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The Government Statistical Service (GSS)

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) is a decentralised community which is spread across most Government Departments.

The Head of the GSS is the National Statistician who, as the UK Statistics Authority’s Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, is also a member of the Board of the Authority.

The GSS comprises approximately 7,000 civil servants who work in ONS, in 30 or more other UK Government Departments, or in the two devolved governments in Scotland and Wales.

The primary function of these staff is to collect, analyse and disseminate official statistics.

Although the equivalent staff in Northern Ireland are not formally part of the GSS, they work very closely with the GSS and share a common professional culture.

Staff in the GSS operate within an ONS-administered personnel framework which sets standards for recruitment, qualifications, competence and training.

GSS staff come under the managerial authority of a designated Head of Profession for Statistics.

Each of the three devolved administrations, and every UK Government Department or Agency which has a significant GSS 'presence' - that is, it produces or uses GSS statistics - has its own designated Statistical Head of Profession (HoP).

These HoPs and the Chief Statisticians in the (excluding Northern Ireland), and all the staff whom they manage, constitute the GSS.

The majority of HoPs are members of the Senior Civil Service but in the smaller Departments the post is likely to be filled by either a Grade 7 or a Grade 6 Statistician.

The ONS Director General is the Head of Profession in the Office for National Statistics with some HoP responsibilities devolved to the Heads of each of ONS's Statistical Directorates.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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