New Data Science Standards launched & certificates awarded

On Tuesday evening, 12 July, the Alliance for Data Science Professionals, of which the RSS is a founding member, launched new Data Science standards. The first cohort of data scientists to sign up to the standards, which included five RSS members, were awarded with their certificates at the event hosted by the Royal Society.

The event, which is  the end-product of a series of statements of intent released in July 2020 and 2021, signalled the start of a new era of collaboration between members of the Alliance as they continue to work together to shape the profession of data science. By delivering a set  of standards, the first to be jointly recognised by a number of learned societies, has allowed for a new certification to be created; the Advanced Data Science Professional. Having the event at the Royal Society, was evidence that this work had come full circle, having first been a recommendation in their Dynamics in Data Skills report, published in 2019.

Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: ‘The work of the Alliance for Data Science Professionals is very welcome. Industry-wide standards and certification can play an important role in ensuring that ethics and good governance are properly embedded across the data science profession. They have the potential to both raise the quality of data-driven insights and provide confidence to the public over how their data is being used.’
RSS CEO, Stian Westlake, who presented the cohort with their certificates, said: ‘The first cohort of data scientists to receive this award are true trailblazers. The standard they have met is a powerful signal of their technical skill, quantitative expertise, and professional values. The RSS is confident that these standards will thrive and grow and will be a valuable resource to data scientists everywhere.’

The RSS members that have achieved the new certificate are:

Elizabeth Cooke CStat (NPL)
Paul Duncan CStat (NPL)
Rebecca Killick CStat (Lancaster University)
Robert Mastrodomenico CStat (Alchemax Analytics)
Sophie Carr CStat (Bays Consulting)

Introducing the standards and the certification was the Chair of the Alliance, and RSS Vice President of Professional Affairs, Professor Rachel Hilliam CStat CMath. Of the first cohort, Professor Hilliam said: It's fantastic that this first cohort of candidates has successfully completed our new standards - a validation of their expertise, ethics, and professionalism. But this is just the beginning; we would like to see this level of quantifiable professionalism become the accepted norm and essential for ongoing career development in the sector, ensuring that our data is in safe hands.’

One of the candidates to achieve the new standards is Dr Sophie Carr, Founder and Owner of Bays Consulting, an analytics company and RSS Vice President for Education & Statistical Literacy. She said: ‘It is a huge privilege to be part of the first cohort to be recognised by an Alliance of learned societies for the work I'm involved in. Data science impacts across society, and it's wonderful we can now show we're working ethically, safely and professionally.’

See here for more information about how and when RSS members can apply to hold the Advanced Data Science Professional Certificate. There is also further information on the dedicated Alliance website.
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