The Government Statistician Group (GSG) is the civil service profession for statisticians.
Statistics and data enable us to understand the world. Professional statisticians work in the data analytical function at the heart of government. Their influence extends from data collection and publications to providing an unbiased evidence base for effective decision making. Statisticians’ analysis and skills are essential to improving the operational services government provides. In today’s constantly evolving data landscape the need for professional statisticians is greater than ever.
The head of government statisticians in the UK is the National Statistician. The Government Statistical Service (GSS) strategy ‘Better Statistics Better Decisions’ describes the way that statisticians work: Helpful, Innovative, Capable, Efficient and Professional. They do this through their breadth of skills, in statistical and data science methods, as well as in people management and communications.
Professional Statisticians in Government
Statisticians’ skills are in high demand in government as analysts, producers of official statistics and data scientists. In all of their job roles they use their recognised professional standards to ensure the quality and integrity of their work. As a member of the professional statistician group you meet the standards set out in the Government Statistician Competency Framework. Assessment against these standards takes place on entry to the profession and as your career progresses.
What statisticians do:
Statisticians work as specialists and in multi-disciplinary teams at all levels of government. They use their statistical and broader skills in a wide range of roles to:
- Inform government strategy and operational direction based on the collection, analysis and use of data to meet customer needs
- Design data collection to publish results and analysis (including official statistics) to inform policy and public debate
- Present and disseminate statistics using modern visualisation or publication techniques to give access to technical and non-technical data users
- Lead data research and improve processes using data science and statistical techniques
- Guide analysts and non-analysts in the application of data science or statistical techniques as well as the p publication of independent unbiased official statistics (or data)
- Collaborate internationally with fellow professionals to understand the UK and the world through data
What you can expect from a career in the GSG:
- An important role in evidence based decisions in government
- Continuous professional development in statistical and data science techniques
- The opportunity to develop in a range of job roles using data and policy
- A thriving professional community with clear standards
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Statistician Career Path
Statistician career paths extend beyond the Data Analytical function of government. However, the starting point for statisticians is set out by the roles, skills and requirements for progression in the Statistician Profession. Entry to, and progression through, the profession is through assessment of both technical and general skills. At all levels statisticians are expected to work towards the GSS mission: to provide high quality statistics, analysis and advice to help Britain make better decisions. A detailed description of how statisticians do this can be found in the Government Statistician Competency Framework.
The Government Statistical Service (GSS) is fully behind apprenticeships as a way to bring in talented people into the statistician profession and the wider GSS community. A level 4 Data Analytics Apprenticeship is currently available in England and Wales via the statistics profession.
GSS data analyst apprentices work across government on a range of topics important to the UK. They are currently based in Defra, DfE, HMRC, Home Office, ONS, Welsh Government and the Office of Rail and Road. The GSS is also leading a Trailblazer Group to develop a new degree-level apprenticeship in data science on behalf of the public and private sector. Find out more about GSS Apprenticeships.