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Job description

This post offers a statistician or social researcher the opportunity to manage a large National Statistics survey.

The Taking Part survey is the Department's primary source of evidence on engagement with leisure, culture and sport in England. The post holder will oversee all aspects of the survey including:

  • Managing the contractors who deliver the survey (currently Ipsos MORI and NatCen)
  • Managing relationships with the other funders (Sport England, Arts Council England and Historic England)
  • Working with policy teams to ensure that the survey meets their needs and results are understood and used
  • Delivering National Statistics publications based on the survey.
  • Reviewing the face-to-face and online questionnaires and developing new survey questions
  • Overseeing methodological developments, including developing an analytical plan for the longitudinal data collected via the new web panel element of the survey
  • Leading engagement with a range of users, including Senior Civil Servants
  • Dissemination of results, including project management of the creation of a new online data tool
  • Line management of a temporary Statistical Officer and activity management (production of focus-on reports) responsibilities
  • Working with the lead on the Community Life Survey to understand data on volunteering and charitable giving from both surveys

    The post holder may also have the opportunity to work on other projects and publications, including high profile internal projects as well as input into cross Government Statistical Service developments. Exact projects will be decided based on the post holder's development needs, resource availability, skills and interests. Examples of other work areas include:
  • Representing DCMS on GSS committees and working groups
  • Joint analytical and methodological projects with other analysts
  • Continuous review and redesign of our statistical outputs for internal and external users
  • Reviewing the quality of administrative data used by the DCMS
  • Developing and monitoring departmental indicators, including as part of the Single Departmental Plan
  • Ad hoc analysis to support policy teams e.g. to support the department's work on Prime Ministerial priorities such as loneliness and Exiting the EU.

    All statisticians and social researchers in DCMS are part of a supportive Government Statistician Group (GSG) or Government Social Research (GSR) community, providing an active peer support network. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in corporate projects to make the directorate, and the wider DCMS, an even better place to work. We are fully committed to personal development, support flexible working and healthy work-life balance. Please state in your application if you are already a member of GSG or GSR.
    We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate the following key behaviours:

    Professional behaviours: (For further information please see attached documents)
    You will be assessed against the following technical competency, depending on the analytical profession you are entering:
    GSG (Statisticians): GSG competency framework: 'data analysis' *Lead Competency - see recruitment process section.
    GSG (Statisticians): GSG competency framework: 'acquiring data / understanding customer needs'

    GSR (Social Researchers): Social Research Technical skills (page 6-8) *Lead Competency - see recruitment process section.
    GSR (Social Researchers): Using and promoting Social Research (page9-10)

    Civil Service behaviours:

    Working Together: Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.

    Communicating and Influencing: Communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity and enthusiasm. Respect the needs, responses and opinions of others.

    Managing a Quality Service: Deliver service objectives with professional excellence, expertise and efficiency, taking account of diverse customer needs.

    Delivering at Pace: Take responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive.


    For GSG (Statistician) candidates must have a minimum of (1) a first or second class honours degree in a subject containing formal statistical training (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or similar); or (2) a higher degree, e.g. an MSc or PhD, in a subject containing formal statistical training (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography or similar); or (3) experience in a statistical/data science field and an ability to demonstrate continuous professional development (via a CPD Log Book) in statistics/data science at the same level as a foundation degree/HND (Level 5).

    For GSR (Social Research) candidates must evidence on application that they fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

    Degree: Hold a minimum of 2:1 in an undergraduate degree or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree,


    A relevant social science subject at undergraduate or postgraduate level which contains substantial social research methods training including quantitative methods and at least 3 of the other methods outlined in the table below (we would expect social research methods to represent around a third of modules taken) and be able to demonstrate sufficient applied social research experience.

    (Please specify on your application which profession you are applying from)


    We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
    • Working Together
    • Communicating and Influencing
    • Managing a Quality Service
    • Delivering at Pace

    Technical skills

    We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
    • Mandatory: Quantitative methods, including research design, data collection (i.e. questionnaire design, sampling, weighting), data analysis (e.g. statistical analysis)
    • Qualitative methods, including research design, data collection (i.e. interviewing, focus groups, ethnographic), data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis)
    • GSG (Statisticians): GSG competency framework: 'data analysis' (see attached documents)
    • GSG (Statisticians): GSG competency framework: 'acquiring data / understanding customer needs' (see attached documents)
    • GSR (Social Researchers): Social Research Technical skills (see attached documents)
    • GSR (Social Researchers): Using and promoting Social Research (see attached documents)



    Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


    No relocation allowance

    Things you need to know


    Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

    Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check .

    Nationality statement

    Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules .

    If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

    Selection process details

    This vacancy is using Success Profiles , and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

    In the event of a large number of applications, an initial sift against the lead competency (for statisticians: data analysis , for social researchers: Social Research technical skills) will be undertaken. Successful candidates after initial sift will then go on to a full sift of behaviours.

    Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

    Nationality requirements

    Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here .

    Working for the Civil Service

    The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

    We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles .

    The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

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