People Committee

The People Committee supports the National Statistician and statistical Heads of Profession (HoPs) in providing a world class statistical service.
It works to strengthen the Government Statistical Service (GSS) as a community for sharing best practice and team working. The committee also focuses on recruitment, personal development, talent management and retention for the Government Statistician Group (GSG), in line with the GSS strategy.

The committee meets four times a year and has four main responsibilities:

  1. advising the various GSS professional support teams on the development of people policies for the GSS
  2. implementing the strategy for UK statistics
  3. advising the statistical HoPs on people issues
  4. developing important reference documents and communications that support professional development in the GSG, including the Government Statistician Group competency framework

Each year, the committee develops a programme of work on behalf of the National Statistician and statistical HoPs. This is delivered through various GSS teams and the Steering Group and task and finish group structure that sits underneath the committee.

The chair of the committee is Gemma Brand, Head of Statistics Roads and Freight at the Department for Transport. The membership is made up of senior managers from UK government departments and devolved administrations.

The work of the GSS People Committee is supported through two Steering Groups:

  • Career Framework Steering Group
  • Learning and Development Steering Group

The steering groups’ roles are to consult, research, develop options, make recommendations and make decisions. They will also set the remit for individual task and finish groups and act on their findings.

Task and finish groups are commissioned to work on solutions for priority objectives. Their responsibility is to consult with important stakeholders, represent departments, inform, recommend and deliver.

The current priorities of the Committee are split between the two steering groups.

Career Framework Steering Group priorities:

  • Apprenticeships Task and Finish Group
  • Fast Stream Review Task and Finish Group
  • Senior Civil Servant Diversity and Inclusion Reverse Mentoring Pilot
  • GSS People Committee D&I Shadow Board pilot
  • Employee Offer including entry routes to the profession
  • GSG Competency Framework refresh

Learning and Development Steering Group priorities:

  • Analysis Function online skills tool
  • Moving learning online as default
  • Analytical Learning Pathways
  • Expand Reproduceable Analytical Pipeline (RAP) learning offer

1. Purpose

The purpose of the committee is to develop and review people policies and practice for the GSS community. Please note GSS will always refer to the wider GSS community plus the GSG profession.

The committee:

  • reports and make recommendations bi-annually to HoPs on people issues for decision-making, with a ‘dotted’ reporting line to NSEG
  • provides governance to two Steering Groups (SG): ‘Learning and Development’(L&D); ‘Career Frameworks’, facilitating flexible responsibility between the two contributes to the content of the GSS People Plan
  • sets the priorities according to the GSS People Plan
  • oversees progress against the GSS People Plan providing an annual report to HoPs
  • is the main mechanism for seeking and receiving feedback on people issues from across the GSS
  • ensures new policies and procedures are embedded consistently
  • has responsibility for the policy on GSG Competency Framework, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) policy, core statistical training programmes, GSG entry routes and recruitment

2. Ways of working

2.1 The Committee will:

  • follow the strategic direction set by Civil Service HR, Analysis Function and Talent Boards, understanding clearly what the Government Analysis Function is taking forward so there is no duplication of effort
  • actively contribute to and benefit from the strategic people aspects of the wider analytical community across government
  • review its strategic priorities every six months via the GSS People Plan and maintain a realistic workload
  • ensure the meeting only reflects the highest priority areas for discussion
  • invite members to inform the strategic direction where departments are responsible for embedding tactical solutions
  • ensure that people across the GSS community have opportunities to get involved in its work through either SG or Task and Finish Groups (T&FG)
  • ensure inclusivity by considering the diversity of needs and views across the GSS, including those of the Devolved Administrations through active contributions and interactive sessions
  • refer appropriate matters to HoPs and the National Statistician via the Chair of the People Committee

2.2 The Committee will normally meet virtually on a quarterly basis with one annual face to face meeting (whilst still providing a virtual option).

2.3 Meeting papers should be distributed at least 10 working days in advance of the meeting date and all contributors should commit to ensuring the length of meeting papers is at a minimum wherever possible. Papers and agenda will be circulated in advance of meetings to committee members and copied to departmental champions. Committee members who are constituency representatives are responsible for ensuring their constituencies views are shared.

2.4 The Committee will disseminate an executive summary on its activities to the Heads of Profession after each meeting, with additional communications as appropriate. Communication will be via cascade to committee members and constituency representatives who are responsible for organising dissemination in their departments.

2.5 The composition of the SGs and T&FGs should reflect a diversity of views across the GSS and be focussed on the timely delivery of well-defined products.

3. Membership

3.1 All committee members are expected to attend the committee in person (or send a temporary, empowered, representative if they cannot). The committee membership is made up of: the chair, two Steering Group leads, constituency representatives, the secretariat, the GSS professional support rep, GSS L&D and recruitment representatives,  assistant statistician (AS)/statistical officer (StO) representatives and an HR expert. All members are expected to work collaboratively and play an active role in delivering the People Plan.

3.2 Departments that are not are not directly represented on the committee should have a constituency representative as the main point of contact, who will engage with the committee’s work through their constituency representative and promote it in their department. Details of these roles are set out in Annex A.

3.3 In addition to the specific roles set in Annex A, personal viewpoints of members may be considered by the Committee, being clearly identified as such by the member.

Annex A – Roles

Chair (the chair will usually be a HoP):

  • to manage and conclude Committee discussions at formal meetings and in correspondence
  • to provide overall leadership to the Committee and direct its work in line with strategic considerations and the views of the National Statistician and HoPs
  • to work with the GSS professional support representative on the strategic direction and work programme of the People Plan
  • to report to HoPs on People Committee activities and report back to the People Committee on relevant discussions and decisions by HoPs on people matters

Constituency Representatives:

  • to seek and represent the views of their own and constituent departments at committee meetings
  • to disseminate information from the committee and seek feedback
  • to actively participate in committee discussions, SG and T&FG’s as required

Departmental Champions:

  • to ensure that papers are circulated to relevant parties within their department in good time to receive feedback
  • to maintain a close relationship with their HoP, keeping them up to date with the work of the committee and supporting the embedding of new people policies
  • to work closely with constituent representative to ensure that departmental issues are understood and appropriately fed back
  • to actively participate in, SG and T&FG’s as required

Chair, Steering Group leads and Committee Secretariat Team (joint responsibilities):

  • to forward-plan meetings
  • to advise and guide SG and T&FGs and others carrying out work programme actions
  • to ensure alignment of the committee work programme with the wider Analysis Function agenda and CS direction
  • to ensure that appropriate consideration is given to the non-GSG part of the GSS community

Committee Secretariat:

  • to oversee organisation of Committee meetings and report on progress with actions
  • to assist the Chair as required in preparing draft agendas, commissioning papers and actions
  • to write and disseminate minutes and ad hoc communications from the Committee to the GSS community

GSS Professional Support Representative:

  • to ensure papers are fit-for-purpose and are aligned to Committee’s ToR
  • to link statistics profession with Cabinet Office and CSHR strategic direction
  • owner of the GSS People Strategy and work plan
  • owner of career and skills frameworks

GSS Representatives:

  • to provide professional advice and support on recruitment and learning and development issues
  • providing the link to the Analysis Function strategic direction
  • to feed into the committee with updates on their respective areas
  • where appropriate to make recommendations on actions via papers to the committee or through their steering groups

Deputy Director People Capability:

  • to advise the Committee on how its work can best support overall GSS strategy
  • accountable for the GSS People Plan

AS/ Statistical Officer (Executive Officer to Senior Executive Officer grade) representatives:

  • to ensure the Committee can fully understand perspectives of AS/StO grades by articulating, and synthesising where possible, a range of perspectives from this constituency
  • to work with established communities of AS/StO staff within the GSS to keep them informed about and engaged in People Committee issues

HR Expert:

to provide the link to the Civil Service People Board and advise the Committee on professional Human Resources issues, including legal and Cabinet Office perspectives

Department Name Role Constituency Departmental champion
Cabinet Office Esther Pilditch HR Representative Cabinet Office n/a
Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Olivia Christophersen Member Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Office for Manpower Economics, Deparment for International Trade (DIT) Grant Whitfield (BEIS)

Vacant position (DIT)

Department for Education Catherine Bywaters Member Department for Education, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), Office for Students Vikas Dhawan (OFQUAL)

Mark Gittoes (Office for Students)

OFSTED Jason Bradbury Second Chair and Chair of Career Framework Steering Group OFSTED n/a
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Louise Rawlings Member Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Food Standards Agency, Health and Safety Executive Clifton Gay (FSA)

Simon Clarke (HSE)

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Paula McLeod Member Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Scottish Government, NHS-Information Services Division (in Scotland), National Records Scotland Roger Halliday (SG)

Scott Heald (NHS)

Paul Lowe (NRS)

Department for Transport Gemma Brand Chair Department for Transport, Home Office, Office for Rail and Road n/a
Department for Work and Pensions Katie Dodd Chair of Learning and Development Steering Group Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Sarah Lasher (DCMS)
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Maeve McMahon Member Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Colin Yeend (VOA)
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Valerie Viloria Member Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities , Her Majesty's Treasury, Bank of England Alexis Raichoudhury (FCO)
Ministry of Defence Simon Skerritt Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Shadow Board Ministry of Defence (MOD) n/a
Ministry of Defence Paula Fredersdorff Member Ministry of Defence (MOD), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO) Martin Stopher (CO)

Richard Laux (CO)

Tom Orford (HMT)

Oliver Burrows (BoE)

National Health Service Alastair Bullward Member NHS Digital Chris Roebuck (NHS)
Welsh Government Rebecca Gillard Member Welsh Government, Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), Nisra (note: Nisra is not formally part of the GSS but the GSS works closely with Nisra to ensure, as far as possible, the coherence and compatibility of statistical activities) Adam Al-Nuaimi (WRA)

Siobhan Carey (NISRA)

Department of Health and Social Care John Bates Member Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England (PHE), NHS England John Battersby (PHE)

Clare Griffiths (PHE)

Mark Svenson (NHS)

Chris Gibbins (NHS)

Cabinet Office Fast Stream Ian Fogg
Office for National Statistics Sean Mattson Member Analysis Function strategy and Delivery division
Office for National Statistics Jay Lindop ONS Heads of Profession Office for National Statistics (ONS), United Kingdom Statistics Authority (UKSA) Michael Willmott (UKSA)
Government Statistical Service Natalie Tooze GSS Recruitment representative GSS n/a
Government Statistical Service Sharron Ford GSS Capability Team representative National Statistician perspective n/a
Government Statistical Service Ruth Summers GSS Capability Team representative GSS and Analysis Function n/a
Government Statistical Service Erika Jenkins Government Statistical Service (GSS) careers representative GSS n/a
Home Office Amy Baxter Member
Government Statistical Service Jo Ford GSS Careers GSS and D&I Shadow Board n/a

Meeting action Quarter 1 dates Quarter 2 dates Quarter 3 dates Quarter 4 dates
Commission HoPs for quarterly badged return 11/01/21 19/04/21 19/07/21 18/10/21
Deadline for badging return 29/01/21 07/05/21 06/08/21 05/11/21
People Committee taking place 23/02/21 08/06/21 08/09/21 07/12/21

Terms of Reference

The GSS Career Framework Steering Group has two distinct aims:

  1. To consult with stakeholders, research, test and agree solutions and recommendations before submission to GSS People Committee for approval, for issues impacting recruitment, badging, career frameworks and success profiles.
  2. Act as a ‘first response’; where the community has an urgent, one-off or bespoke ad-hoc recruitment or careers need, the Steering Group will act as a first response in as far as providing or identifying a fit for purpose solution.

Membership list

Name Department
Jason Bradbury (Chair)

Denise Sexton (Secretariat) GSS
Cathy Lovegrove GSS
Natalie Tooze GSS
Matt Baker BEIS
Daryl Lloyd DfID
Libby Richards DHSC
Nina Monckton NHS
Lisa Robinson MOJ
Hannah Husband Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services
Tom Nott MOD
Paul Cudmore SG

Terms of reference

The L&D Steering Group is:

  1. Mandated by the People Committee as the main consultation forum and platform for all GSS learning developments.
  2. Where GSS organisations can shape and inform the learning offer; leading to solutions for emerging requirements being identified at earliest opportunity.
  3. Where core GSS learning providers engage and consult community representatives on important changes and developments before submission to GSS People Committee for approval.

Membership list

Name Department
Katie Dodd (Chair)


Helen Wilson (Secretariat) Health and Safety Executive
Skevi Pericleous GSS
Alison Watkins-Shanahan GSS
Laurie Baker DSE
James Tucker ONS
David Maxwell Cefas
Abi Fox MOD
Cathy Lovegrove GSS
Alexander Newton ONS
Eleanor Cook Fast Stream
Catherine Bywaters DfE
Sophie Ferguson BEIS
Uma Moorthy DHSC
Sean Mattson ONS


If you have any item that you wish to be considered for a future Committee meeting, please in the first instance contact your departmental champion or People Committee representative.
Alternatively, you can contact:

For any other queries, email