Recruitment policy for 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

Policy statement

The GSS recruitment policy is written to ensure that the profession recruits the right people for jobs whilst complying with the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles for recruitment into the Civil Service, United Kingdom and European Union law.

The supporting procedural guidance also refers to the minimum standards required for entry into the GSG through promotion and badging for existing civil servants.

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United Kingdom and European Union Law

Recruitment will be conducted within UK and EU law as it applies, including:

  • employment law/legal issues
  • anti-discrimination legislation
  • data protection
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Civil Service (CS) Commissions Recruitment Principles

The CS Commissions Recruitment principles require selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. The Principles however, allow some appointments other than by selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition including short term appointments e.g. temporary appointments

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GSG Principles

In order to recruit the right people with the right skills into the Government Statistician Group (GSG) and develop skilled professionals, it is important that members are recruited in a consistent manner. The basic premise for this is covered by five key principles:

  1. Minimum entry requirements will apply, as agreed by Heads of Profession. Read the joining us page for details.
  2. The GSG Competency Framework will be used as the basis for assessment of statistical competence.
  3. The Civil Service Success Profiles will be used as the basis for assessment of generic competence.
  4. Consistent selection methods will apply, which consider a candidate’s potential to develop and perform against both the GSG Competency Framework and Civil Service Success Profiles.
  5. An independent assessor (usually an external GSG member) will be present to ensure that GSG standards are met.
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Equal opportunity

The UK CS is an equal opportunities employer and there must be no discrimination, either direct or indirect, during recruitment. Recruitment must comply with the Equality Act 2010. All interview panel members must have completed the CS Equality and Diversity training and the CS unconscious bias training.

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Levels of devolved authority

The GSS Recruitment team are responsible for ensuring a consistent approach to recruitment policy, procedures and all related activity.

The governance/reporting structure for recruitment will have responsibility for ensuring adherence to the recruitment policy and procedures as determined by the GSS Recruitment Team. Heads of Professions (HoPs)/Deputy HoPs and delegated recruiting managers within departments will have responsibility for adhering to recruitment policy and procedure in any recruitment activity they undertake.

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Openness, fairness and merit

To ensure the best person is appointed/selected for the job, and to adhere to the Civil Service
Commissions Recruitment Principles:

  • GSG posts must be advertised (except under the exceptions outlined in section 3.0 of the policy)
  • departments are encouraged to advertise GSG posts across government
  • prospective applicants must be given equal and reasonable access to adequate information about the job and its requirements, and about the selection process
  • applicants must be considered equally on merit
  • applicants may only apply once during a live vacancy selection process
  • selection must be based on relevant criteria which is outlined in the advert/position profile and is applied consistently to all applicants
  • short-listing and all selection decisions must be conducted by a minimum of two trained assessors (one of which must be GSG trained) to guard against individual bias
  • sift and interview panels should include a trained GSG independent assessor for entry into the GSG and promotion to Grade 7 (G7)
  • sift and interview panels should be a gender balance (this is not always possible but every effort should be made)
  • selection techniques must be objective, reliable, and guard against bias.
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Security procedures

Before a permanent/temporary appointment can be offered the individual departments must conduct all pre-appointment checks on external applicants to confirm eligibility e.g. identity, qualifications, right to work in the UK CS, in line with the Civil Service Commissions Recruitment Principles.

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Appointment procedures

The Employment Rights Act requires employers to provide staff with a written statement of employment particulars. Individual departments are responsible for issuing all staff recruited with an appointment letter and a contract of employment outlining terms and conditions.

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Auditing and monitoring requirements

The GSS Recruitment will retain the documentation listed below for 2 years following a recruitment campaign:

  • proof of qualifications
  • proof of ID
  • application form, feedback and/or Curriculum Vitae (CV) (on WCN)

Departments can request the information above for up to 2 years following a campaign for auditing purposes to ensure:

  • compliance with the Civil Service Commissions Recruitment Principles recruitment monitoring requirements
  • the requirement to carry out audits in accordance with the procedures for auditing arrangements is met
  • Civil Service Commissions Recruitment Principles requirements to keep an exceptions register detailing appointments other than through selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition is met
  • equality and diversity monitoring throughout the process is carried out by the GSS central recruitment team
  • GSS Team are responsible for CS audit reporting on behalf of all government departments including cross government campaigns.
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Workforce planning

HoPs are responsible for forecasting projected staffing needs in order for the GSS Recruitment Team to plan and respond proactively to bids.

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Roles and responsibilities

GSS Recruitment Team

Responsible for updating the recruitment and promotion guidance and providing advice and
support to departments on policy and procedures to ensure they recruit against the GSG standards for entry into the profession.

Heads of Profession

Responsible for maintaining the GSG staff lists within their departments and notifying GSS
Recruitment of any changes. Also providing bids.


Required to participate in recruitment activity on behalf of the GSG at least once a quarter.

GSS People Advisory Group

Will provide a steer on recruitment priorities.

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Staff participating in GSG recruitment activity must be able to demonstrate that they have attended:

  • a recruitment and selection training course (at least one panel member or the independent assessor must have attended the GSG recruitment and selection training)
  • CS equality and diversity training
  • CS unconscious bias training
  • trained GSG assessors should ensure they update their CPD when they are involved in recruitment activity. GSS recruitment will maintain the GSG assessor list of contacts and from time to time they will contact individuals to ensure they are regularly involved in recruitment activity to keep the list current. To maintain their interview skills it is recommended that assessors participate in GSG or departmental recruitment activity at least once a quarter.
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Changes to the policy

This Policy and related recruitment procedure will be modified from time to time at the discretion of GSS Recruitment Team to incorporate statutory, and other best practice and minor enhancements or changes.

The Head of GSS Professional Support or GSS People Advisory Group will either be notified or consulted on changes.

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