The RSS Ordinary Certificate is a foundation course in statistics that covers the principles and practice of statistics with emphasis on practical data collection, presentation and interpretation. Holders of the RSS Ordinary Certificate should be able to carry out supervised statistical work of a routine kind, or be able to apply statistical methods, at an elementary level.
The course will be delivered by the ONS’s Statistical Training Unit via classroom based learning or alternatively distance learning. The classroom based teaching will take place at our Newport and Titchfield offices. Delivery in other locations can be arranged if there is sufficient demand but please note that there may be an additional charge to cover room hire and travel and subsistence costs.
A prerequisite for the course is GCSE or O Level in Maths. The course is pitched between GCSE and A Level standard, but the nature of the syllabus is very different because of the emphasis on practical statistical work.
The cost for attending the classroom based course is £850; the cost to study via distance learning is £450.
The course is modular based with the following modules being offered:
Research Methods, Data Collection Methods and Questionnaire Design
This module covers study design in the form of experimental and observational studies; survey design in the form of census and sample surveys; the use of administrative data in official statistics; personal and telephone interviews and self-completion questionnaires; the objectives and principles of questionnaire design.
Sampling Methods, Frames and Errors
This module covers sampling frames and their inconsistencies; non-probability sampling methods in the form of convenience and quota sampling; probability sampling methods in the form of simple random sampling; systematic sampling; stratified sampling under equal, proportional and optimal allocation methods; cluster sampling; multistage sampling; survey errors in the form of non-sampling errors.
Condensing and Summarising Data
A look at the different ways in which raw data can be condensed or sorted into frequency and grouped frequency data. This module will also cover different methods of presentation, using written summaries, graphical displays and tables. It finishes with the measures of location and dispersion that can be used for each type of data and the uses and limitations of each.
Time Series and Index Numbers
As the title suggests this module is split into two sections. The first concentrates on time series analysis and the seasonal adjustment of additive and multiplicative models. The second section concentrates on index numbers and covers simple price and quantity relatives, weighted relatives, aggregate indices in the form of Laspeyres, Paasche and Fisher and chain linking of price and quantity indices. It also covers the more well known index numbers published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Regression and Correlation
This module covers the fitting of a regression line and the link between regression and correlation. Also covered are the Pearson Product Moment, Spearmans Rank correlation coefficients and the uses and limitations of each.
The module covers the different ways in which probabilities of events can be calculated through the use of the equally likely principle and relative frequency. Different types of events, such as mutually exclusive and non-mutually exclusive events, independent events and conditional probabilities. It finishes by looking at how probabilities can be presented in Venn diagrams and tree diagrams and how these can be used to calculate probabilities.
To apply for a place on this course, please download and complete an application form and return it to:
Statistical Training Unit
Office for National Statistics
For more information on this training, including dates for each of the modules, please contact the Statistical Training Unit at the following address: email@example.com
Please see the practice numeracy assessment for the RSS Ordinary Certificate. You should not apply for the course unless you feel comfortable with the numeracy test:
Numeracy Practice Test (21.5 Kb Pdf)
Numeracy Practice Test - Solutions (37.2 Kb Pdf)