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Celebrating success at the GSS awards 2019

Alexander Amaral-Rogers

The awards ceremony for the first annual GSS awards took place at the GSS conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday 1 October. Presented by Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell, the awards celebrated the excellent work being done across the GSS. This was the first GSS conference held in Scotland and to celebrate attendees were led into the dining room to the sound of a traditional Scottish bagpipe.


GSS Collaboration Award

First on stage to receive the Collaboration Award for the Cross-Government RAP Champions Network was Martin Ralphs from the Good Practice Team at the Office for National Statistics.

The RAP Champions network has developed capability across the GSS to implement Reproducible Analytical Pipelines (RAP). The network, through its work both within departments and across government, has created a community of analysts dedicated to improving the quality of statistical publications in line with the new GSS Quality Strategy.

The Cross-Government approach they’ve taken has facilitated extensive knowledge sharing, including through the RAP Companion – a guidebook for those embarking on the journey, and puts the GSS at the frontier of best practice. Their work so far has improved dozens of national statistics and this pace will only increase.

Please email if you want further information on this work.

Representatives from the RAP champions network with Iain Bell

GSS Methods Award

Next up was Delphine Robineau and Hannah Bougdah from the Road Safety Statistics Team at the Department for Transport who picked up the Methods Award for the team’s work on Adjustments for changes in severity reporting in road accidents statistics.

A change of reporting systems for around half of police forces created a major discontinuity in DfT’s statistics on people killed or seriously injured, which are crucial to policy and stakeholders to measure progress and improve road safety. With the ONS Methodology Advisory Service, the road safety statistics team developed a time series and a logistic regression adjustment approach to produce estimates as if all forces had been using the new systems.

A comparison of their results on subaggregates and a consultation with key stakeholders, experts and general users resulted in defining the best modelling approach, restoring comparability over time.

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Delphine Robineau and Hannah Bougdah, Department for Transport with Iain Bell

GSS Communication Award

Next came Andrea Lacey from the Policy Evidence and Analysis Team (PEAT) at the Office for National Statistics who picked up the Communication Award for the team’s work on Innovative Communication of Automation.

In early 2019, PEAT completed analysis of the impact of automation on occupations. Recognising the importance of widening awareness on this topic, a matter of public and policy interest, PEAT and the Digital Content team at ONS worked collaboratively to produce two outputs that could satisfy a variety of audiences, including the inquiring citizen (see here) and more experienced expert users or information foragers (see here).

By using the skills of both teams they showed how clear dissemination and innovative, tailored products can engage the public, media and policy and ensure ONS continues to have a voice at the heart of public debate.

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Andrea Lacey, Office for National Statistics (right) with Iain Bell

GSS Impact Award

Last on stage was Chris Casanovas from the Information & Analysis Team at the Office of Rail and Road who picked up the Impact Award for the team’s work on Improving the experiences of disabled people on the rail network.

A key area of work for the Office of Rail and Road has been on accessibility and in particular understanding the experiences of disabled passengers who use the railway. Previously there had been negative press about assisted travel which presented a picture of a scheme that was fundamentally unfit for purpose. A major concern for ORR was the absence of reliable data to support or refute that narrative. ORR have now developed an extensive evidence base. Over the past year they have used data to recommend vital changes to the railway, which should improve the travel experiences of disabled passengers. All of this evidence has also been used by policy colleagues to publish new guidance for operators called “Improving Assisted Travel”.

Please email for further information on this work.

Chris Casanovas, Office of Rail and Road (right) with Iain Bell


Well done also to all of the runner-up and highly commended nominations. Further details of the short-listed teams can be found on the GSS conference page.

David Mais
David works in the Quality Centre, part of the Best Practice & Impact Division.