Welcome to the latest edition of the GSS Newsletter
- John Pullinger’s latest blog – Change is here. Change is about people
- The Royal Statistical Society is now accepting entries for the 2018 Excellence in Official Statistics Award. For details on applying see here.
- The Royal Statistical Society’s 2018 International Conference will take place in Cardiff from 3-6 September. More information on making a submission or registering is available on the GSS website.
- New Harmonised definitions for ‘Migration, Country of Birth and Citizenship’ are now available on the GSS website. This is a high-profile area with a range of national statistics produced within this topic. For more information contact the GSS Harmonisation Team.
Office for Statistics Regulation publishes refreshed Code of Practice
Following considerable consultation with the public, a wide range of users and colleagues across the Government Statistical Service (GSS), the Office for Statistics Regulation published a new, refreshed version of the Code of Practice for Statistics last Thursday.
The refreshed Code builds on the previous version, but develops thinking on statistics as a public asset based on three pillars – Trustworthiness, Quality and Value. This recognises statistics as a dynamic public service that helps people make decisions, measure performance and hold Government to account.
Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation said:
“My thanks go to everyone that has participated in the refresh of the Code, we have received a huge range of brilliant comments, advice and support from across the Government Statistical Service”
Further details are available on the GSS website.
Website update blog
The Good Practice Team’s (GPT) work to refresh the GSS website has reached a significant milestone last week, as we received an initial prototype of what the future version of the site could look like.
We’ve listened to all your feedback over the last year or so with the overarching principle of the site to be “an Intranet for the GSS”. This means you’ll always have the latest News, Blogs, Vacancies, Training, Guidance – all available quickly and easily with minimal clicks from the homepage (no more long complicated drop down menus!)
We recognise that we might not have everything quite right and we want the site to work for you in your day to day work.
If we’ve forgotten something, you’d like to give us some feedback or you’d like us to come and talk to you in more detail about the site, we’d love to hear from you!
Call for abstracts – GSS Methodology Symposium
The 23rd GSS Methodology Symposium will take place on Wednesday 18 July 2018 at the Westminster Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, London.
Better Statistics, Better Decisions through Innovation
As the Strategy for UK Statistics passes its half way mark, we will share work from across the GSS reflecting on progress so far. This may be unlocking value through better use of data, improving the statistical methods we use, or rethinking our data collection methods. These may be part of a larger programme of development, or an agile response to an urgent requirement.
We are now seeking abstracts for the symposium. For more details see the Symposium page.
Priority Setting for Analysis Function
As a Function, the analytical professions aim is that “analytical evidence and research helps make better decisions to deliver improved outcomes for the UK.
The Analysis Function sits alongside other functions in government like Policy and Finance. Its formation is recognition of the contribution across the Civil Service that all of the analytical professions, including the GSS, make to improved decision making
The first Analysis Function conference included three workshops to set priorities based on the people elements of the Analysis Strategy
The workshop theres focused on Capability and Skills; Diversity; Talent, Leadership and Career Development.
Find out more about the conference on the GSS website.
Ask not what your community can do for you….!
We continue to seek those within the GSS community who have profession specific skills, knowledge and/or expertise for our new GSS People Expertise Repository (PER).
This is intended to be a hotlist that others can use when they need some ad-hoc or urgent advice/guidance.
If you are interested in sharing your skills, knowledge or expertise; please let us have your details:-
- Your name, organisation and preferred email contact address.
- Your key specialism/subject matter expertise.
- Your regional location.
Email your volunteer details to the learning academy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and indicate ‘PER Volunteer’ in the title.
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.
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
- 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
- University College London – For the full MSc and individual module application forms and submissions, please contact either Professor Patrick Wolfe or Sofia Olhede
- 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 March newsletter by Wednesday 21 March 2018.
The next edition of the newsletter will be published on Wednesday 28 March 2018.
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