Instructions for Completing the Application Form for A.Stat. (Associate Statistician)

1. Overview and purpose of this document

This simplified guide is to assist the applicant to complete the A.Stat. application form, although reference to the authoritative document may be required in some cases. In case of conflict between this document and the authoritative, the latter takes precedence.

There are two levels of accreditation, the Professional Statistician (P.Stat.) and the Associate Statistician (A.Stat.). The qualifications of A.Stat. and P.Stat. may not be held simultaneously.

The A.Stat. designation indicates that the holder has completed a course of study showing ability and aptitude in statistics (e.g. an undergraduate degree in Statistics), or, in exceptional instances, has otherwise demonstrated an advanced understanding of statistical theory and its application. An A.Stat. designation would be regarded as the entry level requirement for a Statistician practicing in Canada under the direction/mentorship of a P.Stat. (Professional Statistician). The SSC expects that most holders of A.Stat. will work towards obtaining their P.Stat. designation following a minimum of six years of professional experience in the application of statistics.

A certificate of accreditation level and licensee number are issued to recipients of an accredited designation. The certificate indicates that the holder adheres to ethical practice, as defined by the SSC Code of Ethical Statistical Practice. The accredited statistician may affix the received designation to his/her list of professional qualifications. For example, a signature of an accredited individual may read: Jane (or Jim) Statistician, B.Sc., A.Stat. A successful A.Stat. recipient must be a member of the SSC within 4 months of certification being awarded.

The benefits of accreditation to an individual, employer, the professional practice of the discipline of statistics in Canada, and Canadian Society are outlined in the information brochure.
For an employer, accreditation is a sign that the holder has achieved a certain standard of education and/or professional experience, maintains professional development, and practices ethically.
For an individual applicant, these benefits include assistance to acquire and maintain professional standards across the full spectrum of practice: planning of projects and studies, data collection and management, analyses of data, synthesis of results, interpretation of data and results, and oral and written communication about projects and studies.

The code of ethical statistical practice provides guidance about conduct.

Members maintain their accreditation qualification by paying annual SSC membership fees and accreditation dues to the SSC; submitting the form with past and current fields of expertise and practice, and the past year's record of professional development; and maintaining ethical professional competency and practice. Members may affix their accreditation designation to their list of qualifications as long as they maintain their qualification, which may be for life.

The annual records for individual past and new areas of expertise and practice are kept in a database. The full database will be used for networking, strategic planning of course offerings, and assessing the strengths and gaps in the availability of expertise in Canada. The individual professional development information is stored in a secure location, and accessed only by Accreditation Committee program planners.

The Statistical Society of Canada will strive to provide assistance to individuals through national networking, professional development programs and conferences for them to acquire and maintain professional expertise. Lastly, accreditation will benefit the profession of Statistics by delineating the special strengths and skills of our accredited members.

2. Overview of the Process

A.Stat. applicants may come from one of three streams corresponding to whether (1) they are equivalently credentialed by another recognized Statistical authority, e.g. the Association des statisticiennes et des statisticiens du Québec (ASSQ), the Royal Statistical Society, the Statistical Society of Australia Inc. (SSAI), or (2) they fulfill all of the educational requirements with courses accredited by the SSC, or (3) all other applicants. In each case the A.Stat. form that is referenced below is straightforward, requiring an hour or two to complete after the educational documentation has been gathered.

2.1 Streams of A.Stat. Applications:

2.1.1 Credentialed by a Recognized Statistical Authority

Applicants must provide documented proof of equivalent credentialing, e.g., ASSQ A.Stat., RSS GradStat, or SSAI GStat. Experienced ASSQ A.Stat., RSS C.Stat. or Australian A.Stat. applicants, may wish to apply for the P.Stat, rather than an A.Stat. designation, if they have at least 6 years cumulative applied professional experience.

2.1.2 Applicants fulfilling all educational requirements using SSC Accredited Courses

Many graduates of degree or diploma programs from Canadian institutions will have fulfilled the educational requirements by taking a full suite of SSC Accredited Courses. In this case, additional documentation about course work will be reduced.

Where the educational requirements have been met at an institution, it is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain documentation and verification from as many institutions as required to demonstrate coverage of the required elements.

A student may meet the requirement of a non-statistics substantive area with (undergraduate or graduate) work experience in a job that has a substantial statistical component, e.g., four months of work substitutes for one course in a substantive area.

For applicants who are recent graduates, recent academic achievement would usually be the primary assessment criterion, with an expectation of achievement over and above the bare minimum required to graduate from their host institution.

2.1.3 All Other A.Stat. Applicants

Applicants without a complete list of accredited courses may find that it is relatively easy to demonstrate many of the educational elements by providing documentation about the courses.
Where the educational requirements have been met at one or more institutions, it is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain documentation and verification from as many institutions as required to demonstrate coverage of the required elements.

Work (possibly, during school) for a year as a Statistician in an organization may substitute for evidence of a minor in a substantive area of application, e.g., four months of work substitutes for one course in a substantive area.

A.Stat. applicants may demonstrate the cumulative acquisition of statistical educational requirements with details of professional development, experience and in exceptional instances evidence of an advanced understanding of statistical theory and its application (See Appendix B of the document entitled Accreditation of Statisticians by the Statistical Society of Canada.).

For applicants using professional experience as their basis for application, less weight will be placed on academic record, and there should be greater demonstration of professional ability. It is an applicant’s responsibility to provide evidence of professional development and/or documented reports that demonstrate evidence of a advanced understanding of statistical theory and its application in practice (See Appendix B of the document entitled Accreditation of Statisticians by the Statistical Society of Canada.).

The Accreditation Committee will assess each application based on the information provided. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the materials submitted are sufficient for a proper assessment of the candidacy. 

The Committee reserves the right to require additional materials.

2.2 Completing the Accreditation Application Form

To apply for the A.Stat. qualification, an applicant must complete the official application form and a summary form. The applicant must clearly demonstrate fulfillment of the necessary criteria. After gathering educational documents, the applicant should obtain permission of 2 people (e.g., professors or employers) who are in a position provide a reference for oral communication skills. These two referees may be asked (as decided by the Accreditation Committee in its sole unfettered determination and not subject to external appeal) to write letters of support directly to the Accreditation Committee.

Completed application forms must be sent electronically to the SSC. Applications may be submitted at any time; however, the Accreditation Committee will normally bring forward recommendations to the SSC Board thrice a year, in March, May and October.

Each applicant will be required to pay an application administration fee as determined by the SSC. There will be no refund if the application is not successful. An applicant who is unsuccessful will receive written feedback from the Accreditation Committee, and may reapply, but no earlier than 12 months after Board consideration of the denied application. The applicant who is unsuccessful may appeal to the Accreditation Appeals Committee within 30 calendar days of the date of the notification letter. The Appeals process is described in the document Accreditation of Statisticians by the Statistical Society of Canada.

2.3 Confidentiality

The Accreditation Committee and the Accreditation Appeals Committee may access an applicant's application and professional development reports; these documents are not available to any other party, except by written consent of the member. These documents are confidential and stored at the SSC Office. Although the SSC will use reasonable efforts to keep an applicant's details confidential at all times, the SSC makes no representation or warranty to this effect.

Applicants are advised to:

  • ensure that they have permission from their employers for members of the Committee to review the materials;
  • use the security features of PDF documents to encrypt sensitive information.

An applicant may nominate up to two members of the Committee who should not see the material because of confidentiality, conflict of interest, or other reasons.

Members of the Accreditation Committee (or Accreditation Appeals Committee) may declare an inability to review particular applications because of conflict of interest, or other reasons.

Members of either Committee who review material will sign a nondisclosure agreement for the documents they will review. The reviews will be kept confidential; they will be stored securely. In the case of an overall negative recommendation, the Chair will prepare an edited anonymous version of the reviews which will be given to the applicant as part of the feedback provided in the case of an overall negative recommendation. Such feedback may also be requested by the applicant in the case of a positive recommendation. The Chair's version of a negative review will be kept indefinitely with the application. No one on the Committee(s) other than the reviewers and the Chair will see the reviews, and if there is an appeal to the Board, Board members will sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Note: An applicant may request further confidentiality. In such a case, further safeguards, as determined by the SSC in its sole determination, one or more of the following additional measures may be adopted.

Special Review options:

  1. Sensitive materials may be de-sensitized by the replacement of specific numbers with x, y, z, etc.;
  2. Formal letters of confidentiality may be exchanged.

The review of primary written documentation may be replaced by an oral teleconference review, at the expense of the applicant. In such a case, the applicant would submit written testimony from two individuals with an intimate knowledge of his/her work. The two Accreditation Committee reviewers will perform independent teleconference interviews of the applicant and the two referees.

3. Instructions for completing the application form

Applicants need to complete two forms – the Application form and the Summary form. Both forms are available on the website.

Applications will be accepted in either French or English.

The application form provides details about the applicant; the summary form is used during the accreditation approval process.

The application form and summary form are Microsoft Word documents that use the Forms features of Word.

You can save the document at any time and then return to complete the form.

When the application form is complete, convert it to PDF format and insert attachments as required (see frequently asked questions and check list below).

A short summary of relevant items is the following:

Page 1: Identification and contact information of Applicant:

All applicants must complete this page.

An applicant must be a Canadian citizen, or legally entitled to work in Canada, or an accredited member of an organization in his/her home country that is the equivalent to the SSC and has a formal relationship with the SSC for the purposes of membership and recognition of professional standards.

Most applications will be a Regular Application unless an employer considers any portion of your application to require special levels of confidentiality.

If you are applying on the basis of being accredited/chartered/certified from another jurisdiction (e.g. ASSQ A.Stat., RSS GStat., AAI GradStat ) please attach documentation.

Experienced ASSQ A.Stat., RSS CStat. or Australian AStat applicants, may wish to apply for the P.Stat, rather than an A.Stat. designation, if they have at least 6 years cumulative applied professional experience.

Page 2: Payment information and Declaration of Applicant:

All applicants must complete this page. See section 4 below for payment details.

Pages 3-5: Educational Background

All applicants must complete the third page.

The basic level of educational achievement for an A.Stat. is a Bachelor degree in Statistics or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The A.Stat. candidate is expected to upgrade their educational background to meet the standard expected for a P.Stat. through combinations of work experience and additional training.

Applicants credentialed by another recognized statistical authority.

Applicants applying on the basis of being accredited/chartered/certified from another jurisdiction (e.g. ASSQ A.Stat., RSS C.Stat., Australian G.Stat ) do not need to complete pages 4 and 5. Please append copies of your credentials.

Applicants with a Doctorate in Statistics from a Canadian university.

Please enclose a verified electronic copy of your degree certificates and transcripts.

References will be contacted for information about the applicant’s oral communication skills.

Applicants with a Bachelor or Master degree in statistics or cognate discipline from a Canadian university.

Because of the wide variety of bachelor and master degree programs, a check-list of core courses comprising a Bachelor degree is found on page 4 and a summary of the suggested course content is found in the Appendix to this document.

Please complete the check list on page 4 indicating which courses are used to fulfill the educational requirements. Applicants can fulfill the educational requirement using a combination of SSC accredited and other courses from one or more institutions.

Electronic copies of official transcripts must be included. Where the educational requirements have been met at more than 1 institution, it is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain documentation and verification from as many institutions as required to demonstrate coverage of the required elements.

References will be contacted for information about the applicant’s oral communication skills.

(a) Using SSC Accredited Courses.
No further documentation on the courses is required other than electronic copies of official transcripts.

(b) Using other courses.
Applicants are required to provide further documentation on the non-accredited coursework completed. Please append a copy of the course outline or final examination for each course
The course requirement for written communication skills can be met by formal courses in communications (e.g. writing intensive courses) or by other means such as a practicum report, co-op report, work report etc.
Please attach a copy of these reports.

The course requirements for a substantive area outside of statistics can also be met in a variety of ways. For many degree programs, this would correspond to a minor. Most minors are acceptable (e.g., minors in operations research, combinatorics, actuarial science, arts, business, engineering, etc., would be acceptable).
Other alternatives include a co-op work term in lieu of a course, two 2-course minors, work experience in a job that has a substantial statistical component, i.e., roughly four months of work will substitute for one course in a substantive area. Please contact the SSC Office if clarification is needed.

Applicants without a formal degree in statistics or cognate disciplines.

These applicants may demonstrate the cumulative acquisition of statistical educational requirements with details of professional development, experience and in exceptional instances evidence of an advanced understanding of statistical theory and its application (Refer Appendix B of the document Accreditation of Statisticians by the Statistical Society of Canada.). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient detail for the committee to judge the professional skills of the applicant.

The course requirement for communication skills can be met by formal courses in communications (e.g., writing intensive courses) or by other means such as a practicum report, co-op report, work report, etc. Please attach documentation.

References will be contacted for information about oral communication skills.

Applicants trained outside of Canada.

Those who trained outside of Canada, but are not credentialed elsewhere should append electronic proof of Canadian equivalency, e.g., World Education Services documentation.

Page 6: Work Experience, Professional Development, Fields of Expertise.

The section on Work Experience needs to completed only by those applicants who wish to demonstrate equivalency of a minor in substantive area through a minimum of one year’s work experience, or wish to demonstrate the acquisition of equivalent educational background. 

The section on Professional Development is only required by those applicants who need to demonstrate equivalency of minor in substantive area through work experience, or to demonstrate the acquisition of equivalent educational background.

The section on Fields of Expertise may completed by all applicants although it is recognized that a recent graduate may not have well-developed area(s) of specialization. These fields of expertise can be updated in future years as the A.Stat. designation is renewed.

Page 7: References

All applicants must complete this page.

All references will be contacted for information about the applicant’s oral communication skills. The references may be contacted for additional information as required by the Accreditation Committee. If there are reviewers who should not review your application, you can list up to two reviewers.

Page 8: Description of how you meet the requirements.

All applicants must complete a maximum of a single-page written description.

This description should highlight for the review committee how you meet the educational requirements for an A.Stat. designation. This description will be particularly important in two areas: (1) how the applicant meets the written communication skill requirements if not clear from the transcripts; (2) how the applicant’s professional experience is equivalent to the educational requirements.

Page 9: Full CV

Optional for all applicants, but recommended.

Pages 10-12: Reports

Many applicants will not need to append reports. Common uses for this section are by applicants demonstrating communication skills or demonstrating equivalent combinations of work experience for
educational requirements.

Page 13: End of Application page

Please retain this page in your application.

Page 1: Separate Summary Form:

All applicants complete this page. The application form provides details about the applicant; the summary form is used during the accreditation approval process.

4. Submitting the application and payment

When the application form is complete, convert it to PDF format and insert attachments as required (see checklist below). The summary form is to be saved as a Word file.

Please name the files in the following form:
surname-astat-yyyy-appl.pdf
surname-astat-yyyy-smry.doc

where yyyy should be replaced with your year of application.

Both files should be e-mailed to the SSC office at accreditation@ssc.ca.

The application fee is non-refundable.

If you are paying by credit card, you may wish to omit the credit details from your pdf application. Print the first page, add credit card details by hand, sign at the bottom, and fax ONLY THE FIRST PAGE to the SSC office at (613) 733-1386, or mail the cheque or credit card details to:

Statistical Society of Canada
219 - 1725 St. Laurent Blvd.
Ottawa ON K1G 3V4

5. Checklist for completing the forms

□ Applicant form and summary form are complete.
□ Copy of transcripts for courses or degree included.
□ All your references will be contacted for your oral skills, at least; you should have secured their
willingness to be a referee.
□ Send SSC payment or credit card details.

6. FAQ:

6.1. How do I enter more degrees for post-secondary education than spaces provided?

If possible, please restrict entries to the most relevant education. If it is necessary to insert new entries, please see FAQ #3.

6.2. Am I required to send proof of my post-secondary education?

Applicants for A.Stat. should append copies of their post-secondary documentation, e.g. transcripts and/or copies of degree certificates.

6.3. How do I enter more employment entries?

If you still need more space, add an Appendix in Word.

6.4. What do I do if my work is confidential and should not be seen except for a limited number of people?

Please refer to the document Accreditation of Statisticians by the Statistical Society of Canada.

6.5. How do I document professional experience?

The documentation of professional experience is only required by those who need to demonstrate equivalency of a minor in a substantive area through 1 year’s work experience, or to demonstrate the acquisition of equivalent educational background. Reviewers are looking for documentation on your ability to apply good statistical theory and methods to practical problems, and to communicate the results.

6.6. How do I assemble the pieces into a single final PDF version of the form?

The suggestions below do not imply an endorsement by the SSC
(a) If you have Acrobat (not just Acrobat Reader), it enables the creation of PDF documents directly from
Microsoft Word and other word processing packages.
(b) There are many commercial/shareware/freeware add-ons to create PDF documents. Search of the web for a
suitable piece of software.
(c) Try a commercial service, e.g., a local copy centre/business supply store scans pages, converts to PDF, and
places the documents on a CD for a reasonable price.

Appendix: Approximate coverage of courses in educational requirement

A.1 Mathematical modules – approximately 3 courses

(a) Calculus I
(b) Calculus II

These modules should cover the standard topics in differentiation, single variable integration, and multivariable integration. These are to a great extent standard topics offered in introductory calculus courses and so little detail is provided here.

(c) Linear Algebra

This module should cover matrix manipulations, vector spaces, singular values, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
These topics are, to a great extent, standard topics in an introductory linear algebra course.

A.2 Statistical and probability modules

Note that some of these courses may require additional introductory courses in statistics and probability which are usually not counted towards completion of the A.Stat. designation requirements.
The following modules can usually be covered in approximately 7 courses. The first four modules are core, i.e. all applicants for the A.Stat. designation should have completed the first two topics and at least one of the second two, while the last set of modules is elective.

A.2.1 Mathematical statistics modules – approximately 1 course - required

(a) Distributional theory (moments, transformations, moment generating functions)
(b) Basic distributions (normal, t, chi-square, F, exponential, weibull, uniform, etc)
(c) Relationships among basic distributions.
(d) Basic theory of estimation; sufficiency; method of moments; maximum likelihood estimation; basic Bayes estimation; confidence intervals; credible intervals; prediction intervals
(e) Basic theory of hypothesis testing; likelihood ratio tests; chi-square tests;
(f) Basic probability theory; convergence types;

These modules should cover the majority of the topics in books such a Hogg and Craig (Introduction to Mathematical Statistics) or Mood, Bose, and Graybill (Introduction to the Theory of Statistics)

A.2.2 Linear Regression module – approximately 1 course - required

(a) Single variable regression;
(b) Multiple regression using matrix notation; diagnostics;
(c) Model selection; forwards, backwards, stepwise, Cp, AIC, etc.

This is a standard course in regression methods as covered in Kutner, Nachtsheim, Neter and Li (Applied Linear Models) or Kleinbaum, Kupper, and Muller (Applied Regression Analysis and Other Multivariable Methods), or Draper and Smith (Applied Regression Analysis), etc.

A.2.3 Design and analysis of experiments module – approximately 1 course - recommended but not required, but at least one of experimental design or survey sampling must be present

(a) Completely randomized designs;
(b) Complete block designs;
(c) Latin squares
(d) Incomplete block designs
(e) Split-plot designs;
(r) Fractional factorial designs;
(g) Response surface designs;

These topics should also discuss sample size determination and power determination. There should be practice in both DESIGN and ANALYSIS of experiments. These are standard topics covered in books such as Montgomery (Design and Analysis of Experiments) or Kuehl, (Statistical Principles of Research Design and Analysis), or Hicks and Turner (Fundamental Concepts in the Design of Experiments), etc.

A.2.4. Survey sampling module – approximately 1 course – recommended but not required, but at least one of experimental design or survey sampling must be present

(a) Simple random samples;
(b) Systematic samples;
(c) Cluster samples;
(d) Two stage samples;
(e) Sampling weights

These topics should cover stratification; ratio and regression estimation; domain estimation; estimates of means, total, proportions, and ratios. These are standard topics in books such as Lohr (Survey Sampling.), Cochran (Sampling Techniques), Thompson (Sampling), or Levy and Lemeshow (Sampling of Populations: Methods and Applications).

A.2.5. Other statistics modules – approximately 3 courses

The applicant should complete an additional 3 courses that can incorporate a wide variety of topics. One of survey sampling or experimental design may be replaced by an elective, but three additional courses are still required. Some of the potential topics are listed below – this list is exemplary rather than exhaustive. These are NOT the topics for the substantive area in Section A.3.5.

(a) Generalized linear models
Logistic regression; log-linear models; contingency tables

(b) Modern computational methods
Bootstrapping; jackknifing, and other resampling methods

(c) Computational Bayesian methods

(d) Generalized estimating equations

(e) Survival analysis

(f) Data mining

(g) Statistical consulting

(h) Time series

(i) Multivariate methods

(j) Non-parametric methods

(k) Quality control

(l) Data analysis/capstone course
In this course students should take an integrative approach to data analysis using such topics as visualization, model building, model validation, etc.

(m) Econometrics

(n) Actuarial Science courses

(o) Categorical data analysis

(p) Stochastic processes

A.3 Computer skills - (approximately 2 courses)

Students should be able to use the standard productivity tools, be able to use common statistical packages, and should also be able to program non-standard analyses. Many programs integrate these topics through out the undergraduate experience without formal courses in productivity tools or statistical packages.

(a) Productivity tools – word processors; spreadsheets; drawing programs; web usage

(b) Statistical packages
Students should have experience in at least one of S-Plus, R, SAS, SPSS, etc.

(c) Formal computer language
Students should have a basic understanding of programming at the base level using a language such as FORTRAN, C, Basic, Matlab, S-Plus, R, or similar languages.

A.4 Communication Skills – approximately 1 course

Written and/or oral communication.

In some programs, student may take specialized courses in these areas. In other courses, these skills may be integrated into the program over a broad array of courses. For example, some courses in a program may be designated as writing intensive courses. The student should receive substantial feedback to help develop their communication skills.

The applicant’s references will be contacted for information about the applicant’s oral communication skills.

A.5 Substantive Area – approximately 3 courses

The student should develop expertise in a substantive area other than statistics.

In many programs, this would be obtained by a minor in another area or two 2-course minors or any set of related three courses. Most minors are acceptable except those whose application content may be minimal. Minors in applicable mathematics (e.g. operations research, combinatorics, actuarial science, business, engineering, etc.) are acceptable.