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GSS > About us > Champion networks > Harmonisation champions

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 Harmonisation Team, a GSS-facing team which sits within the Best Practice and Impact division within the Office for National Statistics. The Harmonisation Team manages the harmonisation champion network.

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 harmonisation champion network has been created to support the statistical Heads of Profession and the Harmonisation Team in identifying opportunities to improve the comparability and coherence of all UK official statistics.

The network will do this by helping to ensure statistical outputs comply with GSS harmonised principles and the Code of Practice for Statistics. It will also identify opportunities for further development of new principles and tools to improve comparability of statistics.

The network will facilitate knowledge sharing and innovation with regards to harmonisation across the GSS.

The work of the network applies to all statistical products and datasets published across the GSS, either regularly or irregularly.

Accountability

The network is accountable to the statistical Heads of Profession (HoPs).

Roles

The role of the harmonisation champion is as follows:

  • to raise awareness and promote the cross-government programme of harmonisation principles within their department.
  • to provide advice and support on compliance with the principles, particularly with teams responsible for statistical inputs and outputs
  • to flag up any issues regarding compliance with the principles with the representative from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) responsible for promoting and monitoring use of the principles across the GSS (hereafter referred to as the “ONS harmonisation champion”).
  • to share good practice with the rest of the network through regular meetings and updates
  • to broaden knowledge of good practice across the GSS
  • to build links with other harmonisation champions
  • to build links with survey managers and data owners in their department or business area to ensure harmonisation is considered when necessary, such as in the development of a new survey or data source
  • to ensure their statistical HoP and colleagues within their department are kept up to date with key developments relating to harmonisation
  • to act as a central point of contact for advice on harmonisation
  • to work with their statistical HoP to identify opportunities for harmonisation

The role of the ONS harmonisation champion is as follows:

  • to coordinate the harmonisation champion network, including arranging meetings and compiling a quarterly update
  • to provide support and assistance to the champions to assist them in undertaking their role, including visiting departments to give presentations and meet with staff
  • to keep champions informed about any changes to the harmonisation principles or existing harmonisation guidance
  • to maintain the online presence of the network
  • to update the statistical HoPs on an annual basis on progress and achievements the network has made

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.

List of harmonisation champions (Google doc).

If you can’t access Google docs please let us know by emailing gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk

Best Practice and Impact division

Email: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk

Background information

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.

Agendas and papers for the National Statistics Harmonisation Group

Minutes for the National Statistics Harmonisation Group

Agendas and papers for the National Statistics Harmonisation Steering Group

Minutes for the National Statistics Harmonisation Steering Group