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GSS > Learning & development > Learning Academy

Learning Academy

The Learning Academy, based at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) aims to provide a flexible learning programme to support you in developing your statistical or data science knowledge and skills.

We offer an extensive range of analytical and data science courses which are available within the Learning Directory (pdf, 4.8MB) for our GSS customers to attend for 2018-19. Remaining events within the Learning Directory are offered to ONS only at this stage.

We have also created a Learning Pathway (pdf, 1MB) for members of the Government Statisticians Group (GSG) that sets out the available learning that supports the career development of those in the statistical and data science professions, at their respective career development steps.

All of our courses are delivered by experts within the field of official statistics and data science.

For all course queries relating to these courses, please email

Mandatory training for Entry Level GSG members

1 day, non residential courseinduction-training1

When: 0 – 6 months in post

Audience: Statistical Officers and Statistical Data Scientists

Venues: Leeds, London and Newport

This is a one-day course for Statistical Officers and Data Scientists who have been recruited into the Government Statistician Group (GSG) – the statistical profession.  The aim of the course is to introduce you to statistics and data science across government and for you to hear first hand about some of the great work that is going on.  A key objective for the day is for you to meet other members of the statistics profession, learn about what they do, and enable you to develop a network of colleagues that will benefit you and your career.

The course covers the following broad topic areas:

  • The Government Statistical Service – its structure and independence;
  • The Code of Practice for Statistics and the Strategy for UK Statistics;
  • The use of statistics and data science across government;
  • Working with Policy and
  • Career management and development.

There is no pre-course reading, but you should come along prepared to discuss what you do in your job.

2 day, non-residential course

When: 6-18 months in post

Audience: Assistant Statisticians, Statistical Officers and Data Scientists

Venues: Leeds, London and Newport


This is a two day course, following on from the GSG Induction Course and intended for Assistant Statisticians, Statistical Officers and Data Scientists recruited to the Government Statistician Group – the statistical profession.

The Foundation course explores the key principles used in all aspects of the production and dissemination of official statistics, linking decisions about processes to statistical outcomes with quality characteristics.  Topics are introduced with some presentations, but learning is mainly driven through activities, case studies and discussions that draw on participants’ own experiences, knowledge and views.

The course covers the following broad topic areas:

  • The UNECE Generic Statistical Business Process Model – we use this as a broad framework for thinking about the different activities statisticians in government undertake in their day to day work and how they fit together;
  • Statistical quality –  what it means and how we measure it;
  • Assessing and meeting user needs;
  • Data sources;
  • Concepts and harmonisation;
  • Ethics and disclosure control;
  • Quality assurance;
  • Estimating from data;
  • Models, modelling and machine learning;
  • Time series;
  • Index numbers and index measures;
  • Writing about statistics and quality;
  • Innovation in reporting statistics;
  • The role of the professional statistician.

career-ladder-2-slideshowWhen: 18 months in post

Venue: Leeds, London and Newport (Other locations considered on request; dependent on potential number of attendees)

Course Overview

A one-day course covering what is required to effectively manage career progression. The course explores career challenges (and how they can be overcome) and what support is needed (and available) to help make the next career steps.

During the course of the day the latest version of the GSG Career Pathway document will be reviewed, though no pre-course reading is required.


Fast Stream

Induction training for the Assistant Statistician Fast Stream is run by Civil Service Resourcing. The course aims to set the scene for newly recruited Fast Streamers and to establish their role within the Civil Service. The course is run with others from a number of other disciplines/professions and therefore provides an excellent opportunity for Statistical Fast Streamers to network across the professions. It provides exposure to some of our esteemed Senior Civil Servants and provides an opportunity to hear their vision for the Civil Service.

The course is a three-day residential that runs twice a year in September and October in London. By the end of the course, participants will have a clearer understanding of:

  • The Civil Service, the Civil Service Code, the structure;
  • How to make the right impact and impression;
  • Statistical Code of Practice and UK Strategy; and
  • How to manage one’s career.

Analytical training 

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 from October 2017.


The application process for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government is now open. Please see the linked information for the modules being provided by University of Southampton (provisional 2018/2019 timetable), Oxford Brookes University and University College London .before deciding which MSc course you are most interested in.

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 – or
  • University College London – For more information, please contact Prof. Sofia Olhede –
  • Oxford Brookes – For the full MSc, applications may be submitted online using the link above. If you are interested in one of the individual modules, please contact for the relevant application forms. For further information, please contact Dr. Rachel Long, .

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 degree in a quantitative discipline, or equivalent experience, before you can apply for the MSc in Data Analytics for Government. Please discuss your application with the programme directors.

Southampton will deliver their modules in a block week, whereas UCL and OB will deliver theirs one day per week.

A new bidding process is in progress for 2019 onwards aiming at expanding the list of MSc providers in the Framework. For further information, please contact


The purpose of the European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) is to provide statisticians the opportunity to participate in international training courses, workshops and seminars at postgraduate level.

It comprises courses in Official Statistics, IT applications, Research and Development and Statistical Management. More information on the courses can be found via the Eurostat website.

Please note all applications for these courses should be submitted through the UK ESTP contact point:

See the Eurostat website for the full European Statistical Training Programme catalogue 2018.