Harmonisation champions

Harmonisation champions aim to increase the harmonisation of government statistics. This means increasing the commonality in definitions, survey questions, administrative data and presentation of outputs across the Government Statistical Service (GSS).

Their main responsibilities are to:

  • promote a cross-government programme of harmonisation
  • attend and actively participate in harmonisation champion meetings
  • share their own experiences with the harmonisation champion network
  • build links with other harmonisation champions
  • actively contribute to GSS-wide harmonisation initiatives
  • keep colleagues and their department’s statistical Head of Profession up to date with harmonisation initiatives
  • act as a central point of contact for advice on harmonisation
  • identify opportunities for harmonisation
  • keep the network updated on departmental harmonisation work and progress against harmonisation targets

The network of harmonisation champions supports the statistical Heads of Profession and the GSS Harmonisation Team, a GSS-facing team which sits within the Best Practice and Impact (BPI) division within the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The GSS Harmonisation Team manages the Harmonisation Champion Network (HCN).

The work done by the champions will feed directly into the Heads of Profession Group meetings.

Want to be a harmonisation champion?

Each government department can nominate a harmonisation champion (or several champions) to work with the network of harmonisation champions across the GSS.

If you would like to be a harmonisation champion please email: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk

Purpose

The GSS Harmonisation Champion Network (HCN) has been created for two main purposes: firstly to support GSS Heads of Profession (HoPs) and the GSS Harmonisation Team in identifying opportunities to improve the comparability and coherence of all UK official statistics. Secondly, to enable the GSS to deliver the aims outlined in the GSS Harmonisation Strategy.

They will primarily do this by helping to ensure statistical outputs comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics and where appropriate adopt the GSS Harmonised Principles. As well as this, they will identify opportunities for further development of new principles and tools to improve comparability of statistics, and facilitate knowledge sharing and innovation with regards to harmonisation across the GSS.

Governance

The harmonisation champions are accountable to the HoPs, with the GSS Harmonisation Team acting as a conduit reporting back to the HoPs on behalf of the HCN. The chair of the HCN is at the HoP level, but as well as being on the HoP board acts in the network specifically as a senior champion. As the network evolves, it is intended that the champions will build relationships within the HCN.

Roles

The role of a GSS harmonisation champion is as follows:

  • to raise awareness of the cross-government programme of GSS harmonisation principles within your department
  • to provide advice and support over compliance with GSS harmonised principles, particularly with teams responsible for statistical inputs and outputs
  • to flag up any issues of compliance with the GSS harmonisation principles with the GSS Harmonisation Team, so that support and advice can be offered
  • to share good practice and news of introducing improvements to harmonised principles for statistical outputs with the rest of the HCN through regular meetings and updates
  • to take the opportunity to broaden knowledge of good practice across the GSS and build links with other harmonisation champions
  • to build links with survey managers and data owners in their departments or business areas to ensure harmonisation is considered when necessary, such as in the development of a new survey or data source
  • to ensure HoPs and colleagues within departments are kept up to date with key developments relating to harmonisation
  • acting as a central point of contact for advice on harmonisation and working with HoPs to identify opportunities for harmonisation

The group membership will consist of representatives from departments across the GSS and devolved administrations responsible for statistical inputs and outputs. In instances where it is necessary there can be multiple champions per department.

The role of the GSS Harmonisation Team is as follows:

  • to coordinate the HCN, including arranging meetings and compiling a quarterly update
  • to provide support and assistance to the GSS harmonisation champions to assist them in undertaking their role including visiting departments to undertake a presentation and/or meet with staff
  • to keep GSS harmonisation champions informed about any changes to GSS harmonisation principles or existing harmonisation guidance
  • to maintain the HCN online presence to provide documentation in the forms of links to existing guidance which supports GSS harmonisation (and in turn the Code of Practice for Statistics)
  • to report back to the HoPs annually over progress and achievements with the HCN

A further role whose definition may be of use to champions is the harmonisation topic lead. There are topic leads for each overarching area of harmonisation (such as health and housing), and they act as our subject matter experts. Common responsibilities of the topic lead include chairing topic group meetings and providing ad-hoc subject-specific expertise. This is different to the role of the champion, which is to be the representative and main point of communication for the GSS harmonisation programme in their department, cascading out and feeding back information and support on harmonisation.

Membership

The group membership will consist of representatives from departments across the GSS and devolved administrations who are responsible for statistical inputs and outputs.

Benefits

This group is for the benefit of the GSS and all users of government statistics. It’s ultimate aim is to improve the comparability and coherence of government statistics.

Scope

In scope:

  • to advise and encourage teams responsible for statistical inputs and outputs to use the harmonised principles
  • to promote good practice
  • to facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing

Out of scope:

  • enforcement of the harmonised principles

It is not the intention for the ONS harmonisation champion or any of the other harmonisation champions to seek to enforce harmonisation principle compliance. Instead, the aim of the network is to promote good practice and offer support and advice to make compliance with the harmonised principles easier to achieve.

Communication

The primary form of communication between the ONS harmonisation champion and the other harmonisation champions will be by email correspondence, bi-annual meetings, and quarterly updates.  There may be further opportunities to communicate at events, workshops or conferences.

Department Acronym First Name Surname Network Role Sector Specialism Head of Profession?
Cabinet Office CO Richard Laux Champion Public Y
Cabinet Office CO Darren Stillwell Champion Public Race Disparity Unit Lead
Data Talk Tim Drye Interested Other Private
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BEIS Dawn Camus Champion Public
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport DCMS Jackie Orme Champion Public Y
Department for Education DfE Richard Moore Topic Lead Public Education Lead
Department for Education DfE John Shale Champion Public
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Dave Fernall Champion Public
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Kyle Davies Champion Public
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Martin Duggan Champion Public
Department for Exiting the European Union DExEU Amelia Ash Champion Public
Department for Health and Social Care DHSC John Bates Champion Public
Department for Health and Social Care DHSC Peter Farleigh Champion Public
Department for International Development DfID Kim Bradford-Smith Champion Public
Department for Transport DfT Adam Evans Champion Public Interim Champion - covering a post
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Joanna Littlechild Champion Public
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Kyle Robertson Topic Lead Public Benefits and Tax Credits Lead
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Steve Ellerd-Elliott Network Chair Public Y
Equality and Human Rights Centre EHRC Karen Hurrell Interested Other Third?
Food Standards Agency FSA Cliff Gay Champion Public Y
Gambling Commission GC Helen Bryce Champion Public
Health and Safety Executive HSE Helen Wilson Champion Public
Health and Safety Executive HSE Paul Benson Champion Public
HM Revenue and Customs HMRC Rafael Mastrangelo Champion Public
HM Treasury HMT Alice Lyon Champion Public Awaiting replacement
Home Office HO Jodie Hargreaves Champion Public
Kantar Michael Baxter Interested Other Private
Leeds University Simon Whalley Interested Other Academia
Ministry of Defence MoD Julie Kerai Champion Public
Ministry of Housing, Commuities and Local Government MHCLG Chauncey Glass Champion Public
Ministry of Justice MoJ Phil Hall Champion Public
National Records Scotland NRS Anneli Lyon Champion Public
National Records Scotland NRS Jenny Allan-Jones Champion Public
NHS NHS Davie Hay Champion Public
NHS Digital Alison Neave Champion Public
NHS Digital Gerry Firkins Champion Public
NHS Digital Jane Winter Champion Public
NHS Digital Stephanie Gebert Champion Public Smoking
NHS Scotland Jade Kavanagh Champion Public
NHS Scotland Richmond Davies Champion Public
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency NISRA Ruth Fulton Champion Public
Office for National Statistics ONS Debbie Curtis Champion Public Labour Force Survey
Office for National Statistics ONS Eleanor Rees Champion Public Social Capital Lead
Office for National Statistics ONS Emma Dickinson Champion Public Social Statistics Transformation
Office for National Statistics ONS Emma Reed Champion Public Annual Business Survey
Office for National Statistics ONS Gareth Watkins Champion Public Data Architecture
Office for National Statistics ONS Matt Brown Champion Public Data as a Service
Office for National Statistics ONS Leona Richards Champion Public Annual Business Survey
Office for National Statistics ONS Claire Rayner Champion Public 2021 Census Outputs
Office for National Statistics ONS Sonia Carrera Champion Public Economic Statistics Group
Office for National Statistics ONS Lewis Compton Champion Public Secure Research Service
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills OFSTED Emma Booth-Rigby Champion Public
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills OFSTED Tom Nelson Champion Public
Office for Statistics Regulation OSR Elise Baseley Champion Public
Office for Students OfS Maggie Smart Champion Public
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation OfQual Ben Cuff Champion Public
Office of Rail and Road ORR Lucy Charlton Champion Public
Oxford University Grant Blank Topic Lead Academia Internet Access Lead
Parliament Richard Cracknell Champion Public
Public Health England PHE Alyson Jones Champion Public
Scottish Government SG Alexander Stannard Champion Public
Scottish Government SG Jon Hunter Champion Public
Southampton University Emma White Interested Other Academia
Welsh Government WG Abigail Woodham Champion Public
Welsh Government WG Lisa Walters Champion Public
Welsh Government WG Scott Clifford Champion Public

The Harmonisation Champion Network replaces the National Statistics Harmonisation Group (NSHG). The steering group which the NSHG reported to (the National Statistics Harmonisation Steering Group (NSH SG)) has now been disbanded.

If you would like to access any agendas or papers published by the NSHG please email gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk.

Best Practice and Impact division

Email: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk