Past PSF events

Tuesday 23 May 2017
The RSS Graduate Statistician (GradStat) mentoring scheme – how to benefit from participation as a mentor or mentee  Download slides 1, Download slides 2, Download slides 3, webcast (YouTube)

Wednesday 26 April, 2017
Presenters: Sarah Barker (Royal Statistical Society), Paul Baxter (University of Leeds) and Apostolos Fakis (Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
The RSS mentoring scheme was set up in 2008, with the aim of providing help and advice to GradStats on how to progress their careers and document their professional experience and development, with the aim of making a strong application for Chartered Statistician (CStat) status. Over 100 mentees and over 50 mentors have participated in the scheme to date. 
Sarah Barker will provide an overview of the scheme and how it operates, including how to apply and mentor-mentee matching process.
Paul Baxter and Apostolos Fakis will give an account of their experiences from the mentor and mentee perspective, including how participation in the scheme has been of benefit to them, what challenges they have faced and what advice they would offer to existing and potential mentors and mentees.  
This webinar will be of interest to mentors and mentees who have already joined the scheme, Chartered Statisticians who are considering volunteering as a mentor and Graduate Statisticians who want to find out more about how the scheme could benefit them.
Excellence and Innovation in Official Statistics – engaging and communicating with users - Slides1, slides2, webcast (Youtube)

Daryl Lloyd and David Mais, Department for Transport
Baljit Gill, Cabinet Office (formerly DCLG)

The RSS Official Statistics Awards, jointly awarded by the RSS and by the UK Statistics Authority, recognise and celebrate developments in Official Statistics. In this meeting the winners and runners-up of the 2016 Awards will describe the work which led to the awards: the Department of Transport, whose winning entry on Road Safety Statistics used innovative methods and clear and engaging communication, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, whose work with the Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion was Highly Commended, being praised for its quality assurance methods and clear communication. Speakers will reflect on the way the work arose, was supported and was taken forward, and what was and might be learned from that. There will be opportunity for discussion and questions.

Monday 30 January 2017
CStat revalidation – your questions answered - Slides (PDF), webcast (Youtube)
Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs Committee)
This meeting will outline the Chartered Statistician (CStat) revalidation processes being carried out in 2017 for professionally active Chartered Statisticians who have a revalidation date of 1st January 2018. The process for those CStats who do not also hold the Chartered Scientist (CSci) award will be covered, as will the process for those CStats who also hold the CSci award. The presentation will also summarise the outcome of the revalidation process in previous years and will clarify the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement that underpins revalidation. The meeting should be of interest to all Chartered Statisticians and to all Graduate Statisticians who are on the pathway to CStat status. There will be an opportunity to raise any outstanding questions.

Monday 21 November 2016, 2pm-3pm (GMT)
Working as a Data Scientist in sport: are empirical models good enough and how do we measure good enough? - Slides (PDF), webcast (YouTube)
Dave Hastie (Sporting Data Science)
In this webinar Dave will discuss his consultancy work within the sports industry as a data scientist at Sporting Data Science. Having started in this area in 2003, Dave has worked with professional sports teams and confederations, broadcasters, companies building fan engagement products and organisations linked to sports betting. To date his work has focussed on football, tennis and cricket but the approach can apply to many other sports. The talk will provide a flavour of Dave’s work, giving examples covering the whole data science pipeline, including data wrangling, data analysis, visualisation and statistical modelling. The webinar will cover some of the challenges working within the industry. Specifically, Dave will focus on communicating complex ideas and receiving buy-in amongst traditional sports executives and fans, who rarely have a statistical background but are considered to be experts in their domain. The final part of the talk will look at the specific question of how empirical based models developed by domain experts compare to the parametric or non-parametric models that are the basis of the statistical modeller’s toolbox. As part of this question, Dave will also address the issue of model assessment and some of the difficulties in comparing models within this domain.

Monday 31 October 2016, 3pm-6pm (GMT) at the RSS, Errol Street, London

CStat applications – The How? and Why? questions answered (face-to-face meeting) - webcast (YouTube), slides1 (PDF),slides2 (PowerPoint), slides3 (PDF), slides4 (PowerPoint)
Rob Mastrodomenico (Global Sports Statistics), Matt Sperrin (University of Manchester), Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs Committee), Sarah Barker (RSS Professional Affairs & Examinations Manager)
This meeting is aimed at individuals who are considering or in the process completing their Chartered Statistician (CStat) application and is intended to offer some insight into the benefits of CStat and the process for completing the CStat application. The first talk by Trevor Lewis will give an overview of the CStat award and the benefits of holding the award. Matt Sperrin will then offer his personal perspective as an academic of completing the CStat application outlining his experience. Rob Mastrodomenico will then offer much the same but this time from the perspective of someone in industry. By looking at the application process from the perspective of individuals from both academia and industry it is hoped that attendees will be able to gain insight to help them with their own applications. Following this there will be a talk from Sarah Barker who oversees the CStat application process for the Society and will describe the support the Society gives to those seeking chartered status (CStat).
The event will finish with a drinks reception where you will be able to network with other individuals who are in the CStat process. On top of this the event can be considered as a professional development activity and so can feature in support of your own application.

Tuesday 6 September 2016, 2pm-3pm (BST) at the RSS International Conference in Manchester, UK.
A Journey into the Uncertain: Identifying and Modelling Risk in Financial Services - webcast (YouTube)
Ashley Kanter (Analytics Manager, Aviva)
In this presentation Ashley will describe his experience working in the finance sector at Legal & General. In particular, he will describe how uncertainty features strongly in the structure and pricing of pensions - and how statisticians are well-placed to tame it. The focus of Ashley’s presentation will be on both the use of statistical techniques in this setting and also on how he has influenced his organisation to implement his work. Thus his presentation will cover the range of technical and non-technical skills and knowledge that he has found necessary to make an impact. The presentation will be suitable for a non-financial audience. Issues will be introduced generally at a high level, although some basic financial concepts will be covered.

Wednesday 15 June 2016, 2pm-3.30pm (BST)
The state of and prospects for professional accreditation for statisticians - webcast (YouTube), slides
Ron Wasserstein, Executive Director (American Statistical Association)
The ASA has been accrediting statisticians for just over five years (PStat and more recently GStat). Some things have gone very well. Others have been disappointing. In a rapidly evolving, high demand field, how will credentialing keep up. What will its purposes be in the future? Ironically, accreditation is needed by the profession but perhaps not required by many members to practice as professional statisticians. This webinar will review the current status of accreditation, and reflect on what may need to change. The perspective is that of the ASA, but in the Q&A we will be able to generalize to include the RSS perspective with CStat, CSci and GradStat.

2pm-3.30pm (BST), 20 Wednesday April 2016
Innovation and Development in Official Statistics: communicating for users - webcast (Youtube), slides 1 , slides 2 (PDF)
Luned Jones (Welsh Government) and Michael Hardie (Office for National Statistics)
The RSS Official Statistics Awards, jointly awarded by the RSS and by the UK Statistics Authority, recognise and celebrate developments in Official Statistics. In this meeting the winners and runners-up of the 2015 Awards will describe the work which led to the awards: the Welsh Government, whose winning entry on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation made major innovations in presentation, and the Office for National Statistics who were runners up with their engaging "digital day". Speakers will reflect on the way the work arose and was supported, will describe the work and how it is being taken forward, and what others might learn from that. There will be opportunity for discussion and questions.

2:00pm-3:30pm (GMT) 8 February 2016. 
CStat revalidation – your questions answered - webcast (YouTube), slides (PDF)
Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs Committee)
This meeting will outline the general CStat revalidation process, the experience with the process over the past 2 years, and discuss the specifics of the process for those undertaking the revalidation activity in 2016. There will be an opportunity to raise any outstanding questions.

2:00pm-3:30pm (GMT) 27 January 2016. 
Statistics on the economy, jobs, immigration, crime, travel and so much more fill the airwaves and news channels every day. Where do they come from? - professional statisticians, of course - webcast (YouTube)  slides (PowerPoint)
John Pullinger (National Statistician)
In this lecture John Pullinger will discuss how his role as President of the RSS was perfect preparation for his current jobs as UK National Statistician and Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission. He will also  talk about how other professional statisticians can contribute to the urgent task of capability building in the world of official statistics.

2:00pm – 3:30pm GMT. Thursday 17 December 2015, 
RSS/HRA co-sponsored workshop for statistician members of Research Ethics Committees 
Workshop outline: This workshop was co-sponsored by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) and was for statisticians who are members of Research Ethics Committees (RECs). The agenda included the following general topics: (i) Discussion of statistical experiences and issues arising from REC submissions and their assessment – both process and technical aspects, (ii)  Training and support for statistician members of RECs – what works well and what could be improved/added, (iii) How to encourage greater participation of statisticians in the work of RECs.
Output of workshop.

2:00pm – 3:30pm GMT. Tuesday 8 December 2015, 
Using prior elicitation and Bayesian thinking to help shape decision-making in the pharmaceutical industry - webcast (YouTube)  Download slides (PDF)
 Prof Nicky Best, GSK
For the past 18 months, clinical statisticians at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have been using prior elicitation techniques to enable quantification of existing knowledge in the absence of directly relevant data, and to help predict probability of success of next study(s) at key milestone decision points for all phases of clinical drug development. This initiative forms a key component of an R&D-wide focus on innovation in clinical design at GSK, which aims to establish Bayesian approaches and use of prior distributions as standard practice to support internal decision-making and analysis.  In this talk, Nicky Best will give a flavour of what the prior elicitation process involves, and discuss her experiences of using prior elicitation techniques and other Bayesian approaches within the pharmaceutical industry. Some of the challenges along the way have included first having to teach ourselves on both the statistical and psychological aspects of an elicitation process and then educating our clinical colleagues and senior management about this, as well as encouraging and influencing project teams to work with us and then to use our material in their decision-making and investment review meetings. Nicky will also share some personal reflections on what it has been like to make the transition from academic to industry statistician.

2:00pm – 3:30pm BST. 15 October 2015. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
Driving the Robustness of Preclinical Research within the Pharmaceutical Industrywebcast (YouTube) slides (PDF)
Katrina Gore, Director, Pfizer Research Statistics & Joint winner of the 2015 RSS / PSI prize for statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry
It is unusual to pick up a recent issue of Nature or Science that doesn’t include an article on the issue of non-reproducible research.  It would seem that research is plagued by findings that are not reliable and cannot be reproduced.  The pharmaceutical industry is not immune to these same issues.  Replication of published research findings is a key component of drug target identification and provides confidence to progress internal drug projects.  Additionally, we use data from internal assays to assess the biological and pharmacokinetic activity, selectivity and safety of novel compounds, and to make decisions that impact their progression towards clinical development.  While pharmaceutical companies often employ statisticians specifically to engage with research scientists, the ratio of statisticians to scientists is typically low.  This talk will describe the role of a preclinical statistician, outline the key challenges they face and focus on the Assay Capability Tool.  The ACT was created by Research Statistics within Pfizer to guide the development of drug discovery assays and to address issues of robustness and reproducibility in research.  It promotes easy to follow but absolutely essential experimental design strategies and represents the distilled experience of the provision of over three decades of statistical support to laboratory scientists. 

21 September 2015
The New RSS Consultants Directory – How to make it work for you
- audio (MP3), slides (PDF)
Nigel Marriott (Marriott Statistical Consulting Limited)
The RSS regularly receives enquiries for recommendations for a statistical consultant.  They are directed to the Directory of Consultants on the RSS website but previous versions have had a number of issues.  The new Consultant’s Directory will be launched in the summer of 2015 and has been designed by a working group of statistical consultants to overcome these issues and make it far easier for prospective clients to find the right consultant.  In this webinar, Nigel Marriott will explain how statistical consultants can use the new Directory to describe their services and generate new business prospects.

2:00pm-3:30pm (BST) 4 June 2015. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
A conceptual, technical and practical framework for missing data in longitudinal clinical studies - webcast (YouTube), audio (MP3),  slides (PowerPoint)
Dr Craig Mallinckrodt of Eli Lilly & Co
Over the past two decades I have had the good fortune to work with many outstanding researchers in the prevention and treatment of missing data in clinical trials. Although my individual contribution to this research is small, there have been isolated pockets where I have had an opportunity to shape thinking and lead change. Through these experiences I have come to believe in certain critical skills and important habits that are essential for having a productive and rewarding career as a statistician. Using my experiences in missing data research as a focal point, I will discuss these critical skills and important habits.

2:00pm-3:30pm (BST) 20 April 2015. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
Research Ethics Committees – the role of the statistician - webcast (YouTube), audio (MP3)
Chair: Trevor Lewis - slides
Chris Foy (Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the Oxford B Research Ethics Committee) - slides
John Kirkpatrick (PPD, Member of the Cambridge South Research Ethics Committee) - slides
Every proposal for research with human participants in the UK National Health Service must receive a favourable opinion from a Research Ethics Committee (REC) before it can proceed.  In this meeting the presenters will describe the role of the statistician as a member of a REC and cover their own experiences in the role. The meeting will be particularly useful for statisticians wishing to learn more about the work of RECs and/or who are considering joining a REC; as well as those with a wider interest in the role of statistics in promoting ethical research. Details will be given on how to follow-up and make enquiries about joining a REC in your area of the UK. In addition, the meeting will also be of interest to those already participating on RECs, who will have opportunity to make input from their own experiences during the Q&A part of the meeting.

2:00pm-3:30pm (GMT) 25 March 2015. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
Exploiting administrative data to help users of Official Statistics:  developments - webcast (YouTube), audio (MP3)
Mary Gregory (Department of Energy and Climate Change) - slides (PowerPoint)
Georgina Eaton and Tillie Paul (Ministry of Justice) - slides (PowerPoint)
The RSS Official Statistics Awards, jointly awarded by the RSS and by the UK Statistics Authority, recognise and celebrate developments in Official Statistics.  
In this meeting the joint winners of the 2014 Awards will describe the work which led to the awards: linking of public and private sector data by DECC to provide insight into energy use by households, and the use of statistical modelling techniques by MoJ to assess the impact of other organisations' work with ex-offenders.  Speakers will reflect on the way the work arose and was supported, will describe the work and how it is being taken forward, and what others might learn from that.  There will be opportunity for discussion and questions.

2:00pm-3:30pm (GMT) 9 February 2015. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
CStat revalidation – your questions answered
Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs Committee member) - slides (PDF), webcast (YouTube), audio (MP3)
This meeting outlined the general CStat revalidation process, discussed the specifics for those undertaking the revalidation activity in 2015 and answered any questions raised

27 November 2014 (at the RSS, Errol Street, London)
RSS/HRA co-sponsored workshop to consider the provision of statistical advice to Research Ethics Committees

  • For RSS members, and REC chairs and members who are statisticians, to discuss the current provision of statistical advice to RECs.
  • Consider what, if any, issues there may be in the provision of this advice currently and whether this may be improved or changed.
  • To consider issues raised by RSS members in relation to providing professional advice to researchers/others.
  • To discuss and consider current guidance available to applicants on clinical study design and statistical matters and whether communication of this is may be improved.
  • To discuss and consider the training provided to the RECs on this subject.

Sheila Oliver: Overview of HRA/NRES, RECs and how they function - slides (PDF)
Trevor Lewis: Introduction to the RSS, membership and role. The concerns of statisticians involved with the REC process - slides (PDF)
Chris Foy: Role of the statistician on a REC and current IRAS statistical question guidance - slides (PDF)
Tim Clark: Introduction to the HRA guidance on clinical study design - slides (PDF)

17 November 2014. A virtual (web/telephone) meeting
The evolving role of statistics in the world’s biggest building society - slides (PDF), webcast (YouTube), audio (MP3)
Matthew Jones
This session ran through the increasing importance of statistics in the financial sector, relating specifically to Retail risk (Mortgages, Credit Cards, Personal Loans and Current Accounts). The major banks and building societies have witnessed a huge upsurge in demand for statistical capability in recent years due to increasing business demands and regulatory challenge. This has been clearly evidenced at Nationwide Building Society, in particular where Retail Modelling capacity has increased from 10 modellers, to the current 60. The presenter outlined how and why this has happened in the industry and his thoughts on how to succeed as a modeller in finance.

4 September 2014 (at the RSS International Conference in Sheffield; jointly sponsored by the PSF and the YSS)
Career Development Pathways for Professional Statisticians
Stephen Pyke (Chair), RSS VP for Professional Affairs & GSK
Rob Mastrodomenico, Global Sports Statistics
Uli Burger, Novartis Pharmaceuticals R&D
Despite what many have predicted over three decades or more, the days of a ‘job for life’ are not truly gone. Even so, the concept of a linear career pathway based on promotion within a discipline is today only one of many options for professional statisticians in what has become a very pluralistic and diverse work environment. In this session two professional statisticians from quite different business sectors shared a little of their own career histories as well as some of the insights into professional development they gleaned along the way.

3 September 2014 (at the RSS International Conference in Sheffield)
CStat Revalidation – experience to date and plans for 2015 - slides (PDF)
Trevor Lewis, RSS Theme Director for Professional Affairs
This session gave an overview of the CStat revalidation process and provided feedback on experience to-date and plans for 2015. CStat revalidation was undertaken for the first time earlier this year by a cohort of 190 chartered statisticians who had 1st January 2015 as their revalidation date. The outcome of this process and lessons learnt will be summarised. The process for revalidation in 2015 for those who have a revalidation date of 1st January 2016 was outlined. There was the opportunity to ask questions and gain clarity on the requirements for revalidation, the continuing professional development policy of the society and the recording of professional development activities 

2 June 2014
Making a success of Statistical Consultancy
Trevor Lewis, TLWise Consulting Ltd
Experience of setting up a statistical consultancy business - slides (PDF)
Martin Gibson, AQUIST Consulting
Hints and tips on setting up a consultancy business - slides (PDF)
Nigel Marriott, Marriott Statistical Consulting Ltd
How to find your clients and help them find you - slides (PDF)
A summary of the meeting is also available (PDF).

2:00-3:30pm  (BST) 21 May 2014
Improving the accessibility of Official Statistics:  developments
Richard Batterham (HM Revenue and Customs) - slides (PPTX)
Andy Milne and Bill Oates (Welsh Government) - slides (PPTX)
Rob Fry (Office for National Statistics) - slides (PPTX)
With the active encouragement of the National Statistician and the UK Statistics Authority, statisticians in Government are working hard to improve the accessibility of their statistics to the public, and so to increase their impact.  In this meeting the winner and runners up from the 2013 Official Statistics awards will describe the work which led to the awards: work on overseas trade statistics by HMRC, the Welsh Government’s “My local school” website, and ONS work on visualisations from the 2011 population census.  Speakers will reflect on how it arose and was supported, how it is being taken forward, and what others might learn from that.  There will be opportunity for discussion and questions.
A telephone-based (virtual) meeting - audio (MP3) and video (YouTube) available.

24 March 2014
Changing the culture of a pharmaceutical company: A case study of implementing a novel statistical methodology
Bjoern Bornkamp (Novartis) winner of the 2013 prize for statistical excellence in the pharmaceutical industry
Dr Frank Bretz (Novartis)
We share our experiences of developing, implementing and fostering the use of an efficient statistical methodology (MCP-Mod) for dose finding studies. The development of the method began more than 10 years ago as an internal initiative to enable a consistent use of good dose finding practices across our projects and over the years, the method has been used in more than 20 studies. Adoption of the method within the company and beyond has been helped by the engagement of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) cross-industry working group on ‘Adaptive Dose-Ranging Studies’ as well as the availability of an extensive software implementation at the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN).
Telephone-based meeting - audio (MP3), video (YouTube) and slides (PDF) available.

10 February 2014
CStat revalidation – your questions answered
Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs, theme director)
This meeting will outline the general CStat revalidation process, discuss the specifics for those undertaking the revalidation activity in 2014 and answer any questions raised.
More information is available on our revalidation of the award page.
Telephone-based meeting - audio (MP3) and slides (PDF) available.

25 November 2013
Introducing a novel statistical approach into an established business area
Harry Southworth (AstraZeneca)
Despite the acknowledged importance of establishing the safety of new medicines, formal statistical methods to analyse safety data collected during the clinical trial programme have until recently been under-developed and under-used. Harry Southworth shares his experiences relating to the application of extreme value techniques to clinical trial safety data, including aspects of identifying the need for a novel approach, evaluating the methodology, various issues thrown up by the collision of an existing methodology and a new area of application, implementation in software, and gaining support from clinicians and decision-makers. Current usage of the methods is described, with some discussion of business impact.
Telephone-based meeting - slides available (PDF).

5 September 2013
Leadership in a non-statistical environment – why our statistical background matters (write-up PDF)
Steve Pyke (GSK) Introduction - slides (PDF)
Karen Facey (evidence based health policy consultant - slides (PDF)
Martin Gibson (AQUIST Consulting) - slides and cover note (PDF)
RSS 2013 International Conference, Newcastle, UK

17 June 2013, 2-3.30pm (BST)
A statistical career in engineering and industry
Tim Davis (timdavis consulting ltd)
Telephone-based meeting - slides (PDF)

20 May 2013, 2-5pm
Setting up a statistical consultancy business
Steve Brooks (Select Statistical Services Limited) - slides (PDF)
Trevor Lewis (TLWise Consulting Limited) - slides (PDF)
Nigel Marriott (Marriott Statistical Consulting Limited) - slides (PDF)
RSS, Errol Street, London
To read a summary of the meeting download Setting up a statistical consultancy business (PDF).

19 November 2012, 2-5pm
Continuing professional development – how to make it effective
Trevor Lewis (RSS Professional Affairs, theme director)
For notes and slides on the meeting download Continuing professional development – how to make it effective (PDF).
RSS, Errol Street, London.

4 September 2012, 1.20-2.20pm
Inaugural meeting of the Professional Statisticians’ Forum
Steve Pyke (GSK) – Introduction slides (PDF)
Tim Paulden (ATASS Sports) – Beating the odds: Successfully managing a rapidly-expanding statistical team - slides (PDF)
Phil Woodward (Pfizer) – From talking to action. A personal view on making an impact - slides (PDF)
Professional Statisticians’ Forum gives a summary of the meeting - (PDF).
RSS 2012 International Conference, Telford