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GSS > About us > Champion networks > Quality champions

Quality champions

Quality champions aim to raise the quality of official statistics produced by government departments.

Their main responsibilities are to:

  • share guidance and best practice related to quality with their department
  • keep colleagues up to date with developments relating to quality
  • act as their department’s central point of contact for advice on quality
  • identify areas within their department where extra support is needed in terms of improving statistical quality
  • attend and actively participate in quality champion meetings
  • share their experiences with the quality champion network

The network of quality champions across the Government Statistical Service (GSS) supports the statistical Heads of Profession and the Quality Centre, a GSS-facing team which sits within the Best Practice and Impact division within the Office for National Statistics. The Quality Centre manages the quality champion network.

Want to be a quality champion?

Each government department can nominate a quality champion (or several champions) to work with the network of quality champions who meet on a quarterly basis.

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

Purpose

The purpose of the quality champions network is to support statistical Heads of Profession (HoP) in their requirements under the Code of Practice for Statistics to report, maintain and improve the quality of statistics across the Government Statistical Service (GSS).

The network provides crucial links both across government departments and with the GSS Quality Centre. Through sharing knowledge and best practice across the GSS, the network helps to ensure that the GSS produces high quality statistics.

A specific aim of the quality champions network is to help deliver the GSS Quality Strategy, including promoting innovative methods, ensuring data is of sufficient quality and implementing reproducible analysis.

The work of the quality champions network applies across all statistical products, datasets and data tables produced and published across the GSS, either regularly or irregularly.

Roles and Responsibilities

To share best practice in my department:

  • Ensure my HoP and colleagues within my department are kept up to date with guidance produced by the Quality Centre and any other developments relating to quality.
  • Act as the central point of contact within my department for advice on quality.
  • Consider producing internal guidance documents on quality for my department. The Quality Centre have many examples of these from across the GSS which can be shared.

To support my HoP in ensuring delivery of the GSS Quality Strategy within my department:

  • Work with my HoP to produce an action plan outlining what activities will take place in my department to achieve the GSS aims within the strategy. These action plans should be produced through consultation with all GSS members in my department.
  • Work with my HoP to provide biannual updates to the Quality Centre on these actions to enable progress of the strategy to be tracked.

To identify areas where support is needed from the Quality Centre:

  • Work with my HoP to identify any quality issues with new data sources and review the approach to quality reporting and quality assurance within my department. Seek support from the Quality Centre in these areas where it is needed.
  • The following support in these areas can be provided by the Quality Centre:
  • Training courses on quality: I will work with the Quality Centre to help tailor the training to the needs of my department.
  • Consultancy service: This service can provide advice to my department in overcoming any quality issues we face.

To attend quality champion network meetings and share best practice:

  • Attend and actively participate in quarterly champion meetings.
  • Submit an agenda item or present at the quarterly champion meeting to showcase developments/practice in my department relating to quality or discuss a challenge etc.
  • Build links with champions in other departments to share knowledge.

Membership

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

To be a quality champion, you need to commit to the role outlined on this page. This may require you to get permission from your line manager or HoP.

Benefits

The network is for the benefit of the GSS and all users of government statistics.

The main benefit to statistical producers is an increase in compliance with the quality aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics. High quality statistics build trust in our statistics and in us as statistical producers and inform sound policy decisions for the public good.

The quality champions network provides a space for champions to share their experience, learn from others and support the wider analytical community. On a personal level, being a quality champion is a great corporate objective as it is an important “big picture” contribution to the civil service and a significant development opportunity.

Scope

In scope:

  • Advising and encouraging teams responsible for statistical outputs to follow the quality principles in the Code of Practice for Statistics
  • Promoting best practice
  • Facilitating discussion and knowledge sharing
  • Building links across departments

In addition to statistical outputs quality champions will need oversight of a variety of products which form part of the statistical process, including data, management information, modelling etc.

Out of scope:

  • Enforcement of the Code of Practice for Statistics

It is not the intention of the quality champions network to seek to enforce compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. Instead the network aims to promote good practice and offer support and advice to make compliance easier to achieve.

Communication

The primary form of communication between the GSS Quality Centre and the quality champions will be through email correspondence, quarterly meetings, and quarterly updates. There may also be opportunities to hold workshops and events for quality champions.

Charter

The Quality Centre have produced a GSS Quality champions charter (PDF, 85KB) to help quality champions to understand their role.

List of quality 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