Leadership is an essential element of the Code of Practice. We have a principle dedicated to ‘Independent decision making and leadership’ and leadership is identified in the Code as essential for enabling statistical innovation, collaboration and coherence across departments. In practice, statistical leaders need strong systems to support them in their challenging roles and statisticians also need effective leaders to make progress and support them in their development.

In the context of a new National Statistician, an evolving analytical landscape, and the recent Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee review of UKSA governance, our statistical leadership systemic review will identify the primary characteristics of strong statistical leadership in government. We will identify a range of factors that enable effective statistical leadership: where it is most important; the consequences that can occur when it is missing; and the various structural aspects that support or inhibit it.

The overall aim of the review is to help ensure statisticians are valued and have a voice and influence in decision making. To this end, we want to support statistical Heads of Profession (HoPs) to perform their roles to best effect, making sure they have what they need to be effective and identify any barriers to effective leadership with a view to helping to overcome them. We will consider how best to use our position to influence existing structures in government to help to ensure statistical leaders have a voice and influence in decision making. There are also likely to be useful lessons around how we in OSR, and others in UKSA might better support current and future statistical leaders.

We will carry out research and engage with a range of statistical/analytical leaders and senior decision makers to explore the different departmental structures that support effective statistical leadership and where improvements can be made. We will examine statisticians’ roles and profiles, the skills they need to be effective, what the pipeline for future statistical leaders looks like, and how future leaders’ careers are being developed.

We will look for opportunities to facilitate knowledge sharing to support cross-organisational learning around the ways that current and future statistical leaders can be better supported, use our influence to address barriers to effective leadership where needed, and build advocates for the importance of strong statistical leadership as we go. We will also look to develop additional guidance and case study material to support the leadership elements highlighted in the Code of Practice.

We would love to have your involvement in this work, so if you are interested in contributing to our statistical leadership review or would like to receive an alert as more information becomes available, please get in touch.

Contact for more information:

Email: Oliver Fox-Tatum (Lead), Tel: 01633 455 848