Welcome to the latest edition of the GSS Newsletter
- A link to the GSS Policy Store has now replaced the previous A-Z of Policies and Guidance website page. Currently on the UK Statistics Authority website, the Policy Store is now your single destination for all the latest policies and guidance across the GSS. This change is part of a wider project to refresh the GSS website, and a full content audit is currently in progress. For more information contact the Good Practice Team.
- Last chance to apply for the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) 2018-2020 Fellowship Scheme. Closing date 1 December 2017.
- The Learning Academy is offering two alternative options for the Level 5 in Statistics and Analysis, which was in the past the replacement for the Royal Statistical Society Higher Certificate.
- The 34th GSS Methodology Advisory Committee (MAC) welcomed Sarah Henry as the new chair, at the meeting held in London on the 20th of November 2017. The agenda included a workshop to review the set-up of the committee to ensure it remains aligned with GSS strategic priorities and is the key academic forum for providing GSS with high-quality advice on future methodological issues. The 35th GSS MAC will be held in London on the 14th of May 2018.
Q&A panel: National Statistician and Chief Statisticians
The National Statistician and the Chief Statisticians of the devolved administrations would like to extend an invitation to all GSS staff to join them for a lunchtime panel Q&A session on Tuesday 5 December.
They will provide an update on the Better Statistics, Better Decisions strategy three years on from its introduction. The panel will then take questions from the floor, ranging from such headline issues as Brexit, migration to international trade, and to the future of the GSS.
Unfortunately seating is limited, so to avoid disappointment book early as places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
The session will be held on Tuesday 5 December at etc.venues, Drummond Gate, London SW1V 2QQ, 12:20 to 13:30.
You can register your place via Eventbrite. For further information and questions, please contact Michael Bleakley.
New Health & Care Monthly Knowledge Update
The Office for National Statistics have launched a new Health and Care Monthly Knowledge Update on behalf of producers of official statistics, which will see the latest official statistics, information, and events on health and care brought into one central place.
We welcome feedback from users, so please complete our short survey or contact us via the Health & Care Cross-Cutting Analysis & Coordination inbox if you have any further questions.
Making data exciting – our excursion
Vikas Dhawan, Senior Manager of Statistics & Analytics (Head of Profession) gives us an update on the launch of Ofqual’s first set of interactive visualisations to coincide with the release of A level and GCSE results in August 2017.
The three apps, developed using R, allow users to explore variation in GCSE, A level results in schools and interact with data for the new 9 to 1 GCSE grades.
This was a multi-team effort with colleagues from Ofqual’s Research, Data, IT and Communications teams working together to launch the apps within 3 months of the concept stage. Read the full blog to see the challenges and lessons learnt.
Save the date for the GSS Methodology Symposium, 18 July 2018
We are pleased to announce that the 23rd GSS Methodology Symposium (GSSM23) will be held on Wednesday 18 July 2018 in the Westminster Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5ND. Interested? Please hold the time and place in your calendar. Information about the Symposium theme, a call for abstracts and the date for the opening of registration will be published early in the new year.
The 22nd GSS Methodology symposium took place on Wednesday the 12th of July 2017 at the Westminster Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London. The theme for the Symposium was: Methodology: Insight; Innovation; Implication; Impact.
Abstracts, presentations, and available papers/extended notes from the Symposium can be found on the page.
GSS Sharing Seminars – places available now!
A number of free GSS Sharing Seminars are taking place over the next couple of weeks – with some interesting and timely topics being discussed.
Paul Niblett from NHS Digital will share how his team has used feedback received from a recent scrum to make improvements to the report for the National Child Measurement Programme. Members of the GPT will also share some top tips and lessons learned from the recent scrum programme.
Ross Young, programme lead for Data Access Policy and Legislation at the UK Statistics Authority, will describe what the Act is all about, what it means for the UK statistics and research community, and how the Act supports better decision-making for the public good.
Martin Nicholls (Head of Strategic Communication at ONS) will explore the results of a recent study of the UK Statistics Authority’s and ONS’s media impact and share insight that can inform decision making within departments and teams.
Book your place now via Eventbrite.
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: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.
Ideas and contributions on existing or new content are encouraged. Your views are important to us. Please submit your content for the January newsletter by Wednesday 24 January 2018.
The next edition of the newsletter will be published on Wednesday 31 January 2018.
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