Government Statistical Service (GSS) People Plan

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:21 April 2022
Owner:GSS Careers Team
Who this is for:Members of the Government Statistical Service


The Government Statistical Service (GSS) is a community of people that are involved in the production of official statistics in the UK. It includes people that are badged statisticians, who are also members of the Government Statistician Group (GSG).

The GSG profession is proudly one of seven government analytical professions that form part of the Government Analysis Function (AF).  The AF mission is to support the government to make better decisions by helping everyone easily access the advice, analysis, research, and evidence they need. This ultimately leads to better outcomes for citizens.

Read more about the GSS, government professions and Analysis Function.

It is the breadth and depth of expertise that makes working in statistics in government unique to the GSS and GSG. Government relies on these data every day to provide the important evidence and analysis that supports its work.

Our greatest asset is our people. We aim to maximise all our people’s potential regardless of their sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, faith, age, or socio-economic backgrounds. We do this through our people priorities.

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Background to GSS People Committee Delivery Priorities for 2022

All GSS people priorities are governed by the GSS People Committee. The purpose of the People Committee is to develop policies and processes that attract, retain, and nurture a diverse and inclusive GSG membership. The delivery priorities for 2022 were developed in consultation with the GSS People Committee, Heads of Profession (HoPs) and the wider GSS community.

GSS People Committee members agreed these priorities in GSS People Committee in December 2021. They recommended that the priorities form the basis of a work plan to replace the 2019 GSS people plan.

It is important that we align with the AF where it makes sense to do so. We should also work with other analytical professions to support career development and access to wider opportunities in government analysis beyond departmental and profession boundaries. Areas where we can work with the Analysis Function in 2022 are also outlined in our delivery plan. These plans are likely to develop as work is delivered.

We recognise the delivery of the priority projects rely on availability of resource. Business as usual (BAU) activity takes priority for GSS professional support teams based within the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Members of the GSS and GSG are invited to support the delivery of priority projects through:

  • participating fully in the governance of GSS People Committee
  • participating in the GSS People Committee , its steering groups, and its task and finish group
  • being an advocate and champion of the GSS community and the statistics profession
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GSS People Committee Delivery Priorities for 2022

The 2022 delivery priorities fall into three categories:

  • BAU activity such as supporting established and ongoing people programmes including GSS Fast Stream and GSS Apprenticeships​
  • projects to complete work identified as priorities for our people – this is in response to consultation with the GSS Heads of Profession and the wider GSS community
  • working together with the Analysis Function to influence and contribute to the wider AF people agenda to ensure the best outcomes for our people
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Established and ongoing Business as Usual (BAU) activity

Include the Diversity and Inclusion plan in all activity

Support a diverse and inclusive community by ensuring ownership and accountability in all our work. Be inclusive in everything we do and apply our own diversity and inclusion strategy in all activities related to GSS People Capability.

Run Apprenticeship programmes

Run the GSS Level 4 and Level 6 apprenticeship schemes to bring new, diverse talent into the GSS and GSG.

Delivery of the GSS Fast Stream programme

Work in partnership with Cabinet Office Fast Stream and Early talent to deliver the GSS Fast Stream. This ensures an entry route for diverse talent for the GSS.

Manage GSS recruitment campaigns

Work across the GSS to:

  • lead recruitment campaigns
  • provide recruitment guidance, advice and support to departments
  • provide promotion guidance, advice and support to departments

By providing this support we can make sure our recruitment meets the GSG standards for entry into the profession. This will help us make sure we are recruiting the right people with the right skills into the GSG in a transparent, consistent, and fair manner.

Support the badging programme including boards and quarterly returns

Work across the GSS to give clear guidance on the badging process and standards. Make sure these processes and standards are understood and applied. Work with departments to commission quarterly badging returns so the GSS has an overview of its membership and population across the Civil Service.

Engage with the Heads of Profession community

Engage with our Heads of Profession (HoP) community to understand people issues and priorities across the GSS. Consult with and involve GSS HoPs in the work of the GSS People Committee to ensure best practice and coherence across the GSS on people capability.

Engage with the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) in context of their statistical leadership review

Work with the OSR to consider recommendations from the statistical leadership review in the work of the GSS People Committee. Evaluate our practices to make statistical leadership inclusive and diverse so that it is representative of the general public.

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Priority projects

GSS learning and development

Review the effectiveness of the GSS learning offer and ensure it remains in line with wider Civil Service (CS) reform priorities.​

GSS Employee Offer

Map and review entry and progression routes in the GSS. Make improvements to these routes where appropriate. Ensure there is a clear employee offer for the statistical community both internally and externally.

GSG badging

Review the effectiveness of the GSGs badging process to help broaden career opportunities for our people.​

GSS Fast Stream (FS)

Work with the Cabinet Office to design, agree and implement the new GSS FS offer in line with Fast Stream 2024 and CS reform.​

GSS apprenticeship offer

Review the GSS apprenticeship offer and consider where we can improve departmental engagement and connect with other professions across the Analysis Function.


Evaluate how GSS People Committee works with the wider GSS community and the Analysis Function. Think about how we communicate this clearly to our members.​

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Working with the Analysis Function

The GSS People Committee will work with the Analysis Function on people capability issues which go beyond departmental and professional boundaries. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • pay and progression – to ensure there is fair reward for all analysts across government​
  • data collation and workforce demand – to understand how we can contribute to the smooth movement of analysts across government to work where they are needed
  • the wider diversity and inclusion agenda – to ensure there is a joined-up approach between profession and function to help us create a diverse and inclusive analytical community
  • talent management across the function and across government – to ensure talent is recognised and valued regardless of career path
  • STEM outreach​ – to broaden entry routes into the function and its professions
  • understanding data science career pathways and how these contribute to our wider analytical community
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Governance of the GSS People Committee priorities for 2022

The GSS People Committee develops a programme of work on behalf of the National Statistician and statistical HoPs. This work is done by various GSS facing teams in the ONS, and the steering groups and task and finish groups which report to the GSS People Committee.​ The GSS People Committee is responsible for:

  • the strategic direction of people capability issues
  • prioritising work to resolve people capability issues
  • the agreed delivery priorities for 2022

GSS People Committee formally report biannually to GSS HoPs at their quarterly meetings. The Committee also report to the National Statistician. The Committee are also involved with the National Statistics Executive Group (NSEG).

The NSEG is GSS’s main leadership forum. Membership includes two GSS Heads of Profession and colleagues from the devolved administrations. This is representative of the Group’s remit across the statistical system. NSEG also has a ‘shadow board’ which welcomes representatives from the GSS.

The GSS People Committee priority work plan is owned by the AF and GSS Capability Team based in the ONS People and Business Services Directorate. The Directorate is located within the People Capability Division and works on behalf of the National Statistician. Work is overseen and prioritised by the GSS People Committee through its two steering groups, various task and finish groups and a delivery plan.

The Senior Responsible Owner of the delivery plan is the Deputy Director for the ONS People Capability Division.

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For any queries about the GSS People Committee’s delivery priorities, or work plans for 2022 please email

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