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GSS > Careers > The Fast Stream

The Fast Stream

The Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated career path to leadership with supported development. It is centrally run scheme, managed by the Cabinet Office as part of its overall fast stream offering.

Being on one of the fast stream schemes allows you to skip some of the lower grades in your career progression, allowing you to get to leadership roles faster.

The Fast Stream schemes, the GSS and the government professions

There are a range of Fast Stream schemes available, most of which are based on the government profession you wish to progress through.

If you join the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Fast Stream you will automatically join the GSS and the Government Statistician Group (GSG) because you will have passed a badging exercise as part of your interview process.

Find out more about the GSS, the GSG and the other government professions.

Find out more about joining the GSG as a fast streamer.

Find out more about the Civil Service Fast Stream.

All fast streamers must attend the GSG foundation course in year one.

All year one and two fast streamers have access to awareness level online training for administrative data, data linkage and data visualisation, as well as an introduction to statistical disclosure control. They can access this learning at their convenience.

If further classroom-based training is required on these subjects, it will be offered to year two fast streamers, subject to availability of trainers and number of potential attendees i.e. those requesting additional learning.

Intro to R and Intro to Python are offered as classroom-based training in year two (fast steamers can also sign up to standard sessions in year one if they want to).

All fast streamers will have access to cohort days. These days allow fast streamers to share best practice and learning from peers, other cohorts and invited speakers.

The skills passport for assistant statisticians (doc, 381KB) on the GSS Fast Stream should be a live, continuous record of the technical statistical skills that fast streamers develop over the course of the scheme.

It should be completed in addition to the core Fast Stream skills passport where fast streamers record leadership and behavioural skills. It should be reviewed periodically during development conversations with activity managers and one-to-ones with talent development managers.

In 2018 the GSS People Committee agreed to pilot the provision of a bursary (PDF, 298KB), in the sum of £1000 to all GSS fast streamers in the 2016 and 2017 cohorts. This bursary is to be used for additional learning and development during year three and/or year four.

The full principles and process are set out on the GSS Fast Stream bursary template (doc, 308KB).

If you have any questions that cannot be answered by reading the bursary template, please discuss with your activity manager. If they cannot answer your questions they should be able to escalate your enquiry through the appropriate route.

In year three of the GSS Fast Stream scheme, all fast streamers complete either a secondment (to an external organisation), or complimentary placement (to another government profession) for six months. Read more about the experiences of one fast streamer when he went on secondment.

The Civil Service Fast Stream went through a revamp a few years ago. However, the new schemes did not affect those who were already on a scheme. Fast streamers who joined their scheme before September 2016 are known as “vintage fast streamers”. These fast streamers are managed by their department rather than the Cabinet Office.

This section contains information for vintage fast streamers looking for posts.

Looking for posts

Government departments are encouraged to advertise posts specifically for vintage statistical fast streamers through an informal Expression of Interest (EoI) system.

These are advertised through the newsletter for vintage statistical fast streamers and on the vacancies page of the GSS website.

If you have any questions or comments on the EoI system, or you would like to be on the mailing list for the newsletter, please email

Some tips if you can’t find a post you like:

See if a post can be adapted

Check out the jobs advertised on the vacancies page or the civil service jobs website. If one of them interests you it is worth emailing the recruiting manager to see if the post could be adapted for a fast streamer.

You may find that a post that interests you is advertised for a generalist rather than than a statistician. For example, an HEO or SEO post. These can still be useful placements so if one interests you, look into it.

Go to the Head of Profession (HoP)

Find out who the statistical HoP is in a government department that interests you and send them an email to see if they have any upcoming posts.

The Central Policy Secretariat can help you find out who the HoPs are in different departments.


Talk to other vintage fast streamers to see if you can swap posts.

Speak to the gss capability team

Email, explain your problem and outline what you are looking for.