Welcome to the latest edition of the GSS Newsletter
- The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) is seeking nominations for the most striking statistic of 2017. See here for details on criteria, guidance for nominating and how to enter.
- The National Centre for Research Methods 8th Research Methods Festival will be held 3-5th July, 2018 at the University of Bath. A great opportunity to learn and network with around 800 social science researchers from across a range of disciplines and sectors.
- Last chance to book in to Government Digital Service (GDS) events on 26/27 October, supporting the consultation on the Digital Government Codes of Practice and regulations around data sharing measures in the Digital Economy Act 2017. Contact Alastair Bolton to reserve your place.
- What’s happening ? Julian Boyer, who has recently joined the Analytical Learning & Development (L&D) team shares an outline of where we are and what you can expect over the next twelve months.
- Diving in to Data Viz – Jessica Evans shares on joining the GPT and her first impressions in delivering our Effective Charts and Tables course.
GSS Conference…one month to go!
The 2017 GSS Conference is now just a few short weeks away! The team have been hard at work making the final preparations and have some exciting updates to share with you, including a provisional agenda.
Keynote speakers for the conference will include John Pullinger, Tom Smith (Data Science Campus) and – just confirmed – David Spiegelhalter (President of the Royal Statistical Society) to name a few. A full list of speakers and their biographies can be found on the GSS Conference page.
This year’s parallel sessions will showcase some of the most exciting work and projects across the GSS, including Reproducible Analytical Piplelines, Creating a cross-GSS data family and a look at progress on the review of the Code of Practice for Statistics. A full list of sessions and details of how to register for your preferred stream will be available shortly.
The GSS Slack network and Twitter feeds will keep you connected with all the latest news before, during and after the conference as well as giving you an opportunity to network with colleagues across departments – please do get involved!
For further updates in the buildup, keep checking the GSS Conference website page.
Refreshing the GSS website
The GSS website is now a little over 4 years old. The Good Practice Team took over the day to day management of the site last year, and since then we have been analysing the metrics about current use and speaking to colleagues across the GSS about what they would like from the site.
Whilst there are a number of well used areas on the site, it’s clear to us that over the last few years the site has been trying to fulfil too many needs and the breadth of content has grown beyond the key, frequently used areas that are really important.
In order to progress with improvements, the Good Practice Team is presently:
- Completing a full content audit of the site
- Linking to (and soon hosting) the GSS Policy Store in place of the A-Z of Policies and Guidance
- Working with the website provider to understand any implications of the removal of the registration and log in function
- Supporting wider GSS collaboration by growing the existing Slack network
Of course we can’t do this alone! We’d like to hear from you have content on the site, and more specifically if you are responsible for anything which is currently only accessible by logging in to the website.
Further information on the next steps are available in the full article.
2017 Analytical Volunteer Programme (AVP) – applications open next week!
The 2017 Analytical Volunteer Programme (AVP) will open for applications from government analysts next Thursday 2nd November 2017.
The AVP is an exciting initiative that arranges short term placements for government analytical staff in voluntary sector organisations.
Last year the scheme was expanded to include volunteers from all four Government analytical professions – statistics, social research, operational research, and economics – and was a great success!
The deadline for applications is Friday 24 November 2017.
Preparing for SOC2020
The Classifications team at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for maintaining and updating the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) – a common classification of occupational information for the UK.
SOC is used for the analysis and production of labour market statistics by the Census, surveys, local authorities, academics and government bodies, including many GSS departments.
Changes to SOC are reflected in the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC), which has been constructed to measure the employment relations and conditions of occupations.
We are currently revising SOC2010 to produce SOC2020. We are looking at key sectors of the labour market in parallel with a major group by major group approach. Stakeholders have recently been consulted on changes we are proposing to make to major groups 1 and 2. Details can be found on the GSS website.
It’s not too late to get involved in the revision process – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be included in our stakeholder communications for major groups 3 to 9.
Meet the GSS Recruitment Team who are your central contact point, working with you to deliver your resourcing requirements at HStO and StO levels.
If you need any help with permanent and temporary recruitment, summer placements, Fast Stream programme, sandwich student, GSS Assessor Training, Badging exercises or advice and guidance please contact our central team the email address is: GSS.Recruitment@ons.gov.uk.
New roles available across the GSS
A number of exciting analytical and statistical roles have opened for recruitment in the last week and these include:
- Department for International Trade – Grade 7 Deputy Head of Insight and Evaluation.
- Home Office – Grade 6 Statistician Crime and Policing Statistics team
- Home Office – Grade 6 Statistician Migration Statistics
- Sandwich Placement Opportunities are available in a number of departments across the GSS
- Welsh Government are looking for a Higher Statistical Officer to join them on loan (on lateral) for 2 years, to undertake an exciting new post in Food and Drink Statistics.
- Office for National Statistics /Department for Education/Defra/Office for Road and Rail – Data Analyst Apprenticeship Closing date 9 November 2017. Civil service Jobs Reference 1561717.
Check out the Vacancies of the Week on the GSS website for all the latest opportunities.
Training & Events
- Training update
- Level 5 Qualification in 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 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.
It is with regret that the Learning Academy has experienced some problems in seeking an accrediting body to accredit the course.
The Learning Academy has therefore had to consider alternative learning options for this course, and is keen to share these with you.
Option 1 – Professional Certificate in Practical Statistics (Open University – distance learning)
This course will commence in February 2018 and consists of four modules being studied across 2 years, although this can be extended up to 7 years to fit with your situation. Modules can also be studied individually. Study takes place through distance learning with Tutor support via online and face-to-face tutorials. The four modules covered within this course and their associated costs are:
Introducing Statistics (approx £1500)
Analysing data (approx £1500)
Practical modern statistics (approx £1500)
Linear statistical modelling (approx £1500)
Funding – your Business area/Division will be required to fund your attendance on this course.
Entry to the Statistical Profession – all four modules must be studied and passed if government employees are interested in also joining the Statistical Profession.
More information on this course and how to enrol can be found here
Option 2 – Continued Professional Development – Higher Level course – S3Ri Distance Learning Programme (Southampton University – distance learning)
This course provides the continued delivery of the old RSS Higher modules through Southampton’s Continued Professional Development programme. This delivery is generally catering for those who had not previously finished their studies under the old RSS programme, however will be available for the next 2 years offering an opportunity for new students to join. No accreditation is available with this programme, but we are currently in discussion with Southampton University about whether a Certificate of Successful Completion might be available for each module successfully completed. This will not provide a formal accreditation but will enable you to verify your Level 5 learning to others. We will keep you informed of the progress made with this.
The course is studied via personal study but with access to a Tutor, who will mostly be contactable through email (hence, face-to-face meets are not generally undertaken on this course). There is a total of eight modules available through this course, as follows:
Higher Level course
Module 1- Data collection and interpretation (£175)
Module 2 – Probability models (£175)
Module 3 – Basic statistical methods (£175)
Module 4 – Linear models (£175)
Module 5 – Further probability and inference (£175)
Module 6 – Further applications of statistics (£175)
Module 7 – Time series and index numbers (£175)
Module 8 – Survey sampling and estimation (£175)
Funding – your Business area/Division will be required to fund your attendance on this course.
Entry to the Statistical Profession – six of the above modules must be studied and passed if government employees are also interested in joining the Statistical Profession.
More information on this course can be found here
- 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:email@example.com
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 – email@example.com
- University College London – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact either Professor Patrick Wolfe – firstname.lastname@example.org or Sofia Olhede – email@example.com
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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.
Ideas and contributions on existing or new content are encouraged. Your views are important to us. Please submit your content for the November newsletter by Wednesday 22 November 2017.
The next edition of the newsletter will be published on Wednesday 29 November 2017.
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