Welcome to the latest edition of the GSS Newsletter
- The 2017 GSS Conference will be held at Bramall Lane, Sheffield on 22-23 November. The conference team are busy making preparations, including the allocation of places to each department – your Head of Profession should be in touch soon! Keep an eye on the recently published GSS Conference page on the GSS website where you can find the latest news updates and meet the organising committee. We’d also encourage you to join the dedicated GSS Conference Slack channel to begin the conversation now.
- Join the first virtual Government Data Science Partnership (GDSP) community of interest meeting on Monday 4 September 2017 between 2pm and 4pm. Book your place here.
- If you are looking for expert advice on methodological development work, please get in touch, as we are currently looking for papers and abstracts for the GSS Advisory Committee, to be held on the 20 November in London. Abstracts can be submitted at any time, but any work you wish to present at the November meeting should be sent to Gentiana Roarson by Wednesday 4 October 2017.
New user engagement statement published by OFSTED
With the Office for Statistics Regulation’s refresh of the Code of Practice underway, Ofsted thought it was an excellent opportunity to look again at their own engagement strategy, and how they could build trust and add value for their external users.
They also saw this as an opportunity for a shift in culture within Ofsted in relation to user engagement.
They wanted the new statement to act as an inspiration, not an obligation, to innovate and develop creative ways of engaging users.
They wanted to give leaders and producers of official statistics the freedom to develop their own tailored plans for user engagement, without constraining them to engage in a way that may not be appropriate for their users.
Ofsted also recognised the importance of making their engagement plans transparent to the public.
Read more from Rachel Lee as she reflects on the challenges of creating Ofsted’s new user engagement statement.
Code of Practice consultation
The Office for Statistics Regulation’s consultation for a refreshed Code of Practice is now just past its halfway stage.
The three month consultation, which began on 5 July 2017 provides an opportunity for producers, users and the wider community to see how the Authority proposes to refresh its Code of Practice for Official Statistics, and ensure that public confidence in statistics is maintained at the highest level.
A number of organisations have already taken part in a series of consultation workshops, which have generated plenty of interesting and constructive feedback on the proposed Code.
There is still time to have your say on the draft by:
- taking part in regional workshops sheduled throughout September (please email Penny Babb for more details)
- going to the UK Statistics Authority website
You are invited to respond by 5:00pm on 5 October 2017.
For more information, please contact Penny Babb.
Legal framework for the statistical system post-Brexit – your views wanted
Work has been progressing over recent months to ensure that ONS, and the wider statistical system, are as ready as possible for the UK’s departure from the EU.
A key focus of this work has been on the legislation that will need to be in place to enable the production of statistics to both carry on as normal, and also provide the flexibility and freedom to adapt to the challenges of a new environment.
We’ve already been speaking to colleagues across departments and we will be looking to speak to others across GSS in the near future.
If we haven’t already contacted you and you would be keen to share your views with us, then please get in touch.
Revised Harmonised principles
A number of new or amended GSS Harmonisation Principles have recently been published following approval by the National Statistics Harmonisation Steering Group (NSH SG).
The Principles contain sets of questions, concepts, definitions and outputs and provide a harmonised means of collecting information about a given topic.
GSS Harmonised Principles currently cover survey related topics, including (but not limited to); Demographic Information (age/sex/etc.), Ethnicity, General Health, Benefits and Tax Credits, Turnover and Hours Worked.
Recently updated principles include Age Bands, Personal Well-being, Hours Worked and Full Time Equivalents, Number of Employees and Number of Self Employed Persons and Total Turnover.
More information and the full versions of all the GSS Harmonised Principles can be found on the GSS website.
The Learning Academy has two new vacancies within the Analytical learning team. These roles are essential in developing the future skills and capabilities of statistical and analytical workers within ONS, across government and beyond. We are looking for a leader who will take the team forward with innovative learning solutions, and a learning and development officer who will design and deliver professional development.
Analytical Learning and Development Officer
Analytical Learning and Development Manager
Closing date 10 September 2017. For more information on these roles please contact Paul Littler email@example.com 01329 447745
Companies House is offering an exciting Statistical analyst opportunity for people who are ambitious, and keen to learn with strong communication skills and the ability to influence colleagues at all levels. The post is initially being offered as a loan for up to 2 years, with a view to permanency.
To apply please visit Civil Service Jobs – Vacancy ref: 1552773
Closing date: 10 September 2017
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is recruiting Statisticians (Grade 7) as part of our drive to increase analytical capability.
There are 2 vacancies available within the Economic Statistics Group (ESG).
For more information and to apply go to Civil Service Jobs – Vacancy ref: 1552168
Closing date: 3 September 2017
Phase 4 of the GSS Statistical officer recruitment is open until 3 September 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to join the Government Statistical Service (GSS) as a Statistical Officer.
Apply now via Civil Service Jobs:
Statistical Officer (StO) – various locations. Vacancy Reference: 1549874
Higher Statistical Officer (HStO) – various locations. Vacancy Reference: 1549899
Training & Events
- Training update
- Level 5 Statistics & Analysis
- Learn Data Science
- European Statistical Training Programme
Statistical Training Short Course Programme 2017-18
- What is it?
- The analytical short courses provide you with an overview of statistical and analytical techniques. This classroom based learning will also strengthen and update your professional skills and knowledge in the main methods used in official statistics. The courses cover a wide range of topics following the whole statistical process from the design stage through to disclosure control and communication of statistics.
- What topics are covered on the course?
- There are two levels to these courses:
Introductory – no prior knowledge is required. The course provides an introduction and understanding of the subject.
Intermediate – advanced level, open to all staff with a good working knowledge of the subject area.
- Full details of each course can be found in the Learning Academy Brochure.
- What are the entry requirements?
There are no pre-requisites for these courses.
- What does the course cost?
There is no charge for ONS staff, however we will implement our cancellation policy for non-attendance.
The cost to GSS staff wishing to attend classroom based learning is available on Eventbrite.
- How do I apply?
To apply, please book your place and we will send you an application form.
- The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) offer a range of training courses and events, see here for the 2017 events.
Level 5 in Statistics and Analysis
- What is it?
- This is a new Level 5 in Statistics and Analysis course that is due to be launched this year as the replacement to the RSS Higher course. The Learning Academy is currently putting the accreditation process in place for this new course, which will be ready for delivery in October 2017. This is a 2-year programme and on successful completion, staff will have the opportunity to apply to become a member of the Statistical profession, which provides further training opportunities and opens up the doors to your career.
- How will the course be delivered?
- The course will be classroom based and run at both Newport and Titchfield sites for one half-day a week during regular term times. The programme can also be studied via distance learning.
- What topics are covered on the course?
- Modules are split across 2 years with examinations taking place in May/June each year. The following modules are covered:
- Module 1 – Data Collection and Interpretation (Oct – Dec)
- Module 2 – Probability Models (Jan – Feb)
- Module 3 – Basic Statistical Methods (Mar-Apr)
- Examinations – May-Jun
- Module 4 – Linear Models (Oct – Dec)
- Module 7 – Time Series and Index Numbers (Jan-Feb)
- Module 8 – Survey Sampling and Estimation (Mar-Apr)
- Examinations – May-Jun
- What are the entry requirements?
- We believe that A-Level Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent) will be sufficient to meet the prerequisite for this course; however we are not yet able to confirm. We will let you know as soon as details are available.
- What does the course cost?
- The training will be delivered free of charge to ONS staff, however for those wishing to sit the exams, there will be an associated fee that we are not yet able to confirm. We will let you know as soon as details are available.
- The cost to GSS staff wishing to attend classroom based learning is £1442 and distance learning is £506.
- A new programme of Data Science Training is now available for all GSS and GSG staff. Courses are available for those who are keen to understand what Data Science is and what this means for us, through to developing coding skills in R or Python. Courses are available via classroom or e-learning options.
- Please see the full programme of training on eventbrite.
- The evolving Learning Academy Data Science learning pathway shows the learning offer from raising awareness through to expert level.
- For further information, please contact the Data Science team at the Learning Academy via:firstname.lastname@example.org
- The 2017 European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) catalogue is now available. ESTP deliver a programme of courses providing statisticians the opportunity to participate in international training courses, workshops and seminars at postgraduate level. Please note all applications for these courses should be submitted through the UK ESTP contact point: email@example.com. Further details are available here.
- MSc in Data Analytics for Government
- Growing and building the capability of the workforce across government remains a key role of the ONS Learning Academy and the Data Science Campus. Delivering a Masters level qualification has always been a requirement for professional career development. Working in partnership, the Learning Academy and Data Science Campus have successfully appointed, following a competitive bidding process, University College London, Oxford Brookes University and Southampton University to be part of a Framework to deliver the MSc in Data Analytics for Government.
The application process for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government is now open. Please see the linked information for the courses being provided by Southampton University, Oxford Brookes University and University College London before deciding which MSc course you are most interested in. Our apologies are extended on behalf of the three Universities, as their websites are not currently available – we will update you as soon as these are live.
All applications for MSc in Data Analytics for Government will be made directly to your University of choice. Please use the following contact points and information as your guide:
- Southampton University – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact Paul Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
- University College London – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact either Professor Patrick Wolfe – email@example.com or Sofia Olhede – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oxford Brookes – Programme Structure. For the full MSc, applications may be submitted online via UKPASS: bz/UKPASS. If you are interested in one of the individual modules, you will need to contact Dr. Rachel Long for the relevant application forms: Tel: 01865 484591; Email: email@example.com
Please ensure that you have discussed the funding for your studies with your line manager and budget holder.
Please note that you must have already attained a numerical degree level course, or a non-numerical degree course with Continuing Professional Development/work experience within a numerical field, before you can apply for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government.
The universities and the programme
There are 4 core modules that should be the same across the 3 providers, but the optional modules can vary. Attached is a list of what each provider is going to deliver.
- Southampton – £9,000
- UCL – £14,000
- Oxford Brookes – £7,200
Southampton will deliver their modules in a block week, whereas UCL and OB will deliver theirs one day per week.
Further MSc routes have also been identified by the ONS Learning Academy to support a broad geographical spread of the workforce. For more information on the range of options available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new bidding process is planned for 2018, aimed at expanding the list of MSc providers in the Framework.
- MSc in Official Statistics
- The MSc in Official Statistics was jointly developed by the University of Southampton and the GSS to cover the core skills and knowledge needed by professional government statisticians. The course formed the primary Masters programme for statistical and analytical development across government from 1999 – 2017. The programme has since been replaced by the MSc in Data Analytics, under a Framework agreement.
- Those who are already enrolled onto this programme, will be able to continue with their studies through to completion.
- National Statistician’s Blog: John’s latest blog ‘Old Friends‘
- GSS Staff Blogs:
- Iain Bell, Deputy National Statistician for Population and Public Policy at ONS, talks about the future possibilities for a GSS working and Successfully delivering together.
- Joe Cuddeford, Head of Secretariat for ONS, GSS and UKSA, shares experiences from his recent secondment to DCLG, in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.
- Ian O’ Sullivan’s blog on Transforming the Labour Force Survey (LFS) – the testing begins!.
Ideas and contributions on existing or new content are encouraged. Your views are important to us. Please submit your content for the September newsletter by Wednesday 20 September 2017.
The next edition of the newsletter will be published on Wednesday 27 September 2017.
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