Skip to content
GSS > Policy and guidance hub > Adopting Success Profiles across the Government Statistical Service

Adopting Success Profiles across the Government Statistical Service

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:2 September 2019
Author:GSS Recruitment
Approver:GSS Recruitment
Who this is for:Members of the Government Statistical Service

Brief description:

This guidance sets out the process for external recruitment, internal civil service recruitment and badging for statistical officers (StOs), higher statistical officers (HStOs) and senior statistical officers (SStOs) in the statistics profession. The principles can also be applied in Grade 6 and Grade 7 exercises.

The aim is to enable a fairer and more inclusive method. This is done through the assessment of a range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical or professional skills required for different roles.

This guidance has replaced Running a promotion campaign for members of the Government Statistician Group (GSG) and Recruiting new members into the Government Statistician Group (GSG).

What has changed?

The Success Profile framework moves away from a purely competency based system of assessment. It introduces a more flexible framework which assesses candidates against a range of elements using a variety of selection methods.

Five elements form part of the framework:

  1. behaviours
  2. strengths
  3. experience
  4. ability
  5. technical

Success Profiles should be viewed as a toolkit to enable more dynamic, role specific interviewing. They should also enable candidates to give a more rounded, authentic overview of themselves

For further information on each element, read the Success Profiles guidance on GOV.UK.

GSS recruitment and Success Profiles

The introduction of Success Profiles does not impact the GSG competency framework
which aligns to the technical element of Success Profiles.

How the Success Profiles align

This table summarises the GSS approach to the implementation of Success Profiles for departmental and GSS Recruitment led campaigns.

Old GSS processSuccess Profiles equivalentNew GSS processChange?
GSS online test and technical test.AbilityContinue with existing GSS online and technical test. No
GSS professional competencies.TechnicalContinue with existing process.No
Civil service competenciesBehaviours / StrengthsAdopt blended approach through assessment of strengths, ability and behaviourYes
Civil service situational judgement test - SStO grade onlyAbilityContinue with situational judgement testNo

GSS recruitment led campaigns

Applications will be made by CV and personal statement.

This means that at sift stage, technical skills, experience and ability can be measured through a personal statement mapped to the person specification.

For the GSS, ability will be tested through civil service sift tools:

  • GSS Online Test
  • Civil Service Situational Judgement tests

Questioning at interview will be a mixture of statistics competencies and civil service behaviour questions:

  • situational (future facing)
  • past evidence
  • strength based

Grade Civil Service Competency Behaviour Change
StO and HStO Managing a Quality Service Managing a Quality Service No
StO, HStO and SStO Seeing the Big Picture Seeing the Big Picture No
StO, HStO and SStO Leading and Communicating Leadership Yes
SStO Delivering at Pace Delivering at Pace No

Competency Assessment method – GSS led campaigns Change
Acquiring data / Understanding customer needs Interview question No
Disseminating and presenting information effectively Presentation or interview question Yes
Data analysis Interview question No

Department led campaigns

Occasionally departments may need to run their own recruitment campaigns. If this happens, departments must ensure that they follow the guidance, structure and requirements for recruitment into the GSG. This ensures standardisation for all entrants to the GSG regardless of entry route.

Recruitment types:

  • internal department only exercise (lateral and promotion)
  • across government (lateral and
  • external (lateral and promotion)

Steps to take:

  1. Contact GSS recruitment to discuss campaign. Receive support, guidance and training standard for GSS Success Profile process.
  2. Decide to advertise role as a department or through GSS campaign.


  • Job advert aligns to Success Profiles – Ability, Technical (Statistical Competencies) and Behaviours – using the existing testing methods for GSS recruitment.
  • Using the specific competencies referred to above, endorsed by GSS People Committee ensures standardisation. However, departments can use alternative competencies if they consider them to be more relevant to their post. GSS recruitment can advise on how to assess other competencies, e.g. by a competency question or presentation.
  • GSS recruitment will help departments with interview outcome moderation on their campaigns if required.


GSS, HR departments and existing assessors are completing an upskilling programme to support the use of Success Profiles across GSG. All new GSS assessor training for departments from January 2019 will be delivered as Success Profiles.

Further information and detailed guidance can be found on Civil Service Learning. If you require additional advice or would like to book on the training please email


Review frequency:

This guidance is reviewed every two years.

How useful did you find this?

Average rating 3 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Thank you for your feedback

we're happy you found this useful

  • If you would like us to get in touch with you then please leave your contact details or email directly.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Tell us how we can improve this post? Your feedback is anonymous however, if you'd like us to get in touch then please include contact details or email directly.