The R Skills Review process

  For advanced workshops, such as "Bayes with JAGS" and "Simulations", completion of an R Skills Review is a prerequisite. This page deals with how this is administered.

Completing the review and checking it take some effort, and we want to avoid applicants and us doing that unnecessarily: we don't want people doing the review and than can't come for some unrelated reason and we don't want them submitting the review without applying.

The process can be a bit complicated, so it's important that we are clear on who does what. In the following steps, "you" means the local organiser and "we" means BCSS.

1 - Someone applies to you (using an application form or whatever you choose).

2 - After initial screening, you offer a place "subject to satisfactory completion of the R skills review by <deadline>", giving the link to details of the Review (questions + data file). You cc to us and we'll check against our list of folks who've already passed the review - in that case we inform you and the applicant, and skip to step 6.

3 - The applicant does the Review and sends the script to us with cc to you; if they don't cc, we will forward (you need to know if the submission deadline was met) -OR- applicant decides not to bother, R skills insufficient, too much work, etc; they may have the courtesy to tell us, or are dropped after not meeting the deadline.

4 - We check the script; normally this should take <48 hrs. We often ask people to deal with some points and resubmit and set a new deadline, in which case we cc you so you can update the deadline in your record; folks may drop out at this stage but rarely.

5 - When satisfactory, we email applicant with the good news, minor comments, and script with suggested answers and discussion. We cc you so you know this is done, and we add them to our record of who has passed the review.

6 - You follow up with an email saying their place is confirmed subject to payment of $xxx by <deadline>. It's best not to ask for payment until the Review is done.


Keeping track of deadlines is a bit of a pain, but we've found it essential. There will always be folks who think "Ach, never mind!" and don't respond. Without a deadline, we then don't know what to do.

I usually email a reminder immediately after a deadline is missed giving another 24 hrs, then a "sorry, you're out" email 48 hrs later.

When setting a deadline, it's sometimes appropriate to add "if you need more time, please let us know" and adjust if they do request more time - our target audience is field biologists so we need to allow for time in the field. Same thing if we get an out-of-office response to the email setting the deadline.



Page updated 21 July 2018 by Mike Meredith