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 (HoP) 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.

Champions help ensure statistical outputs comply with the  Code of Practice for Statistics and where appropriate adopt relevant  harmonised standards. As well as this, they will:

  • identify opportunities for further development of new standards, guidance and tools to improve comparability of statistics
  • 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:

  • to raise awareness of the cross-government programme of GSS harmonisation within your department
  • to provide advice and support over compliance use of harmonised standards and guidance, particularly with teams responsible for statistical inputs and outputs
  • to flag up any issues of unexplained or unjustified compliance with the harmonised standards with the GSS Harmonisation Team, so that support and advice can be offered
  • to share good practice and news of introducing improvements to harmonised standards for statistical outputs with the rest of the HCN through regular meetings and updates
  • to keep GSS harmonisation champions informed about any changes to harmonised standards or guidance

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 standards and guidance
  • to promote good practice
  • to facilitate discussion and knowledge sharing

Out of scope:

  •  enforcement of the harmonised standards

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.

Department Acronym First Name Surname
Cabinet Office CO Richard Laux
Cabinet Office CO Darren Stillwell
Data Talk Tim Drye
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BEIS Dawn Camus
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport DCMS Jackie Orme
Department for digital, culture, media and sport DCMS Harry Smart
Department for Education DfE Richard Moore
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Dave Fernall
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Kyle Davies
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Martin Duggan
Department for Exiting the European Union DExEU Amelia Ash
Department of Health and Social Care DHSC John Bates
Department of Health and Social Care DHSC Peter Farleigh
Department for Transport DfT Adam Evans
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Joanna Littlechild
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Steve Ellerd-Elliott
Department for Work and Pensions DWP Matt Jarvis
Equality and Human Rights Centre EHRC Karen Hurrell
Food Standards Agency FSA Cliff Gay
Gambling Commission GC Helen Bryce
Health and Safety Executive HSE Helen Wilson
Health and Safety Executive HSE Paul Benson
HM Revenue and Customs HMRC Rafael Mastrangelo
HM Treasury HMT Alice Lyon
Home Office HO Jodie Hargreaves
Kantar Michael Baxter
Leeds University Simon Whalley
Ministry of Defence MoD Julie Kerai
Ministry of Housing, Commuities and Local Government MHCLG Chauncey Glass
Ministry of Justice MoJ Phil Hall
National Records Scotland NRS Anneli Lyon
NHS NHS Davie Hay
NHS Digital Alison Neave
NHS Digital Gerry Firkins
NHS Digital Jane Winter
NHS Digital Stephanie Gebert
NHS Scotland Jade Kavanagh
NHS Scotland Richmond Davies
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency NISRA Ruth Fulton
Office for National Statistics ONS Eleanor Rees
Office for National Statistics ONS Emma Dickinson
Office for National Statistics ONS Emma Reed
Office for National Statistics ONS Gareth Watkins
Office for National Statistics ONS Matt Brown
Office for National Statistics ONS Leona Richards
Office for National Statistics ONS Claire Rayner
Office for National Statistics ONS Sonia Carrera
Office for National Statistics ONS Martina Portanti
Office for National Statistics ONS Lewis Compton
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills OFSTED Emma Booth-Rigby
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills OFSTED Tom Nelson
Office for Statistics Regulation OSR Elise Baseley
Office for Students OfS Maggie Smart
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation OfQual Ben Cuff
Office of Rail and Road ORR Lucy Charlton
Oxford University Grant Blank
Parliament Richard Cracknell
Public Health England PHE Alyson Jones
Scottish Government SG Alexander Stannard
Public Health England PHE Kath Roberts
Scottish Government SG Jon Hunter
Southampton University Emma White
Welsh Government WG Abigail Woodham
Welsh Government WG Scott Clifford
Cabinet Office CO Rohan Allen
Department for Education DfE Cam Race
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport DCMS Aleister Skinner
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA Saffron Ellison
National Records Scotland NRS Chris McCrum
Office for National Statistics ONS Paola Serafino
Office for National Statistics ONS Kerry Miller

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