Badging, level transfer and returning to the Government Statistician Group (GSG)

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:1 April 2016
Owner:GSS Recruitment Team
Who this is for:Members of the Government Statistical Service


This guidance is for anyone needing information on:

  • Government Statistical Group (GSG) level transfers (intra- and inter-departmental)
  • the badging process for entry into the GSG
  • the length of time allowed working outside of the GSG before re-entry is required.

You can also find out how to retain GSG membership when working in posts outside of the profession.

Level transfer within the GSG – statistical officer through to G6

Level transfer within the GSG is a straight forward process. Recruiting managers are advised to produce a person specification and job description for the post and to use the civil service jobs portal (where possible). The post should be opened across the Government Statistical Service (GSS) to encourage inter-departmental moves.

We know that some posts may start off as intra-departmental, only being opened out more widely when the post cannot be filled internally.

Since candidates will already be members of the GSG and at the required grade, the interview can be more informal. However, checks should still be made to ensure that the candidate has the required skills for the post. Where there are gaps in a candidate’s competencies and skills, the candidate may still be offered the post based on their ability to develop the required skills quickly with appropriate training and guidance.

Please note that some departments may need to complete additional selection methods for level transfer, including a full assessment centre.

Badging into the GSG

Staff who have acquired the appropriate qualifications/experience and who are keen to apply for
membership of the GSG, may do so via a badging board. Badging boards are run on a quarterly basis at EO, HEO, SEO and G7 levels by the GSS Recruitment Team.

Badging follows similar principles as when recruiting directly into the GSG, i.e. the minimum qualification requirements and the requirements for the interview process are very similar.

Requirements for a badging board:

  • online multiple choice test
  • dissemination test
  • presentation
  • interview
  • assessment against the appropriate level of the GSG Competency Framework

If you are planning to run any badging board exercises, please email the GSS Recruitment Team at

Please note the following:

  1. you must make sure you get the tools from the GSS Recruitment Team
  2. there is no requirement to assess candidates against the Civil Service Behaviours since they
    will have already been through an interview process to demonstrate the appropriate level of competencies.

Minimum qualifications and experience

Candidates should have one of the following:

  • A first or second class honours degree in a numerate subject (2:1 minimum for Assistant Statistician; 2:2 minimum for Statistical Officer) containing at least 25% taught statistical
    content(e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or similar).
  • A higher degree, e.g. an MSc or PhD, in a subject containing formal statistical training (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or
  • Have worked in a statistical/data science field and are able to demonstrate continuous professional development (via a CPD Log Book) in statistics or data science at the same level as a foundation degree/HND (Level 5).
  • Have achieved or on track to achieve a level 4 apprenticeship including at least 2 years in a statistical or data analysis field in government and are able to demonstrate continuous professional development in statistics or data analysis (via a CPD log book signed off by a manager or mentor who are members of the statistical profession).

Assessors for badging boards

The assessment panel must consist of at least two statisticians or statistical data scientists, one of which should be external to the department (an independent assessor) and one grade higher than the grade being assessed.

Independent GSG assessors

An independent assessor will normally come from another government department or organisation, and it is vital that they have a good knowledge of the GSG. If a department is unable to source an assessor from another government department or organisation, they should contact the Head of GSS Recruitment for approval to use an assessor from a different business area within their department.

Independent assessors must ensure that:

  • candidates meet the relevant standards of the GSG Competency Framework
  • they cover CPD requirements (where appropriate)
  • they are judged on their potential to develop and perform against the GSG Competency Framework
  • a GSG approved test is used (where required by this guidance)
  • this guidance is followed

The GSS Recruitment team holds a list of assessors and will offer training for new assessors and refresher training for existing assessors.

Independent assessors must:

  • have been in the GSG for at least a year
  • be experienced within their own organisation on competency based recruitment and selection
  • complete civil service Unconscious Bias and Equality and Diversity training
  • attend a GSG briefing or training session before being placed on the list (a specific Fast Stream training session is required before an assessor can participate in the recruitment of assistant statisticians)
  • attend a refresher briefing if requested to do so by the GSS Recruitment Team following significant changes to the recruitment procedures
  • agree to their names, email addresses and telephone numbers being made available through the GSS website for recruiting managers to contact
  • agree that their performance may be evaluated, in order to ensure that standards are being maintained.

For the fast stream assessment, you should have a good knowledge of the GSG and be available for at least five days of interviewing a year. However a lesser commitment will not disqualify assessors from the list.

Returning to the GSG

GSG staff are free to take up posts outside of the profession for up to five years. But they are required to maintain their CPD log books during this time to demonstrate their continuous professional membership.

Where GSG staff have worked outside the profession for more than five years, they are required to be rebadged on their return to the profession. This is to ensure that standards are maintained.

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