Early in 2009, a group of practicing statisticians met in Johannesburg to form an organisation that can promote the interests of practicing statisticians. At this meeting a Task Team was elected. Mr. Howard Gabriels was appointed as the chairperson and Dr. Vince Micali the deputy chairperson of the Task Team. The Task Team embarked on an extensive work program to establish the foundation for the establishment of the Institute of Certificated and Chartered Statisticians of South Africa (ICCSSA).
After much deliberation, it was decided that ICCSSA will seek to become an associated society of the South African Statistical Association (SASA). After a formal request, SASA invited the chairperson of the Task Team to serve on the Executive Committee in an ex-officio capacity. The Task Team made extensive comments on the amendments of the SASA constitution, in particular, to provide for the establishment of an Associated Society. The SASA constitution was debated at the SASA AGM in November 2010 and in February 2011 the constitution was accepted.
The Task team also held consultations with a representative of SACNASP – the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions – a statutory body that is responsible for the registration of natural scientists. The Task Team, based on the discussions, recommended that SASA register as a voluntary association in terms of the rules of SACNASP. This is an important step to ensure the professional status of practicing statisticians.
The essence of ICCSSA’s mission is to promote the professional status of practicing statisticians, in both the private and the public sector. This is a major task as statisticians in their professional capacity are required to prepare reports and give advice, both of which can have a significant impact on the decisions taken by corporations. ICCSSA aims to become the preeminent forum for the exchange of knowledge between members in the statistical field and to influence policy in all spheres of statistics and the application of statistics in business and public sector institutions.