The conduct of statistical collections requires specific professional skills and managerial competencies.
Agencies should have strategies in place to provide staff at all levels with required knowledge and skills to plan, organise, execute and mange statistical collections. Agencies can develop these skills in-house or contract out to consultants. An agency’s own staff should, however, always have sufficient knowledge and skills to consult, discuss, monitor and oversee external contractors.
12.1 STATISTICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Statistical knowledge and skills can include some or all of the following:
Skilled staff and managers are essential to achieve and maintain a high quality data collection. Agencies should undertake a regular skills stocktake of their teams to identify shortages in statistical skills.
Appropriate measures to overcome these shortages may include:
Training methods include formal statistical training courses and on the job training. Detailed documentation on procedures, classifications, coding and systems should be provided to new staff and can also be used as a reference for existing staff.
The ABS’ National Statistical Training Institute (NSTI) conducts regular training sessions on many statistical collection topics including subject specific courses. For further information on training courses conducted by the NSTI visit the ABS website www.abs.gov.au, phone (02) 62526676 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Australian organisations that conduct statistical training include Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS), Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI) and Statistical Society of Australia Inc (SSAI). Further, many Australian universities also conduct a number of general and specialist courses in many areas of statistics discipline.