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Book your place at the 2019 Government Statistical Service (GSS) conference!


The 2019 GSS conference will be held on the 1 and 2 October 2019 in Edinburgh and registration for this event is now open. Places will be allocated within each department, so please look out for information from your Head of Profession.

If you would like to present at the conference please submit your abstracts by Friday 28 June (note the updated deadline) by following the instructions on the GSS conference event page.

You can keep up to date with all of the latest conference information via Slack. The conference team have set up a Slack channel #gssconference2019 on the GSS workspace. Add yourself to the channel to get updates and to ask any questions you have! It’s easy to join – simply create a Slack account, add yourself to the GSS workspace ( with your government email address and then click ‘add a channel’. Here you’ll find the option to add #gssconference2019.

Launch of the GSS People Plan

The GSS People Plan launched via the GSS website on 30 April. If you’ve yet to have a look or discuss it at a team meeting please have a look at the plan and the supporting communication documents aimed at Heads of Profession, line managers, statisticians and fast streamers. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section which you may find useful.


Can a UK definition of homelessness be achieved?

Daisie Hutchinson, part of the harmonisation team in the Best Practice and Impact division in the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has written a blog about how they have helped to improved users’ understanding of the comparability of homelessness statistics across the UK.

Quality Street

James Tucker, Head of Quality Centre and Methodology Advisory Service in the Best Practice and Impact Division in ONS, talks about both chocolate and quality as well as what help is available across the GSS in his blog.


Sharing Seminar: Power BI – speakers wanted!

Following the success of our address matching seminar, we are now planning our next sharing session which will focus on Power BI. For those of you not familiar with Power BI - it is an analytical and data visualisation tool which is becoming more popular across GSS. These sharing seminars are being set up to improve collaboration and peer learning across the GSS. The 90 minute session on Power BI will be run by Best Practice and Impact (BPI) and is open to all government departments via dial in. The session will be made up of three short presentations followed by the opportunity for participants to ask questions and find out more.  .

If you or your colleagues have a project using Power BI that you’d like to share at the seminar, please get in touch with

Find out more about programming at the 'awareness of coding' virtual classroom event

Want to know more about programming and coding tools?  A new virtual classroom session on  ‘Awareness of new Coding’ will be taking place on 5 June 2019.

This is a non-technical course aimed at people with little or no knowledge of programming who want to know more about coding tools (e.g. ‘R’ and Python), why we use them and the benefits of doing so. The session will also involve discussion around how these tools can shape our work going forward.

More information on the course can be found on Eventbrite.

Poster submissions still open for the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Conference 2019

The RSS Conference is taking place in Belfast from 2 to 5 September 2019. Every year, over 600 statisticians and data scientists gather from all sectors and from over 30 countries to share information and network, attracted by a varied programme of talks and workshops.

Submissions are still open for poster presentations, and these can be about any topic related to statistics, data science and the use of data.

The final deadline for completing poster submissions is Monday 1 July 2019. For more information, see the RSS website.

Help us to improve statistical publications - places still available!

Best Practice and Impact division run regular peer review workshops to help improve statistical releases. In these workshops, participants review a statistical publication and suggest improvements.

Places are still available for the peer review workshops on 2 July 2019 in London and 20 August in Newport, so if you would like to get involved in one of these workshops, please email


Level 6 Data Science degree apprenticeships

The advert for the Level 6 Data Science Degree Apprenticeship is now live. This is an excellent opportunity for people to come into the GSS and gain education up to level 6, enabling them to be eligible to apply to be a badged member of the GSG upon completion.

In introducing this entry level route into the GSS, we hope to increase the diversity of the profession and encourage people from all backgrounds to join us.

The closing date for this campaign is 2 June.

Opportunities across the GSS

Take a look on the GSS website for information about Statistical Officer and Senior Statistical Officer roles now available across the GSS.

Closing date for these vacancies is 25 July 2019.

You can view all current vacancies on the GSS website.

Learning and Development

South West and Wales Analyst Group Conference

The recent South West and Wales Analyst Group event took place in March 2019, where statistical knowledge was successfully shared between departments. This year it was led by Ofsted and held in Bristol, where 12 different departments were in attendance. There were a variety of different presentations that took place, each unique and insightful.
Feedback from the event was positive, with particular reference to the event being well-structured and paced. Many also felt that it was a great opportunity for networking and learning from the practice of others. Praise was also received regarding the carousel sessions and key note speakers.

New online learning opportunities from the Learning Academy

The Learning Academy are excited to share that there are more new online learning modules available for all staff in the Government Statistical Service (GSS) free of charge!

Online courses mean you can complete them at the best time and location for you, without needing to travel. They offer a different way of learning compared with traditional face to face training, which may better suit your learning style. Find out more about these courses on the GSS website.

Have your say on upcoming GSS training courses!

The Good Practice Team are looking to run extra training courses for interested GSS members throughout October to December. These will comprise of two or three of our training courses over one day in both London and Newport.

You can vote for which courses you want to see in these training days using our slack channel. Simply click on the #general channel, find the Simple Poll and make your choice!
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Good Practice Team · Office for National Statistics · Government Buildings · Newport, Newport NP10 8XG · United Kingdom

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