Withdrawal of professional examinations

In 2017 The Royal Statistical Society decided to withdraw from offering its own professional examinations after the May 2017 session. This decision was made to allow the Society to focus its resources on setting and maintaining professional standards in statistics and allied disciplines, in the UK and Internationally.

Fellows!
The Open University has approved the RSS exams for use as Credit Transfer in place of Introducing statistics (M140) and Analysing data (M248) within their Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics (S03), depending on which RSS Higher Certificate and Graduate Diploma modules have been passed. Each applicant wishing to use this credit transfer opportunity will be considered on a case by case basis. To complete the Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics you would then need to study Practical modern statistics (M249) and Linear statistical modelling (M346). For more information about the course and how to apply visit their website here.

Frequently asked questions

Why has the RSS decided to stop offering examinations?

As part of a strategic review of our professional affairs work, we conducted a review of our examination operations. After an in-depth benchmarking study of how the RSS compares to other providers of statistical qualifications, it was found that although our qualifications are appreciated by a number of candidates as a way to further their professional development, their uptake had been relatively low, and the paper-based assessment method that was used is out of step with current best practice. Informed by a survey of examination candidates, the review also found there is serious demand for structured learning support for our examinations, which we currently do not provide

The Society’s Council considered the benefits of having our own qualifications in place against the investment needed to be able to continue with the current system (including the provision of learning support). After a careful discussion, it decided that on balance it would be preferable to move to a different model to implement our educational standards and benchmarks. It therefore decided to withdraw from offering our professional examinations after the May 2017 session, ensuring solid transition arrangements are in place for existing candidates, and for our existing partners who work with us in the current system.

What happens if I did not fully complete my qualification in 2017?

For those candidates who were part-way through a qualification after the May 2017 examinations, we will undertake to provide guidance on transitional routes to a qualification via one of our accredited partner institutions. This is an email only service, so please send details of your situation and query to membership@rss.org.uk.

The Open University has approved the RSS exams for use as Credit Transfer in place of Introducing statistics (M140) and Analysing data (M248) within their Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics (S03), depending on which RSS Higher Certificate and Graduate Diploma modules have been passed. Each applicant wishing to use this credit transfer opportunity will be considered on a case by case basis. To complete the Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics you would then need to study Practical modern statistics (M249) and Linear statistical modelling (M346). For more information about the course and how to apply visit their website here.

Will the qualifications I already hold still be recognised?

Although the RSS will no longer offer examinations, we will focus our resources on setting and maintaining professional standards in Statistics and allied disciplines, in the UK and Internationally. The professional examinations will still be recognised against any new standards that are introduced. The Society will begin developing extended accreditation mechanisms to build partnerships with existing providers of statistical qualifications, both in the UK and internationally. This will give us the opportunity to reach a much wider field of future students who will be able to be confident their statistical qualification is fit for purpose, and recognised by an eminent and trusted professional body.