Q1. Why should I consider applying for chartered scientist?
A1. 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.
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.
Q2. Does chartered scientist replace the existing OR Society accreditation scheme?
A2. CSci doesn’t replace our own OR accreditations (e.g. CandORS; AORS, AFORS; FORS), which are ideal if you want to demonstrate your specific OR credentials. CSci sits alongside these as an addition or alternative if you want something which is more widely recognised, or which requires CPD and ethical compliance.
Q3. Who can apply for chartered scientist?
A3. 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).
Q4. If I am not yet ready to apply for CSci how can I best prepare for it?
A4. 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. Enabling you in due course to present with confidence your evidence for CSci.
Q5. I am not a full Member of The OR Society; can I apply for CSci?
A5. To apply for CSci it is essential that an applicant be a full (and paid up) 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.
Q6. How does the award process work?
A6. 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.
The application is in two stages. At stage 1, you are asked to provide various 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.
When they have confirmed your eligibility, 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 CSci assessors and who are knowledgeable of the OR discipline.
Q7. Will I need a face-to-face interview?
A7. OR Society applicants will not be required to have a face-to-face interview. However, it is an option, which you might want to consider if you feel your written evidence could be bolstered by a face-to-face discussion. If you choose this route, the process is likely to take a little longer, and a £50 additional fee will be charged.
Q8. How long does the process take?
A8. If you have a relevant master’s or higher academic qualification, you should be notified of your stage 1 outcome in little more than a week. If you have a first degree only it will take longer. The stage 2 decision is expected to take about six to eight weeks after submission of your application. This information is liable to amendment as we gain more experience of the process.
Q9. How much does it cost?
A9. The fee, set by the Science Council, is currently £45 p.a. and the application fee is £15. If the applicant selects for the face to face assessment, there is an additional £50 non-refundable fee. The fee is additional to your OR Society membership fee and any other accreditation fee you may be paying.
Q10. How much Continuing Professional Development (CPD) do I have to do?
A10. You are required to undertake at least sufficient CPD each year to maintain your scientific competence. Your own professional judgement, reflection on your needs and capabilities, your level of awareness of developments in the profession and amongst fellow professionals, and in many cases your employers’ or customers’ expectations, should help you assess what is sufficient. The OR Society hopes to hold annual workshops for CScis, probably at the annual conference, to support this.
Q11. How will my CPD be assessed?
A11. You are required to keep a record of your CPD activity, in enough detail to demonstrate how the activity is contributing to your development, and to submit this on demand. Monitoring of CPD records is undertaken at random by a team of qualified assessors, and you should expect to be required to submit your records every few years. Failure to provide proper records demonstrating sufficient CPD will normally lead to withdrawal or suspension of your CSci registration.
Q12. Where can I find out more?
A12. There is plenty of background material on the Science Council website.
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