in-company training in OR or MSc course director.
  • Substantial introduction of new OR courses, teaching methods or curriculum developments.
  • Delivering effective OR teaching or training, including mentoring and coaching, whether in a business or educational environment.
  • Active development of your own knowledge and professional skills.
  • Participation in, and contribution to, the organisation of Society conferences, workshops, seminars, regional societies, study groups, the management of The OR Society, and similar participation in EURO or IFORS.


Back to OR Society accreditation

Ruth Kaufman discussing with speaker at Analytics Summit