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High quality statistics, analysis and advice to help Britain make better decisions.

Analytical Volunteer Programme (AVP)

The AVP is an exciting initiative that arranges short term placements for government analytical staff in voluntary sector organisations. Previously known as the Voluntary Sector Placement Scheme, the scheme was a success across the GSS. This year the scheme is expanding to include volunteers from all four Government analytical professions – statistics, social research, operational research, and economics.

The AVP places one or two analysts in each organisation, with placements lasting from half a day up to five days. All departments provide a minimum 3 day volunteering allowance as part of their corporate social responsibility policies. You could help identify, collect or analyse data, or apply these and other analytical skills to help voluntary sector organisations, for example by finding ways to present data about specific topics or analysing impact.

The placements can focus on delivering specific projects, or contributing to specific elements of larger projects. Volunteers are given a clear brief to plan and deliver within the time period.


Working in a voluntary sector organisation provides:

  • A valuable opportunity to develop and demonstrate a wide range of skills
  • An opportunity to carry out influential and impactful analysis
  • An experience of a new working environment, including seeing how other organisations operate
  • An opportunity to take on a challenge and learn more about how voluntary sector organisations work, the pressures they face and how they use analysis

The biggest benefit for the organisation is that the resource is free of charge and in a skilled area that a voluntary organisation may not have access to. The scheme also:

  • Enables organisations to use data to measure and improve their impact, target their work, apply for grants and streamline their activities
  • Allows organisations to set up and improve systems and processes. Allows for coaching and teaching of transferring skills so that the organization is able to replicate analysis in the future
  • Provides a level of analytical expertise to help/ support a project that they wouldn’t be confident to tackle on their own.

The scheme is open to anyone who has the analytical skills to help voluntary sector organisations. All voluntary sector organisations are invited to apply – although sadly we can’t guarantee all applications will be filled with an analyst. Though we are working with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to run the scheme, you do not need to be a member of the NCVO to apply. All third sector organisations are welcome to apply.

How To Apply

Applications from both voluntary sector organization and government analysts for the 2016 programme have now closed. We expect to offer this opportunity again in autumn 2017. Keep an eye on this page for updates nearer the time.

Further Information

Please direct any queries to the AVP inbox.

You may also like to read some case studies or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help give you a better idea of what the scheme involves. In April 2016 a progress review was published, summarising the outcomes and lessons learned from the 2014 and 2015 schemes.