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Julie Stanborough introduces the Best Practice and Impact team

So I joined ONS on the 6th December to head up a new division called Best Practice and Impact (BPI).

When I read about the job a few months previous it sounded like my dream job, but I had never worked at ONS before and wondered if the job would match my high expectations. I chair the GSS Presentation & Dissemination Committee and I’ve been hugely passionate about improving the way in which we (the GSS) improve the presentation and dissemination of government statistics. Chairing the PDC was one of the things I loved best about my role in DfT and the role heading up BPI looked to be taking that but also improving the methods, quality and harmonisation of government statistics, i.e. the whole package. I was over the moon when I got the job, but very sad to be leaving DfT which had been an amazing department to work in.

I can honestly say that my post in BPI has lived up to my expectations and in many ways exceeded them. We’ve brought together three existing teams into a completely new division and we’re able to shape what it looks like, how it operates and in many ways start from scratch, which is hugely exciting and empowering. Our goal is quite simple: supporting the GSS to improve government statistics and we’ve identified 7 themes to work against:

  1. Set strategic direction across the GSS
  2. Build capability in the GSS through training courses, workshops etc
  3. Provide a consultancy function for the GSS
  4. Share best practice across the GSS
  5. Create tools, guidance and standards for the GSS to use
  6. Foster a one GSS voice to the outside world and develop the GSS community
  7. Operate a compliance function across the GSS to understand where improvements are needed

Statisticians in government departments are under incredible resource pressures and the top of the ONS office understand that which is why the Best Practice and Impact team has been created and why they are supporting a significant increase in the size of the team so that we can fully support the GSS.

Adverts for senior statistical officers, G7s and G6s statisticians/social researchers will be live on Civil Service jobs this week, so if you’re passionate about improving government statistics, want to understand what best practice in statistics looks like across government and more widely or want to develop your consultancy skills and be at the heart of the GSS these jobs will be right up your street!

It’s a hugely exciting time to be working in the ONS with transformation going on across the office and so I feel very privileged to be a part of that but it’s also a hugely exciting time to be in the GSS with new innovations popping up across all government departments.

The role of BPI is to get out and understand what is going on across the GSS and share what we find more widely with you. It’s about developing and delivering training courses to improve our collective capabilities, we’re starting to provide a genuine consultancy offer for the GSS with two consultancy projects already lined up with NHS digital and VOA.

We run or support all the champions networks across the GSS (presentation, quality, harmonisation, geography) which we want to make really influential and we run the RAG reviews of statistical publications which are being revamped and relaunched in May this year.

It’s fantastic to work in a team with such autonomy, a fantastic remit, support from our National Statistician and the ability to make a real difference across the whole of the GSS. If you’d like to know a little bit more take a look at this presentation and the brochures linked for each team below. If you’d like to speak to us about how the team can support what you’re trying to achieve in your department please get in touch with either myself julie.stanborough@ons.gov.uk or any of the teams.

The best way to contact us is to send an email to gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk.  Your request will be routed to the right team.

If you prefer, you can still contact the individual teams:

Good Practice Team – goodpracticeteam@statistics.gov.uk

Quality Centre – qualitycentre@statistics.gov.uk

Harmonisation – harmonisation@statistics.gov.uk

Methodology Advisory Service – mas@statistics.gov.uk

Julie Stanborough