Government Statistical Service (GSS) People Priorities

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 Priorities for 2023

All GSS people priorities are governed by the GSS People Advisory Group (PAG). The purpose of PAG is to develop policies and processes that attract, retain, and nurture a diverse and inclusive GSG membership on behalf of GSS Heads of Professions (HoPs) and the wider GSS community.

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.

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 in the GSS People Advisory Group, 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 Priorities for 2023

The 2023 priorities fall into three categories:

  • business as usual 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 Diversity and Inclusion 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 principles in all activities.

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 Advisory Group to ensure best practice and coherence across the GSS on people capability.

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Priority projects

GSS Fast Stream

Work in partnership with Cabinet Office to design, agree and implement the new look GSS Fast Stream offer in line with Fast Stream 2024 and Civil Service Reform. Ensure a smooth process for the 2023 intake.

GSG Badging

Continue our review of the effectiveness of the GSG badging process with the intention to achieve more convergence across the Analysis Function and broaden career opportunities for our people.

GSS Employee Offer

Map, review and improve, where appropriate, entry and progression routes in the GSS to ensure a clear employee offer for the statistical community both internally and externally.

GSG Learning and Development

Continue improving the GSS learning offer ensuring it remains in line with the wider Civil Service reform priorities.


Continue improving our apprenticeship offer for the GSS, ensuring it aligns with the Cabinet Office quality framework.

Diversity and Inclusion

Ensure best practice from Analysis Function is being embedded into GSS processes.

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Working with the Analysis Function

The GSS People Advisory Group 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 Priorities for 2023

The GSS People Advisory Group (PAG) is responsible for developing a programme of work on behalf of the National Statistician and statistical HoPs.

Read more about the work of the GSS People Advisory Group.

PAG formally report to GSS HoPs and the National Statistician. PAG 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.

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For any queries about the GSS People Priorities or work plans, please email

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