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ASA at 175 - GStat Accreditation

By Ronald Wasserstein - March 24, 2014

The American Statistical Association announces today the launch of a second component to its voluntary program of individual accreditation of statisticians.  Interested individuals may apply for Graduate Statistician (GStat) status with the ASA.  GStat is an entry level of accreditation, preparatory for full PStat® accreditation.

To be eligible for Graduate Statistician (GStat) status, one must be a member of the ASA and meet the educational requirement for PStat® status. (If you are not familiar with PStat® status, more information is provided at the end of this blog.)  Quoting from the Guidelines for Accreditation:

“Applicants must possess an advanced degree in statistics or a related quantitative field with sufficient concentration in statistics. For applicants with a degree from the United States, an advanced degree in statistics means that an applicant has a Masters or Doctoral degree in the field of statistics from a regionally accredited university. The field of statistics may include such areas as mathematical or applied statistics, and may extend to major application areas, such as biostatistics. In situations where an applicant has an advanced degree in another field, especially when the degree does not have a specific statistics concentration, it will be left to the judgment of the AC to determine if this criterion is met.”

Thus, a Graduate Statistician is an individual who has achieved the educational level required for full Professional Statistician status, but has not yet reached the level of experience and expertise required of a Professional Statistician (PStat®).

Why obtain GStat status?  If you are considering applying at a future date for PStat® status, the GStat program provides a bridge toward full accreditation.  GStat holders get connected to the network of statisticians with PStat® status, which will help with preparation for applying to be a PStat®.  In particular, GStat holders may submit a mock application for PStat® status a couple of years before being actually eligible to apply.  The Accreditation Committee will review this mock application and make suggestions to help the potential PStat® applicant be ready for actual application in due course.

GStat holders also have access to the full set of benefits of PStat® holders (except the full accreditation status, of course), including free access to LearnStat on Demand online professional development courses and reduced registration at the Joint Statistical Meetings and the Conference on Statistical Practice. 

Applying for GStat is easy and quick, and there is no charge for applying. There is an annual fee of $40 to maintain GStat status, and you will be billed for this with your annual ASA membership renewal.

A GStat application consists of:

You will also be asked to check boxes indicating that you understand that you must abide by the ASA's Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice and that ASA membership is required to maintain accreditation.

If you have a masters or Ph.D. degree in statistics or biostatistics, GStat accreditation is essentially automatic and does not even require review by the Accreditation Committee.

Like the PStat® program, GStat is not something that will be useful to everyone.  However, it could be quite valuable to statisticians with masters or Ph.D. degrees who are just getting started in the field, particularly those working in business, industry, government, or private consulting.  Individuals who are working as statisticians but whose degrees are not in statistics may find applying for GStat status useful for determining what might be needed for their educational credentials to be sufficient for achieving PStat® status later.

If you want to apply for GStat status, log in to the ASA Members Only portal (you must be a member to apply), and click on the PStat® button in the lower left hand corner of your Members Only page.

If you are not familiar with Accredited Professional Statistician (PStat®) status within the ASA, details can be found on the accreditation website.  In brief, PStat® accreditation is offered by the American Statistical Association as a service to ASA members who find added value in a voluntarily obtained credential that provides recognition by peers that they have statistical training and knowledge, have experience in applying that expertise competently, maintain appropriate professional development, agree to abide by ethical standards of practice, and are able to communicate effectively. Requirements for PStat® status are described in detail in the Guidelines for Accreditation.

The ASA partners with three other statistical societies that also offer accreditation: the Royal Statistical Society, the Statistical Society of Australia, and the Statistical Society of Canada.  All three offer what might be called a “junior level” or “preparatory level” of accreditation, and today the ASA joins them in that regard as well.

In 2014, the American Statistical Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary.  Over the course of this year, this blog will highlight aspects of that celebration, and look broadly at the ASA and its activities.  Please contact ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein ( if you would like to post an entry to this blog.

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