Sarah Seaton, Member of Professional Affairs Committee

Sarah Seaton is a medical statistician at University of Leicester

What is your volunteer role at the RSS?
I sit on the Professional Affairs Committee

What does the role involve?
We meet a few times a year in London for a meeting which lasts most of the day. In advance of those meetings we review applications and paperwork which usually takes a few hours and I spread it out over a few days. At the meetings we spend a while discussing applicants for Graduate Statistician (GradStat), Chartered Statistician (CStat) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) status within the RSS. We see applications from a diverse range of experiences and roles and we make decisions about the award of these accreditations. I find it fascinating to hear about all the different ways people have entered their chosen statistical profession. We also discussing issues relevant to professional affairs, for example organising webinars with others to support professional development and promote the society. We also discuss the accreditation of university courses, which has been going through a lot of change recently, and we discuss revalidation which has only been going for a few years now.

Why did you choose this role?
I became a Chartered Statistician a couple of years ago and was supported and mentored through the process. I found it useful to think about my professional development in a way I hadn’t considered it before, and I wanted to take the opportunity to help other people in a similar way.

Has the experience been valuable for your professional development?
The experience has been really interesting. The opportunity to meet and talk with statisticians from all points of their career, particularly around professional development, gives me ideas of things I might like to do for myself in the future.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with the RSS?
I enjoy meeting, and working with, statisticians from other professional areas. I’m a medical statistician but through the RSS I’ve met statistician from industry, pharmaceutical companies, the ONS, consultants and many more! Whilst we all have diverse careers it’s really interesting to hear about all the applications of statistics, and how often we all face the same challenges.

What advice would you give to anyone interested in volunteering with the RSS?
Before I got involved with Professional Affairs, I wasn’t very aware of the work of the RSS. However, I generally think the best way to find out more is to get involved! So, if you aren’t sure what the RSS can offer you or what the RSS do, get involved and find out a little more. There is probably an area which will interest everyone.

What’s next – do you plan to carry on in this role or are you tempted to try other volunteer roles?
I’ll carry on my role with Professional Affairs, and if another interesting opportunity arises along the way, I will definitely consider it!