GSG career framework
This page explains the job grades members of the Government Statistician Group (GSG) can progress through during a career as a government statistician or data scientist, and how they will be assessed. It also gives tips on how to develop skills.
While everyone who works with official statistics is automatically in the Government Statistical Service (GSS), all government statisticians and some government data scientists are also members the Government Statistician Group (GSG).
The GSG is the professional community for civil servants who are recognised members of the statistics profession i.e. the people in the GSS who have passed a ‘GSG badging exercise’. Some government data scientists may be members of other government professions such as the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession or the Government Operational Research Service (GORS).
Find out more about how to join the GSG.
Information on career progression for those who belong to other government professions can be found on their profession websites or webpages.
Find out more about the GSS and other government professions.
Entry, and progression through, the GSG job grades is done by assessment against the GSG competency framework and the Civil Service Success Profiles.
Success profiles are the new recruitment framework used within the Civil Service. There will be a transitional period during which the success profiles will run alongside the existing Civil Service competency framework.
Diagram of career progression
The flowchart shows the grades a person can pass through. From Statistical Officer or Data Scientist (a common entry point) to Higher Statistical Officer or Data Scientist to Senior Statistical Officer or Data Scientist to Grade 7 Principal Statistician or Data Scientist to Grade 6 Principal Statistician or Data Scientist. GSS Fast Streamers start between the Higher and Senior grades with progression straight to Grade 7.
GSG grade descriptions
Civil Service competency framework: level 2 (equivalent to Executive Officer)
Success Profiles (Executive Officer)
Statistical Officers and Data Scientists will:
- be supervised by more senior statisticians or data scientists
- be responsible for their own work and contribute to statistical or data science production
- gain experience working within a statistical or data science role using formal statistical qualifications gained from previous education or roles
- develop strong working knowledge of tools and methods
Civil Service competency framework: level 3 (equivalent to Higher Executive Officer)
Success Profiles (Higher Executive Officer)
Higher Statistical Officers and Data Scientists:
- will be responsible for aspects of statistical production or data science projects
- may manage junior grades, including those in non-analyst roles
- communicate and champion statistics and data
- continue to develop their technical skills
Civil Service competency framework: level 3 (equivalent to Senior Executive Officer)
Success profiles (Senior Executive Officer)
Senior Statistical Officers and Data Scientists:
- are responsible for multiple aspects of statistical production or data science analytical projects
- often manage teams of analysts and non-analysts
- develop expertise in technical skills through further training
Civil Service competency framework: level 4 (equivalent to Grade 7)
Grade 7 Principal Statisticians and Data Scientists:
- are head of teams responsible for statistical or data science production
- are often regarded as topic experts
- develop expertise in technical skills through further training or qualifications
Civil Service competency framework: level 4 (equivalent to Grade 6)
Grade 6 Principal Statisticians and Data Scientists:
- are head of multiple statistical or data science teams
- are responsible for whole programs of statistical and data science work
- are champions for the use of statistics and data science across government.
In order to progress you need to make sure you are developing. Here are some ideas:
Check out the learning and development area
Opportunities to develop your skills can be found on the learning and development area.
You can find information on training courses and look at the analytical and non-analytical learning pathways which match training to the job grades outlined above.
You should keep track of all your learning and training in a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) logbook.
Consider loan and secondment opportunities
If there are specific skills you wish to learn in a working environment you might also want to consider a loan or secondment.
Short term placements in voluntary sector organisations might also appeal to you. These can be arranged via the Analytical Volunteer Programme.
Think about a lateral move
A lateral move happens when an individual moves to a different role at the same grade.
They are recommended to gain a breadth of skills and exposure to different working environments.
You can move laterally to:
- a statistical or data science role within the same department or a different department
- a non-statistical or non-data science role within same department or a different department
- a statistical or data science role in an external organisation
Moving to non-statistical or non-data science roles help develop general civil service competencies and provide valuable insight into use of statistics by non-statistical teams.
Moving to statistical or data science roles in external organisations can provide valuable insight into how different organisations work and how they use statistics.
If you’re interested in any of these opportunities, contact GSS.Careers@ons.gov.uk.