Rapid changes in society and technology mean that more data, in richer and more complex forms, is available than ever before. A fundamental part of the UK Statistics Authority’s strategy, Statistic for the public good, is to use data in ethically appropriate ways to produce research and statistics for the public good to inform the most important decisions facing the country.

Role and Responsibilities

The National Statisticians Data Ethics Committee (NSDEC) has been established to provide independent and transparent advice to the National Statistician that the access, use and sharing of data, for research and statistical purposes, is ethical and for the public good.

In reviewing project and policy proposals, NSDEC provide advice to the National Statistician on the basis of the following principles:

  • The use of data has clear benefits for users and serves the public good.
  • The data subject’s identity (whether person or organisation) is protected, information is kept confidential and secure, and the issue of consent is considered appropriately.
  • The risks and limits of new technologies are considered and there is sufficient human oversight so that methods employed are consistent with recognised standards of integrity and quality.
  • Data used and methods employed are consistent with legal requirements such as the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act, the Statistics and Registration Service Act and the common law duty of confidence.
  • The views of the public are considered in light of the data used and the perceived benefits of the research.
  • The access, use and sharing of data is transparent, and is communicated clearly and accessibly to the public.

The closing date for applications is 11:55 pm on 30 11 2022.

NSDEC advises the National Statistician who is a member of the UK Statistics Authority Board.


Committee members have a mixture of interests and expertise including data ethics, social research, data science, commercial and legal experience.


Staff from the UK Statistics Authority’s Centre for Applied Data Ethics provide dedicated Secretariat support to the Committee.


The Chair of NSDEC will have the following key responsibilities:

  • to provide strategic leadership of the Committee in order that it may effectively discharge its duties as set out in the terms of reference;
  • and to represent NSDEC publicly as appropriate.

General Competencies

The Chair of the Committee will have the following general competencies:

  • strong leadership skills, with evidence of having provided visible leadership to a comparable organisation or committee;
  • strategic skills, including the ability to analyse complex issues and to think clearly, strategically and laterally, extracting the essence of an argument from papers or presented evidence;
  • influencing and communication skills, including an ability to develop and maintain relationships with groups with disparate views and agendas; and
  • team working and collaboration skills, including an ability to work with other members and to participate in robust debate, challenging constructively the opinions of others, and working to achieve a shared consensus.

Specialist skills and expertise

The Chair will also have a good working knowledge of the use of data and the ethical issues arising, as well as knowledge of the UK statistical system and UK research. The Chair will require first class ambassadorial, communication and presentational skills and the presence, and integrity to command the respect of Committee members and other key stakeholders.

Time commitment

NSDEC meets at least four times each year. The Chair will also be required to comment on project proposals in between meetings by correspondence and to represent NSDEC publicly on occasion. This represents a commitment of approximately eight days per year.  Preparation for and attendance at meetings comprises the majority of this commitment.

Timing of the appointments

The successful candidates will be appointed by the middle of December 2022. The Chair’s first meeting is scheduled for 04 2023.


NSDEC meetings are usually hybrid meetings with a venue provided in London for those attending in person.


The Chair will be paid an honorarium of £5,000 a year. This position is non-pensionable. All reasonable travel and subsistence costs will be reimbursed.

Period of appointment

The appointment will be for an initial period of three years. The possibility of renewal for a further similar period will be available subject to a performance review.

Conflicts of interest

Candidates should not have interests that would be likely to conflict with their responsibilities as Chair of NSDEC. Please declare any potential conflict of interest as early as possible in the selection process and also disclose information or personal connections that might, if successful, be open to misperception.

This recruitment process is being undertaken by the UK Statistics Authority.

To apply for the role of the Chair of NSDEC, please submit an up-to-date copy of your CV, along with a one page covering letter that addresses the criteria set out in the role specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the general and specific requirements.

The CV, one page covering letter and contact details should be sent by email to

The closing date for applications is 11:55 pm on 30 11 2022.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an informal discussion with the National Statistician and others.

Diversity Policy

The UK Statistics Authority is committed to equal opportunities in employment, with the aim of ensuring that everyone who applies to work for us receives fair treatment and we positively encourage applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of age, disability, race, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief and to the principle of appointments on merit.

Further Enquiries

For any further information please contact