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GSS > Vacancies > Secondment opportunities with the Best Practice and Impact division

Secondment opportunities with the Best Practice and Impact division

Role type
Closing date
31 Mar 2020
London, Newport, Titchfield
Open to
Government Statistical Service
Office for National Statistics

Best Practice and Impact (BPI) division in the Office for National Statistics supports everyone in the Government Statistical Service (GSS).  The division brings together the Good Practice Team, Quality Centre, Harmonisation Team, Methodology Advisory Committee and Methodology Advisory Service.

We work with statisticians and others across government to improve government statistics through advice, consultancy, training, guidance and champion networks.

To help facilitate our work, we’re offering analysts across government the chance to join BPI for a short term secondment.

What’s on offer?

The chance to spend a short time working as part of the Best Practice and Impact division, based in either our London, Newport or Titchfield offices.

You’ll have the opportunity to see how BPI operates and to get involved in delivering our ambitious work programme.  You will be fully supported during your time with us, and you’ll be given a distinct task to make your own, based on your areas of interest and the skills you bring.  Some previous secondees have blogged about their experience on the GSS website:

  • Kevin Coughlan undertook a website analytics project, looking at the GSS website and seeing where the web traffic was coming from and going to, in order to feed into a larger consultation of a website refresh
  • Francesca Allerton conducted RAG reviews of statistical releases, providing feedback on both the publicatons and the criteria/review process itself
  •  Kin-Chung Ow completed a Reproducible Analytical Pipeline (RAP) case study in R, and learnt how it could be applied in his own department

Who should apply?

Anyone who is enthusiastic, innovative and passionate about improving official statistics! We’re looking for people who are selfmotivated and focused on delivering at pace. This opportunity is open to analysts across government at all grades, and we expect it to be of particular interest to assistant, higher and senior analysts.

How do you apply?

During the secondment, your salary will continue to be paid by your usual department. Please discuss this opportunity with your line manager and Head of Profession to ensure that you will be able to take part in a secondment.   The length of the secondment is flexible, from two weeks to a few months.  Most secondees so far have spent two weeks with us.

Once you have agreement from your line manager, please contact BPI by emailing

Who does the secondment benefit?

A good secondment benefits everyone! We value the skills, experience and fresh perspective that you will bring with you.   As a secondee, you will gain new skills and experience which you may not have been able to get in your own organisation – which in turn benefits your organisation when you go back there. The links that you will build across the GSS can also be very valuable.

What work do BPI get involved in?

The work of BPI falls under seven key themes:

1. Set strategic direction across the GSS

BPI provides strategic direction to statistical users and producers across the GSS.  Directed by GSS Heads of Profession, we support five domains of statistical work: statistical quality, harmonisation of statistics, best practice in statistics, methodology advice, and statistical policy and guidance.

2. Share best practice across the GSS

We work to identify best practice across government, the private sector and internationally, and share that best practice across the GSS.

We provide case studies of best practice in our guidance on the GSS website

We organise conferences such as the GSS Methodology Symposium & GSS Presentation and Dissemination Symposium that allow networking, sharing of expertise and a platform to discuss important topics.

We facilitate champion networks to share expertise and best practice and promote collaboration.

Finally, we organise innovation seminars and sharing seminars where departments can present their recent achievements, innovative ideas, and examples of best practice.

3. Provide consultancy for the GSS

BPI advises on issues including presenting statistics, statistical quality, harmonisation and applying the Code of Practice for Statistics.  The consultancy support we offer can range from informal chats to structured work packages.

4. Build capability in the GSS through training courses, workshops etc 

BPI provides free support services including training courses, workshops, and seminars.

5. Create tools, guidance and standards

We develop and maintain guidance  and policies to support statistical producers on a range of topics, including the collection, communication and dissemination of statistics.

We also maintain a set of harmonised principles across a range of topics, which can help you adopt best practice in data collection and ensure that data collected is comparable.

There is also free methodological advice available to the GSS via the GSS Methodological Advisory Committee and the GSS Methodological Advisory Service.

6. Assessment and monitoring

We run peer-reviews of statistical releases, which draw on experience and expertise from within and outside the GSS to provide independent feedback to producers. Sessions usually take place without the authors present and the aim is to provide constructive, helpful feedback on presentation, quality, and harmonisation.

7. Foster a one GSS voice to the outside world and develop the GSS community

To foster one voice for the GSS community, BPI uses several different channels: