GSS People Committee
The People Committee supports the National Statistician and statistical Heads of Profession (HoPs) to provide a world class statistical service. It works to strengthen the Government Statistical Service (GSS) as a community for sharing best practice and team working.
The committee also concentrates on recruitment, personal development, talent management and retention for the Government Statistician Group (GSG), in line with the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) strategy.
The committee meets four times a year and has four main responsibilities:
- To advise the various GSS professional support teams on the development of people policies for the GSS.
- To implement the strategy for UK statistics.
- To advise the statistical HoPs on people issues.
- To develop important reference documents and communications that support professional development in the GSG, including the Government Statistician Group competency framework.
Each year, the committee develops a programme of work on behalf of the National Statistician and statistical HoPs. There are several teams and groups responsible for completing this programme of work, including:
- various GSS teams
- the Steering Group and Task and Finish Group – this structure sits underneath the committee
The chair of the committee is Gemma Brand from the Department for Transport. Other members of the committee are senior managers from UK government departments and Devolved Administrations.
The work of the GSS People Committee is supported through two Steering Groups:
- Career Framework Steering Group
- Learning and Development Steering Group
The Steering Groups consult, research, develop options, make recommendations, and make decisions. They will also set the remit for individual task and finish groups and act on their findings.
Task and Finish Groups are commissioned to work on solutions for priority objectives. Their responsibility is to consult with important stakeholders, represent departments, inform, recommend, and achieve the priority objectives.
The current priorities of the committee are split between the two steering groups.
Career Framework Steering Group
The priorities of this group are to:
- oversee the Apprenticeships Task and Finish Group
- oversee the Fast Stream Review Task and Finish Group
- oversee the GSS People Committee Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Shadow Board pilot
- work on the Employee Offer including entry routes to the profession
- refresh the GSG Competency Framework
Learning and Development Steering Group
The priorities of this group are to:
- develop the Analysis Function online skills tool
- work to move learning online as default
- develop Analytical Learning Pathways
- expand the Reproduceable Analytical Pipeline (RAP) learning offer
The purpose of the committee is to develop and review people policies and practice for the GSS community. Please note that ‘GSS’ will always refer to the wider GSS community and includes the GSG profession.
- reports and makes recommendations to HoPs every six months about people issues to help them with their decision-making — the committee also reports to the National Statistics Executive Group (NSEG)
- provides governance to the ‘Learning and Development’ (L&D) Steering Group and the ‘Career Frameworks’ Steering Group
- sets priorities
- oversees progress and provides an annual report to HoPs
- is the main mechanism for seeking and receiving feedback on people issues from across the GSS
- ensures new policies and procedures are embedded consistently
- has responsibility for the policy on GSG Competency Framework, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) policy, core statistical training programmes, GSG entry routes and recruitment
Ways of working
The Committee will:
- follow the strategic direction set by Civil Service HR, Analysis Function and Talent Boards — this includes understanding clearly what the Government Analysis Function is working on so there is no duplication of effort
- actively contribute to and benefit from the strategic people aspects of the wider analytical community across government
- review its strategic priorities every six months and maintain a realistic workload
- ensure the meeting only reflects the highest priority areas for discussion
- invite members to inform the strategic direction where departments are responsible for embedding tactical solutions
- ensure that people across the GSS community have opportunities to get involved in its work through either Steering Groups or Task and Finish Groups (T&FG)
- ensure inclusivity by considering the diversity of needs and views across the GSS — this includes the needs of the Devolved Administrations through active contributions and interactive sessions
- refer appropriate matters to HoPs and the National Statistician through the Chair of the People Committee
The Committee will normally meet virtually on a quarterly basis. They will also have one annual face to face meeting, with the option for members to attend virtually if needed.
Meeting papers should be distributed at least 5 working days before the meeting date. All contributors should ensure meeting papers are as concise as possible. Papers and agenda will be shared with committee members before meetings and copies will be sent to departmental champions. Committee members who are constituency representatives are responsible for ensuring the views of their constituency are shared.
The committee will share an executive summary about its activities to the Heads of Profession after each meeting, with additional communications as appropriate. Communication will be cascaded to committee members and constituency representatives who are responsible for organising dissemination in their departments.
The composition of the SGs and T&FGs should reflect a diversity of views across the GSS. The groups should concentrate on ensuring that work is completed in a timely manner.
All committee members are expected to attend the committee in person. If a member is unable to attend they should send a temporary representative to the meeting with the authority to make decisions. The committee membership is made up of:
- the chair
- two Steering Group leads
- constituency representatives
- the secretariat
- the GSS professional support rep
- GSS L&D and recruitment representatives
- representatives from assistant statistician (AS) statistical officer (StO) grades
- an HR expert
All members are expected to work together to help achieve the priorities set by the People Committee.
Departments that are not are not directly represented on the committee should have a constituency representative as the main point of contact. These departments will engage with the committee’s work through their constituency representative and promote it in their department.
The personal viewpoints of members may be considered by the committee, alongside input given as part of their role. Members should clearly indicate if a statement is a personal opinion.
The Chair will usually be a HoP. The Chair will:
- manage and conclude committee discussions at formal meetings and in correspondence
- provide overall leadership to the committee and give direction to its work in line with strategic considerations and the views of the National Statistician and HoPs
- work with the GSS professional support representative on the strategic direction and work programme
- report to HoPs on People Committee activities and report back to the People Committee on relevant discussions and decisions by HoPs on people matters
These members will:
- seek and represent the views of their own and constituent departments at committee meetings
- share information from the committee and ask for feedback
- participate in committee discussions and discussions with the SGs and T&FGs as needed
These members will:
- ensure that papers are shared with relevant parties in their department in good time to receive feedback
- maintain a close relationship with their HoP, keeping them up to date with the work of the committee and supporting the embedding of new people policies
- work closely with constituent representatives to ensure that departmental issues are understood and appropriately fed back
- participate in discussions with the SGs and T&FGs as needed
Chair, Steering Group leads and Committee Secretariat Team
These members have joint responsibilities to:
- plan meetings
- advise and guide SG and T&FGs and others carrying out work programme actions
- ensure alignment of the committee work programme with the wider Analysis Function agenda and CS direction
- ensure that appropriate consideration is given to the non-GSG part of the GSS community
The Committee Secretariat will:
- oversee organisation of committee meetings and report on progress with actions
- help the Chair prepare draft agendas, commissioning papers and actions
- write and share minutes and ad hoc communications from the committee to the GSS community
GSS Professional Support Representative
The GSS Professional Support Representative will:
- ensure papers are fit-for-purpose and are aligned to committee’s terms of reference
- link the statistics profession with Cabinet Office and Civil Service HR (CSHR) strategic direction
- act as the owner of career and skills frameworks
These members will:
- provide professional advice and support on recruitment and learning and development issues
- provide a link to the Analysis Function strategic direction
- share updates on their respective areas with the committee
- make recommendations on actions where appropriate by submitting papers to the committee or through their steering groups
Deputy Director of People Capability
The Deputy Director of People Capability will advise the Committee on how its work can best support overall GSS strategy.
AS and Statistical Officer representatives
These representatives will be from Executive Officer, Higher Executive Officer or Senior Executive Officer grades. They will:
- ensure the committee can fully understand perspectives of AS and StO grades by collating and sharing a range of perspectives from this constituency
- work with established communities of AS and StO staff within the GSS to keep them informed about People Committee issues and and engaged with them
The HR expert will:
- provide a link to the Civil Service People Board
- advise the committee on professional Human Resources issues, including legal and Cabinet Office perspectives
The next People Committee meetings will take place on:
- Tuesday 7 March 2023
- Tuesday 6 June 2023
- Tuesday 5 September 2023
- Tuesday 5 December 2023
Terms of Reference
The GSS Career Framework Steering Group has two distinct aims:
- To consult with stakeholders, research, test and agree solutions and recommendations before submission to GSS People Committee for approval, for issues affecting recruitment, badging, career frameworks and success profiles.
- To act as a ‘first response’ to provide or identify a solution where the community has an urgent, one-off or bespoke ad-hoc recruitment or careers need.
Terms of reference
The L&D Steering Group is mandated by the People Committee as the main consultation forum and platform for all GSS learning developments. The Steering Group provides a place where:
- GSS organisations can influence and inform the learning offer — this leads to solutions for emerging requirements being identified at earliest opportunity
- core GSS learning providers engage and consult community representatives on important changes and developments before submission to GSS People Committee for approval
If you have any item that you wish to be considered for a future committee meeting, you should contact your departmental champion or People Committee representative in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact:
- GSS Careers by emailing GSS.Careers@ons.gov.uk
- GSS People Committee Chair by emailing Gemma.Brand@dft.gov.uk
- GSS People Committee Deputy Chair and Career Framework Steering Group Lead by emailing Adrian.Chesson@ons.gov.uk
- GSS Learning and Development Steering Group Lead by emailing Katie.Dodd@dwp.gov.uk
For any other queries, please email GSS.Careers@ons.gov.uk.